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Old 02-14-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
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Me + Fiancee + Newspaper + Valentines Day

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/303285

THE TORONTO STAR

Like weddings, proposals now need witnesses

For the modern groom a photograph of the moment provides evidence of his intention to love


Feb 14, 2008 04:30 AM
Daphne Gordon
Living Reporter

It was New Year's Eve and the night was poised to be a turning point in the lives of Mark Baker and Jocelyn Vernon.

Baker, a Toronto elementary school teacher, was understandably excited and nervous, but struggling to keep a big secret from the woman he loved.

He was planning to propose.

"I wanted it to be a total surprise," says Baker. "I'd saved some money and I decided to buy the ring at the Boxing Day sales. I'd actually lied to Jocelyn and said I was going to look at car stereos."

The ring purchase was the first step in Baker's master plan to create the most exciting night imaginable for the woman he hoped would become his wife.

"I wanted it to be special," says Baker, 35. "I wanted to make sure I did it right."

Though a few liberated women do the asking these days, a proposal is still largely the male's prerogative. And like many 21st-century men, Baker saw the proposal as a big event.

In the age of Facebook engagement announcements, elaborate wedding websites and hi-tech reception slide shows, the proposal story – and in some cases, the photos that document it – is part of the wedding experience.

Realizing his efforts will be on full display, the modern groom embraces the proposal as an opportunity to provide tangible evidence of his intention to love, honour and cherish.

Baker decided to pop the question – and a celebratory cork – at a New Year's Eve celebration with friends.

The party preparations would camouflage his secret, and it wouldn't look strange to Vernon if his friends were gathered around, cameras in hand.

Baker wanted pictures because he'd acted as official photographer at a close friend's proposal – an extravagant affair involving a knight's costume – and the couple always thanked him for it.

So he and a close friend scouted the perfect location: a borrowed country house outside Toronto. The day before the event, everyone pitched in.

Friends set up a DJ booth and a decorated dance floor, then stocked the fridge with food and the coolers with champagne.

Not everyone knew of Baker's plans.

After asking the bride's family for permission and getting a thumbs up, he told only his inner circle of friends, for fear someone might accidentally leak the secret. Others at the party thought it was just a great party.

"I had no idea," says Vernon, 31, and also a teacher. "I noticed he was extra attentive over the holidays, but I thought, it's just it's the holidays. He's happy."

The couple had talked about marriage before. She'd even pointed out a ring, but had put thoughts of marriage aside, thinking he would ask when he was ready.

Now, Baker was ready.

Wearing a new shirt, still crisp from the package, and holding a microphone in one hand and the ring in the other, he got down on one knee and asked, "Will you marry me?"

A crowd of 25 friends gathered around, clicking cameras and shouting encouragement.

"I've never been that exhilarated in my life," said Vernon.

"I was steamrolled with emotion. And the vibe in the room of everyone else being excited, it lifts you up more."

She was so overwhelmed she didn't answer the question.

"Will you marry me?" he asked again.

"Yes! Yes!" exclaimed Vernon.

She's glad friends were there to record the big moment. She likes to look at the pictures.

"Those were real reactions ... I can see the sincerity in our faces. This is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with."


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Old 02-14-2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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Well done! Congratulations!

(great pic too )
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:50 PM   #3
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:51 PM   #4
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Congratulations! And cute pic
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:07 PM   #5
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That's a beautiful story! Tell your fiancee you're a keeper! I hope you guys have a long and wonderful life together! You both look awesome!
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:34 PM   #6
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Awww that is so sweet and romantic! Congratulations!
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:49 PM   #7
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Congratulations! A very sweet story indeed
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:56 PM   #8
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I've been drinking so Im not going to read all that, but does the article say something about having your gay friend look surprised in the background?
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dalton
I've been drinking so Im not going to read all that, but does the article say something about having your gay friend look surprised in the background?
Sweet lord....I'm gonna nominate that one for the post of the year thus far for 2008!

Believe it or not....my friend in the background is NOT gay...

......but his last name is actually...."Gay"

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Old 02-14-2008, 10:10 PM   #10
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Good for you
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:34 PM   #11
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Big Grin

Great article and congrats!
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dalton
I've been drinking so Im not going to read all that, but does the article say something about having your gay friend look surprised in the background?

lol. He does look like he's about to Ooooooh.



Congrats, man.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:10 AM   #13
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Congratulations!
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:53 AM   #14
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Oh wow, congratulations!
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:08 AM   #15
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Very sweet. Congratulations!
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