As we head into the final months of the year, it’s officially engagement season, a time of year when jewelers see a spike in demand for engagement rings as people propose, looking forward to a spring or summer wedding.
Or at least that’s according to Louisiana-based local news network KNOE 8, who did a segment on the trend during their 5:30 broadcast on October 13th. But what seemed like a routine lifestyle piece turned into something more—and one of the network’s most unforgettable stories.
The story was assigned to on-air reporters Shellie Sylvestri and Frededreia Willis. The two introduced the segment live, cutting to an prerecorded interview with a local jeweler.
Steve Sills, the owner of Flair Jewelers, tells the network that the spike in ring sales has something to do with the change in seasons.
“I think love is in the air right now,” he says.
Little did he know, he was about to be proven right.
Back on air, Sylvestri jokes with her co-host about the segment. “I have to wonder what our boyfriends probably think, knowing that we’re on TV talking about getting engaged.”
“Yes. Hint hint!” Willis replies. “I’m hoping…”
But Willis trails off… when she notices somebody behind her.
Sylvestri steps off camera, and the man gets down on one knee.
It was Willis’ boyfriend, Stefon Thomas-Dunham, there to propose on-air.
“Shortly after we started dating, I told you about my 1,000 days of dating before I would propose rule.
“Today is day 1,000, and I just can’t wait any longer.”
Willis was stunned and couldn’t hold back tears—and of course, accepted the proposal.
The crew applauded—they had been in on the surprise the whole time.
Thomas-Dunham had been hiding behind the scenes, waiting for his cue.
Sylvestri enters again and hugs her co-host, joking that it was a perfect time to cut to commercial.
“I am SO THRILLED to have been part of Dede’s proposal!” she later wrote on Facebook.