Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

The Abu Dhabi street proposal that went viral

'Big marriage proposal on Reem Island from yesterday…does anyone know Erin and did she say yes?' – how one UAE proposal mystery went viral

Eric Wilson proposed to Erin Herndobler with a message on the road under her Reem Island apartment. 
Eric Wilson proposed to Erin Herndobler with a message on the road under her Reem Island apartment. 

Eric Wilson and Erin Herndobler’s wedding day was rapidly approaching, but there was one small problem – there had been no official proposal yet.

Wilson decided they could not get married without one – so spelt out ‘Erin will you marry me?” in large white letters on the road beneath Herndobler’s apartment, days before the ceremony.

That was quickly noticed by other residents in the building, who posted on a popular Facebook group in an effort to find out more.

“Big marriage proposal on Reem Island from yesterday … does anyone know Erin and did she say yes?” wrote one member of the Abu Dhabi Q&A Facebook page.

“She said yes,” wrote another on the post, which rapidly attracted almost 250 comments and more than 700 likes.

The proposal that went viral (written in white in the middle of the road)

Herndobler, who had not previously been a member of the closed group, was quickly added – and invited everyone. “People said I have never been to a western wedding before, so I said anyone who wants to can come. It’s on Saturday at 4pm.

“But I didn’t realise there were 53,000 people on the group. So I was like, I am kind of glad not all of them came. It was only the admins who came in the end.”

A guy who proposed by writing a message on the road below their apartment.
Eric with his proposal

The couple met around a year ago through mutual friends and were initially planning to stage a big wedding this year, before opting for a small ceremony in Abu Dhabi, where Herndobler, a teacher, has lived for seven years. Wilson is currently still living in the US while he completes his masters. He will join her in Abu Dhabi in December.

Initially it was going to be a small and short ceremony. But it turned into a real wedding

Erin Herndobler

“We planned on living here together after we get married, so we decided it was best to get married here. We were planning the wedding before he proposed,” she said.

“But that day he did I heard Train, Marry Me, the song on the radio. So I played it for him as a joke as I was walking in. I was trying to be romantic. And he said come to the balcony. We were dancing and he got down on one knee and said look over my shoulder. And then I saw it on the ground, and thought oh my goodness,” she said.

The administrators of the Facebook group helped arrange a few added extras for the wedding – including free hairstyling for Herndobler, beauty treatments for the couple and a professional photographer to record the day.

The Facebook group in which the couple's proposal went viral, Abu Dhabi Q&A, helped contribute to their wedding, in part by providing a photographer for the day. Photo: RL Tuazon 
The Facebook group in which the couple's proposal went viral, Abu Dhabi Q&A, helped contribute to their wedding, in part by providing a photographer for the day. RL Tuazon

“It was surreal – almost perfect,” said Herndobler.

“Initially it was going to be a small and short ceremony. But it turned into a real wedding. We had a reception as well. So I don’t think we will get married again. This was my real wedding.”

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Updated: May 23, 2019 05:04 PM

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