TROY — In a sweet start to both the weekend and a new chapter in their life together, DeWayne Williams and Amanda Gibson got engaged onstage Friday night at the Troy Strawberry Festival.
Just before Friday night’s entertainer, Morgan Alexander, took the stage, festival chairman Matt Watkins pulled Gibson into the spotlight under the guise of recognizing new volunteers.
After Watkins asked the couple about their business — they are the owners of ALN Senior Care & Home Services, which opened last year — Williams admitted that he’d brought her there under false pretenses.
“You have been on my case for two weeks now, saying, ‘You’ve got something going on. You’re sneaky, none of my friends will talk to me,’” Williams began. “You can put that to ease now.”
“I love you with all my heart. You are my universe, you are my stars, you are my sunshine,” he continued.
He added that Gibson has been by his side through so much, from taking care of his grandfather to sometimes not being able to buy ramen noodles and opening their business.
“There’s no one else I’d rather do it with, you and our three beautiful children,” Williams said. “So what I’m trying to say is, will you marry me?”
Williams said he has been planning Friday night’s surprise for several weeks, enlisting the help of the couple’s three daughters, Allana, Layla and Neveah, and festival organizers.
The girls lined up on stage for the big moment wearing shirts that read, “Please say yes.”
The newly engaged couple’s families hid in the crowd. Williams is a Troy native and Gibson’s hometown is Piqua. He said he chose this venue because it was the only place he could get their friends and families together without Gibson knowing what was going on.
“I knew it! I knew you were up to something,” the bride-to-be told her fiance — but only after she said yes.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org