When Chris Hammer, 38, and girlfriend Taylor McKay, 26, visited Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on February 15, McKay wasn’t expecting a ring and Hammer wasn’t expecting his proposal to be interrupted by a stingray photobomb!
The couple were visiting the aquarium for the first time the day after Valentine’s Day, their 6-month anniversary, and though the venue didn’t have romantic significance for the pair the bride told The Knot, “We are both outdoors people and I am in environmental for work. We both like to fish and really thought it would be super interesting for us both,” not knowing that her boyfriend had a proposal planned. Of course, Hammer didn’t know about the stingray photobomb either!
When the couple stepped in front of the over 90,000 gallon Ray Bay habitat, the proposal was set in motion. As fellow aquarium-goers watched, one of Ripley’s trained divers swam into view, holding a sign reading “Will You Marry Me?” behind the unsuspecting McKay.
“He was just waiting for me to turn around to see the sign,” McKay told The Knot. “I could see parts of the sign, and I turned to him to see if this was for real and he was down on his knee with the ring and a giant smile on his face.”
The reason the sign was difficult to see was because one photobombing stingray wanted a better view of Hammer’s marriage proposal! Though Ray Bay contains dozens of stingrays from three distinct species, there was one naturally-smiling photobombing stingray who pressed itself right up to the glass, blocking the sign and the important question written on it!
“We just thought it was a funny thing with the stingray,” the bride-to-be said, “we tried to have one decent picture that we liked without the stingray but that proved to be difficult because it was in every one of the pictures we liked.” The stingray photobomb could not be stopped, but it was McKay who took the bait, saying yes to Hammer in spite of the interrupting fish.
McKay told The Knot that Hammer had asked her father’s blessing around Christmas, and though the couple planned on going to Toronto for a Valentine’s Day dinner, “instead of asking me then he decided to ask me when I wasn’t expecting it at all.” But had he proposed at dinner the night before, they wouldn’t have this photobombing stingray.
Though their proposal photos may have been trumped by the stingray photobomb, the couple has a good sense of humor about the event. Sharing their hopeful wedding plans for an outdoor ceremony in summer 2017 McKay shared with The Knot that there wouldn’t be an underwater theme, but, “The big joke is that we have to rent a stingray costume and at any time our friends can put it on and attempt to photobomb each other’s photos and ours.”
Somehow I think someone is going to be upset if they don’t get an invite…