Zach and Diana's Surprise Proposal at a Frozen Yogurt Store

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How we met

I first met Diana Wong in August 2008 when we both moved to Oregon to attend Optometry school. A few of us went out for drinks and appetizers the night after our orientation. Diana had already forgotten my name after I met her only a couple hours earlier. She thought she was sly and asked me how I spell my name…I obviously knew she was full of it and called her out on her absent mindedness. Thus our friendship began.

I always had a special affinity for Diana. She was the sweetest girl I had ever met, and she treated everyone with the utmost respect. Over the years our friendship grew as we tackled the obstacles of graduate school. We became very involved in an eye care humanitarian group with our school called Amigos. We shared a passion for helping those less fortunate to receive eye care and for traveling the world. In 2011 we traveled with a group of doctors and students to El Salvador, and in 2012 we organized a mission trip to Belize. This is a passion we still share today and plan to make a regular part of our lives.

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Diana finally broke and agreed to date me after about six months my persistent asking. We had many exciting first dates that I used to persuade her to date me. We built giant cucumber race cars at the Portland Farmers Market. Rock climbed and fished in Bend, Oregon. Diana of course caught a much larger fish than I, completely emasculating my ego. One of her favorites is when we woke up at 3am to watch the sunrise on the Oregon coast. We built a fire on the beach and cuddled with some of my homemade chai tea. How could she say no at this point! Soon the time came for us to travel on our external rotations for school. Diana lived in Miami, Tuscan & Virginia Beach while I was in Germany, Denver and Wyoming. We had been together for only eight months before it was time to manage a long distance relationship. As anyone that has been there can attest, distance relationships are very difficult. We had our ups and downs, but we both knew that we were right for each other.

how he asked

After we graduated Diana moved back home to Edmonton to join a group practice, and I was sent to North Dakota with the Air Force to fulfill my military scholarship obligation.The time came where I knew I had to propose to Diana. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but it took me quite a bit of time to gather the courage! Diana didn’t make it easy for me either! She gave me hints that she wanted it to happen, but she also insisted that a specific criteria be met. What can I say, she knows what she wants. Above anything else it had to be a surprise!

Being that we lived so far away we always tried to plan our time together somewhere exciting to visit, but Diana insisted that I couldn’t propose on one of our vacations as she may be expecting it. She had the expectation that I would do something creative as I always planned elaborate events for her. So as you can see, I had my work cut out for me! As I brainstormed a multitude of various ideas and perused thousands of YouTube videos I still had nothing. How do I plan something that is original and hasn’t been done before? I witnessed all these extravagant ideas perfectly orchestrated by all these guys. I thought there is no way I can beat these, and I knew Diana was watching these same videos…as every girl does!

Finally after many sleepless nights I realized that I need to just come up with a plan. The clock was ticking and it was time to make things happen. I grabbed a blank notebook and titled it “Diana’s Favorite Things.” If I could involve many of her favorite things in life then how could I go wrong? The list was complete after only a few items…Hello Kitty, the color pink, frozen yogurt, and of course her friends & family. The idea of proposing seemed a little bit more realistic at this point. But now, the element of surprise.Then it hit me. I’ll surprise her at frozen yogurt with her friends and family.

Now the details…I called her brother Phil to immediately get his assistance, since he lived in Edmonton. I had just under three weeks to compose this. She knew that I would be visiting to attend a friends wedding. I planned to fly in earlier that week to make sure my plan would be executed the way I created it in my head.

So here it goes…Diana would come to airport expecting to pick me up on a Thursday evening after work. I flew in the day before and stayed with her brother. So there she was, running two hours late to pick me up. So typical. Of course she even called her father see if he could give me a ride (who was standing right next to me at the time). He freaked out, said no, and hung up the phone.
Finally she made her way to the airport and went frantically inside to find me. My phone was off as she was unable to reach me. Security found her and escorted her to a private room for questioning. I had to make her a little nervous to add to the surprise element! They informed her that I was unable to pass through customs and that the United States Air Force had placed me on a restricted travel list.

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After much confusion she was escorted out of the airport and instructed to leave. Our undercover photographer and cameras captured this hysterical chain of events as it unraveled!

She drove home to find her brother there to comfort her. He assured her everything would be just fine and invited her to a “taste testing” at a nearby frozen yogurt shop. She would never turn down an opportunity for yogurt! Running about three hours late now, they finally arrived to Tutti Frutti where her friends and family were on standby hiding in the back. I was also already present in the yogurt mascot costume. As they came in Phil and Diana were blindfolded by the staff for their taste testing challenge.

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Immediately her friends and family surrounded her holding pink Hello Kitty Balloons with the words “say yes” written on them.

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Then, once everyone was in place, the background noise went silent and the acoustic guitarist started to play our song…Catch a Falling Star by Perry Como. I shuffled my way to kneel in front of her as Phil passed me the ring. After slurping down the very last drop of yogurt from the sample cup she heard the music start to play and removed her blindfold to find herself surrounded by all of her favorite things! My heart was beating so intensely that I felt like it was echoing throughout the room! It was time, I popped the question.I asked her to spend the rest of our lives together eating frozen yogurt. As she took a moment to compose herself, she said yes!

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So, here we are today, engaged and couldn’t be happier! We are currently planning our wedding and anxiously awaiting the day we can be together not separated in different countries. I hope you have enjoyed learning about our story and if there is anyone reading this currently struggling with the proposal pressure as I did, just remember, start with a blank page and title it “These are Her Favorite Things.” You can’t go wrong!

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Special Thanks