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Matthew and Claudia - Movie Theater/Original Song/ Surprise Proposal
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Matthew and Claudia - Movie Theater/Original Song/ Surprise Proposal

Hello. My name is Matthew and I recently got engaged to the most amazing woman. Her name is Claudia. I have provided the link to WHEC news 10's story, which contains video and a picture of the fake movie tickets I made for the proposal. Here goes the story.

News Story:

VIDEO: Man proposes to girlfriend with help from The Little Theatre

VIDEO: Man proposes to girlfriend with help from The Little Theatre

June 10th is Claudia's father's birthday. Her father passed away from cancer in 2008. June 10th and the days surrounding it are an especially difficult time of year for Claudia. In February 2017 I found out that I would be laid off from my job. They gave me plenty of notice and scheduled my last day for June 8, 2017 (right before Claudia's father's birthday). Despite applying to what seemed like hundreds of companies, I got a lot of rejection letters and no offers.

I can't tell you how difficult it has been to not just ask Claudia to marry me. We saved our first kiss to be by the water next to the Ford street bridge more than two years ago. That was nothing compared to waiting to ask her to marry me. But, after two years and million amazing moments with Claudia, I wanted to do something special. I'm by no means a man of wealth. Claudia has been with me for tough times, just as I have been there for her. Road blocks of life be damned, I went and bought a ring for Claudia two months before my lay off date.

So anyone can ask their significant other to marry them. I wanted to make this a moment that she would never forget. Something that Claudia could look back on as an affirmation of our love. I'm a musician and singer/songwriter. A day after buying the engagement ring I spent the next 24 hours writing a song asking Claudia to marry me by name (The last line of the chorus is "Di, will you marry me?"). Once I finished writing the song I recorded it and made a music video compiled of pictures and short videos. Every time I come home from work or walk into a room, Claudia is there to greet me with a huge smile on her face. I recorded a couple of these moments and added them into the music video.

Now that the song had been written and recorded I needed to find a venue. I reached out to multiple theaters and ultimately went with The Little Theater in Rochester, NY. The closest available date that fell on a weekend? June 10th. I booked it. I knew I wanted the proposal to be a complete surprise, but now I needed to roll with the vulnerability of extending invites to friends and family. The more people I invited the more of a chance wind would get back to Claudia. I invited all of Claudia's family from New Jersey (7 hour drive), all of my immediate family, and all of Claudia's closest friends to come to the Little Theater on June 10th at 11am for a surprise proposal.

I then told Claudia to save the date of Saturday June 10th. I told her that a friend named Mike had made a movie and was unveiling it at the Little Theater. I said he had enlisted my help with some of the small details that come along with one of these events and that I would need to help him when he asked me to be there. One of these days of "helping Mike" I had secretly printed out fake movie tickets and went to laminate them. I didn't give Claudia her ticket until the day of because if she stared at it long enough she would have seen our anniversary date as the section, row, and seat.

Alright, so that's all done. Everyone has been invited, the ring is now hiding in the apartment, the theater has been booked, Claudia has saved the date, and the fake tickets have been made. We are now five weeks from the proposal. FIVE WEEKS! Five weeks of holding this huge secret between us. The next five weeks were tough. I still wasn't any closer to finding employment. There were plenty of times that I needed to stop and contemplate what really matters. The woman I love, Claudia, is all that matters. I know it seems cheesy, but she really is the light in the darkness. She is so positive and full of love.

We're here! I got laid off on Thursday June 8th, 2017 and the following day ALL of our family secretly came up to Rochester. They went to their respective hotels and I told Claudia that I needed to go help Mike with some last minute things. Claudia was having an extremely tough day that day. Her father was on her mind a lot, but I needed to bounce from hotel to hotel visiting all the different family and make sure they knew the plan. That night when I got home Claudia was upset with me because I was out helping Mike instead of being with her. If she only knew.

I couldn't sleep. When I finally did go to sleep the sun was already out. I set my alarm incorrectly the night before so that it would only go off on week days (not on purpose). Luckily, even though Claudia was upset from the night before, she woke me up to kiss me and tell me she loved me before going out to breakfast with a girlfriend who was going to the same "movie" later that morning. Good thing, I almost slept through the most important day of my life thus far.

I woke up, showered, grabbed the ring and my guitar and jetted to the theater. I had all of the family hide their cars on different streets and made them camp out in the theater's cafe, which is blocked off from the entrance. I had all of the guests arrive early and head into the theater. My mother, being awesome, paid for everyone to grab popcorn and soda before heading into the theater. Good thing too, if it were me I may not have gone if there was no free popcorn and soda involved.

I get a text from Claudia's friend who went out to breakfast with her saying they were on their way to the theater. Once they arrived I handed them their tickets (the fake ones I made) and asked if Claudia wanted any popcorn or soda. She did, so I walked with her to the counter. But dang it, people were getting popcorn and soda for free and now she's trying to get popcorn and soda. If the guy hands it to her for free it's going to look weird. The theater manager was behind the popcorn counter. I looked nervously at her and moved my eyes aggressively back and forth towards the register and Claudia. The theater manager took note of what was happening and gave the death stare to the guy getting us the popcorn. Thankfully, he charged us for the popcorn and soda. I walked Claudia and her friend into the theater and had them sit down.

"Oh, my goodness, everyone is here!". She still hadn't put it together because I told her there was going to be a lot of people she knows. Once she sat down I walked out. The theater manager began playing an actual movie trailer. At this time, I ran to the cafe and grabbed all of the family and my guitar. We waked to the closed theater doors and as soon as the movie trailer transitioned into the music video, all of the family snuck into the back seats.

The music video started with a picture of us. Claudia saw it and laughed, then looked back down at her phone. Apparently, she thought I had gotten "Mike" to put it on the screen as some sort of joke. Then the music started. Claudia recognized my voice playing through the theater speakers and began to realize what was happening. At the end of the video it said "Di, will you marry me? ... Also... Look behind you"." At this point I was standing at the back of the theater with my guitar and began playing the chorus of the song I wrote in front of everyone.

I asked her girlfriend to keep her in her seat so that I could walk down the aisle with my guitar. Claudia was so overwhelmed and excited that she ran up the aisle just to be next to me as I played guitar. Once she reached me, I turned towards her with the guitar, finish up the song and present the ring. I asked her to marry me and she said yes! I was concerned the ring wouldn't fit because we have the same ring size and it didn't fit my finger after the re-sizing.

I begin putting the ring on her finger and it gets stuck at her knuckle. I look up with disappointment and say "It doesn't fit". She looks at me with the deathlike passion like she would break the guitar over my head and goes "YOU BETTER SHOVE IT ON!". With that kind of motivation, I got the ring on. It fits, I guess I just already had it in my mind that it wouldn't. Claudia still had no idea her family was sitting in the back rows. She looks over to the side of the theater and goes "OH MY GOD!" and runs over to give them all hugs. Then she came running back to me to hug me. This was the greatest moment of my life.

Our local news station picked up the story. The overwhelming excitement continued throughout the week because I had been offered two jobs offering more pay than I was previously making. What great timing. Just an amazing roller-coaster of emotions, leading to the most amazing moment of our lives. One of the best things about this is that June 10th, a day that was once only associated with sad feelings, can now be approached by Claudia with a sense of love and optimism. I've been told that I'm amazing because of how I proposed. You must not know Claudia.
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