You may have heard of a whirlwind engagement, but have you heard of a hurricane engagement? One couple recently experienced just that. Stephen Torry of River Ridge, Louisiana, planned to propose to his girlfriend Samantha Kennedy on Saturday, July 13, but the weather forecast seemingly tossed an unexpected curveball–Hurricane Barry–into the moment he had pre-arranged for months.
Well before Tropical Storm Barry strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, Torry and Kennedy had planned to spend an entire Saturday together. After learning of the storm’s potential impact, Kennedy assumed their original plans would be canceled. What she didn’t know was that Torry was still planning to propose.
“I had always been hopeful he’d propose soon, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” Kennedy tells The Knot. “The day of–when the hurricane was brewing–Stephen drove up to the park where we had one of our first dates. I got really emotional because I realized what may be happening.”
Torry was determined to stick to his original plan because the date marked an important milestone in their relationship. “I just figured I’d go for it,” Torry told local news outlet WDSU News 6. “I woke up this morning and it wasn’t raining too bad, so I told everyone we’re going to do it.”
The day kicked off with brunch at a local establishment–one of the few diners that hadn’t yet closed its doors. While they were enjoying their date, a select group of his family members and friends set up daisies at a pavilion in Audubon Park, the same location where they had enjoyed one particularly memorable date in 2013.
“Over six years ago, that is the location where Stephen and I had one of our first dates and I realized I loved him,” she tells The Knot. “I was sitting with him in silence just enjoying the world around us, and I realized I’d never felt so at peace.”
Kennedy also always wanted a proposal inspired by a scene from Gilmore Girls. “I always told Stephen that [this proposal scene] was my dream: to be surrounded by daisies,” she told WDSU.
Torry had carefully planned the proposal in advance, even securing floral arrangements to help recreate this dream for the love of his life. “I ordered the white daisies from a florist about three weeks ago. So on Thursday they got delivered and I thought, ‘Well I have 1,000 daisies at my house, I have to figure out a way to make this work,'” he said.
The couple had a family member hide out and photograph the entire sequence of events. “When Stephen brought me up to the pavilion and I saw the daisies I kind of knew what was happening,” she told the local news outlet. “And he said, ‘Rain or shine I’ll always be there for you.’ And then he got on one knee and asked me if I would marry him.”
Despite the weather, Torry pulled the proposal off and Kennedy said yes while standing in a heart made of daisies. Then, the couple made it home safely to host an announcement party. “I’m hoping for a September 5th wedding–somewhere in New Orleans,” she concludes to us.