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There is often a lot of pressure around marriage proposals; after all, this is a story a couple will be telling the rest of their lives. People want that moment to be memorable, unique. Add social media, and the grand gestures are only getting grander.
Which begs the question: Would you ever think of faking a courtroom trial, though, just to propose?
Brandon Dinetz, a 28-year-old Florida lawyer, did just that. He spent five months planning an elaborate proposal for his girlfriend, Jen Lettman, who is also a lawyer. The couple met in 2016 while working together, and their professional friendship evolved into romance.
Paying tribute to where their love started, Dinetz planned a proposal around a fake trial. It took five months to set up, but he brought in a judge, a defense attorney, and a person pretending to be a defendant. The jury was made up of 17 of Dinetz and Lettman’s close friends and family. When Dinetz asked Lettman to watch his opening statement for the trial, she didn’t think much of it.
“When we worked together we would regularly watch each other’s opening statements and critique each other, so it wasn’t unusual for me to be in the courtroom with him,” said Lettman to the New York Post. The jig was up, however, when the jury entered. “I recognized that one of the jurors looked like Brandon’s dad, which I thought was funny,” said Lettman. “Then I saw my dad and I was so confused. When I saw my sister I knew what was happening and I started crying.”
The opening remarks delivered by Dinetz were all about love. When he finished he got the ring from his “counsel” and asked Lettman to join him before the jury. He got down on one knee and she said yes.
While Lettman said she was happy the proposal was caught on video, some people on the internet still have conflicted feelings about viral video proposals, which may put pressure on a person to say yes even when they’re unsure. It’s also, maybe, just feels like a lot of unnecessary pomp?
I cannot even explain to you how much I despise elaborate proposals. Save it for the wedding. https://t.co/5p4l46prRq— Hell On Heels (@HellOnHeelsGirl) February 18, 2019
just take me to a nice private place, let's have a quiet dinner w champagne, and propose!!!!!!!!! what's wrong with the classics. romance doesn't mean staging fake trials tbh— 5'9 (@priya_ebooks) February 19, 2019
The couple told the New York Post they don’t know if they’ll be returning to the courthouse or doing something more elaborate for their wedding, but for now, they’re just happy to be together.
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.