Katie and I had been dating for 3 1/2 years. I knew that I wanted to take the next step and have always wanted to make the proposal extraordinary and something she could never forget. Our favorite movie together is 10 Things I Hate About You. We're both huge Heath Ledger fans, and love the movie. Her favorite scene of all time is when Patrick (Heath Ledger) goes all out to win over the heart of Kat (Julia Stiles) by paying the band and singing to her from the stands of their stadium during her soccer practice. So, I decided I wanted to make it a reality for Katie and make this epic moment just like the movie.
THE SETUP: The strategic plan for 10 Things I Love About You was about 6 months in the making. First, I obviously asked her parents for permission to marry their daughter (I believe in getting and engaged and married the right and respectful way, ha). Then I watched the movie for the 200th-300th time to see exactly what Heath Ledger did, move by move, and studied it from that point on. Next, her high school doesn't have a full band, so I had my good friend Chris Hardy produce the music track for me. I chose the date of the football game, September 16th, 2010, making sure it was home and the right timing. Then I got with some more friends and co-workers to get the audio equipment that would be needed, the cameramen ready, and the photographers ready. A couple of weeks out, we started to plant ideas for her to raise money for the dance team she's over, one of those being promoting and selling Monster Energy Drinks during halftime. Finally, it was topped off by my mom and grandma being able to secretly fly in to see the proposal (hidden in the stands) and spend the weekend with the families.
I wanted to mimic every move Heath did in the movie, but obviously couldn't make it 100% identical because a) they didn't have a pole to slide down (oh but don't think I didn't try to figure out how to slide down the upper box) & b) there were tons of people in the stands to maneuver between as opposed to Heath's empty stadium. Even with my horrible dancing skills, I think it turned out pretty close :)
Pretty much everyone knew what I was doing that night but Katie, and there were definitely a few close calls with trying to hide my mom and grandma and getting Katie on the field. Katie had absolutely no idea, as you can tell, and was completely taken by surprise. And I'm stoked that this moment turned out to be as great as it was. 10 Things I Love About you is also the theme for our wedding, so we've got a couple more tricks up our sleeve.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who helped make this proposal possible, I couldn't have done it without you! And I hope everyone who watches it is inspired to really make the best of every moment in your lives, and if you can dream it, DO IT!