Holy blizzard proposal, Batman! Despite the Jonas blizzard’s whipping winds and multiple inches of fast-gathering snow hitting New York City on Saturday, January 23, Nat Probert braved the weather to create a beautiful blizzard proposal for his girlfriend Colleen Hanrahan. It’s one for the record books!
The proposal was already set in motion months earlier, Nat, 29, told The Knot, and no blizzard was going to stop him from donning his best suit and asking for Colleen’s hand in marriage. Nat had arranged for the blizzard proposal to be secretly captured by Paparazzi Proposals.
“I had been planning the proposal since last September,” Nat shared with The Knot. “The general outline of the plan was to have my brother, her brother and a group of friends surprise her as she got off of the subway somewhere in the city and bring her over to me, where I would propose.”
The proposal plot included Nat on one knee in front of Colleen, 27, at Lincoln Center, he said, “which would provide a lot of space for us to take pictures, under the guise that Colleen was meeting my parents and I for dinner in the area.”
Despite the impending snowstorm reaching its peak at the same time he planned to give Colleen her ring, the blizzard proposal was a go! Nat gathered up as many friends and family members as he could and brought them all out in the cold to witness and celebrate he and Colleen’s new engagement exactly as he had planned…almost.
Upon hearing the forecast Nat said he was, “cautiously optimistic,” figuring there would definitely be snow, but not as much as the state actually received. “I was mostly concerned that the photographer would be reluctant to make it out, but he was a real trooper and ended up taking some unbelievable pictures of the before, during, and after. We couldn’t be happier with them.”
Though not all of Nat and Colleen’s invited friends could make it to NYC, and “some friends ended up getting stranded where they were because of the travel bans and public transportation cancellations,” Nat said, “two of my best friends and brother braved the elements to follow through with the plan.”
“The blizzard threw a major wrench into the operation, though thankfully the forecasts were coming in early and we were able to adjust accordingly,” Nat told The Knot.
“The transportation issues actually prevented a bunch of people from being able to get there, but the ones that were nearby and could walk or take the subway braved the elements to make it out,” Nat told The Knot. “It was so great to get to celebrate with them, and seeing them after the engagement made the day that much better.”
Ever optimistic, Nat explained that despite all the kinks due to the snow, there was a silver, or should we say white lining for his blizzard proposal. “The travel ban on cars ended up being a major benefit though, as I was able to propose right in the middle of Columbus Avenue with really no one else around but our group.”
Inviting friends to dress up and hit the streets or subway during a blizzard because they knew the secret engagement plan is a little easier than trying to get a girlfriend to brave the weather without spoiling the surprise. How did the hopeful boyfriend convince Colleen that she needed to leave the house too?
“I told her that my parents had stayed over in the city on Friday night, which would help explain why they were still willing to go out to dinner with us,” he explained, sharing that the plans were set in motion weeks earlier. “I had played up the dinner for a couple weeks as something that we should really try to make it out for despite the weather. Colleen seemed a little confused that the (fake) plan would still be on, but was totally on board with making the trek anyway.”
“I had a feeling something might be going on when he insisted on going out to dinner on Saturday, but didn’t want to get my hopes up,” Colleen shared with The Knot. The couple arrived at the restaurant and Nat excused himself to get set up on the street while his best friends and brother set the blizzard proposal plan in motion with Colleen.
“After his friends grabbed me and brought me out into the street, and I saw him walk up and get down on one knee, that’s when I let myself feel elated. I am so happy to be engaged to him,” Colleen said. “I was ecstatic!”
“There is really no other feeling like the first time you see the other person when you’re about to propose,” Nat said. “Colleen and I were walking towards each other on Columbus Ave for a good 15-20 seconds before I got down on one knee in front of her. It was like an out-of-body experience.”
“After she said yes and the other guys started cheering behind her and popping champagne, it finally hit me.” The blizzard proposal was a success!
The couple, who had been together for nearly three and a half years before their engagement, had first met at a bar in New York. Despite their new, snowy connection to the state, the two are thinking of taking their wedding plans elsewhere.
“Still very early, but we are tentatively planning for an August 2017 wedding in Rhode Island,” the couple shared with The Knot, “Nat’s family has a house there, and Colleen grew up nearby in Massachusetts.”
We’re sending Nat Probert and Colleen Hanrahan warm wedding wishes and hope that they don’t have too much digging out to do before celebrating their blizzard proposal with the rest of their friends! Congrats!