Finding the right moment to pop the big question can take some planning. From timing it well and choosing idyllic surroundings to selecting the ring, everything needs to be perfect. And then there’s the issue of capturing the precious memory on video to be enjoyed again and again.
On June 28, 2018, a man from California chose New Mexico’s stunning Sandia Peak Tramway as the perfect spot to ask his girlfriend to marry him. The young couple, Christopher and Kandace, had been dating for eight years. And their romance had started at that very same spot. Christopher felt nervous but excited about the prospect of Kandace becoming his fiancée.
Moreover, Christopher was keen to have someone record the special moment on his camera phone. He had befriended an older man not long before reaching the summit. His new acquaintance’s name was John Hart, a retired military photographer on a day out with his family. “I saw that he was a Marine,” Christopher told KOB4 in July 2018. “I got to talking to him. I told him ‘thank you’ for your services and introduced him to Kandace.”
And Christopher thought that Hart would be the right person to capture the moment when Kandace agreed to become his wife. After passing his smart phone to the grandfather, Christopher asked him to record the scene. But Christopher never imagined for a moment how the recording would actually turn out.
Furthermore, Hart himself had never expected to be part of such a special day. Despite joking about the spot being the perfect place to pop the big question, Hart was in fact completely oblivious to Christopher’s intentions. “He introduced me to his girlfriend and at that point I said, ‘Wow, hey, this would be a great chance for you to propose to your girlfriend and put a big smile on her face.’ And unbeknownst to me, that was the plan,” Hart explained.
Without hesitation, Hart obliged and took on the task of recording his new pal. “I thought I could handle this,” Hart later admitted. But to his horror, and everyone else’s for that matter, he would mess things up dramatically. Not only that, but his epic fail would catapult Christopher’s proposal into the public eye, making them all viral legends in the process.
As Hart held the phone in place, he thought it was recording Christopher. But he failed to make all the necessary checks and didn’t realize the camera was in fact in the selfie position. So, instead of filming the happy couple in front of him, the goofy grandpa was recording himself.
In the resulting footage, Hart soon comes to realize that he’s witnessing a marriage proposal. And while the rest of us can only picture the happy couple from the background noise in the recording, his reaction couldn’t have been sweeter. As a warm smile lights up his face, it’s clear that he’s enjoying the romantic moment, even if nobody else can see it.
“Oh that’s so cool,” Hart gasps, although we can only imagine the smitten couple amid the cheering crowd. One onlooker wishes them their sincere congratulations, before Grandpa Hart jokes with his new buddy. “Christopher, I didn’t know that it was going to happen but I sure said something,” Hart giggles.
“I wanted to tell you so bad,” says Christopher, still oblivious to the fact Hart is recording himself rather than the couple. He remains out of view while the smiling cameraman prompts him to “give her that ring and give her the biggest smile, man.” Everyone whoops excitedly as they revel in the special moment. But then someone finally spots that something is amiss.
As a family member comes to Hart’s rescue, he struggles to stop laughing. “You had it on backwards. You were videoing your face the whole time,” he says. Hart at last realizes his mistake and becomes adorably sheepish. “You jerkys!” he jokes as he laughs off his error. And thankfully, all was not lost!
Due to the power of social media, the video subsequently went viral, reaching thousands of viewers within days. And not only did it make “Wholesome Grandpa” an online sensation, but it also allowed KOB4 News to track down the newly engaged couple. What’s more, there was further good news to come as a result of the now-famous recording.
The proposal had been watched by another couple who were at Sandia Peak with Wholesome Grandpa that day. And after browsing their own recordings Jamie Hart and Jayce Flauding realized they had clear footage of Christopher and Kandace. Not only that, but they also had the actual proposal recorded on one of their phones.
The couple then sent the footage of the big moment to Christopher and Kandace, who in turn were more than happy to send it to the news network, where it was subsequently aired. In the report, Flauding is thrilled to see his footage of Christopher getting down on one knee and producing a sparkling ring for his true love.
What makes the clip even more special is the familiar voice of the elderly man who had become a viral sensation. “You can hear Wholesome Grandpa!” Flauding says excitedly as he looks on.
The footage of Wholesome Grandpa filming himself warmed the hearts of many YouTube users. “This is the cutest video, his reaction is precious,” wrote one viewer. Meanwhile, others expressed hope that someone else there actually managed to record the question being popped.
Fortunately, someone had indeed captured the big moment. And when Christopher and Kandace managed to reconnect with Hart via Skype, they had nothing but kind words to say to him. They thanked him for allowing their happiness to touch the hearts of so many – not to mention making the moment so memorable for them.
“I thought it was funny. I thought it was so cute,” said Kandace. And as the young couple chatted to Wholesome Grandpa, they remembered the fateful day that brought them all together. They even revealed their plans to marry in two years’ time and invited Hart to join them on their wedding day.
Not only did Hart’s simple mistake make Christopher and Kandace’s engagement day go down in history, but it also brought a happy tear to many an eye. Lots of social media users were fondly reminded of their own grandparents, while others were left missing those who have passed on.
“What a wonderful man! I miss my grandfather,” wrote one viewer. Another compared Hart with their own grandfather. “This my grandpa – he’s hilarious!” they wrote. But the most common thread was that it reminded people of how much happiness can come from a simple mistake – and that at the end of the day, true love prevails. As Wholesome Grandpa told Christopher, “You helped put a smile on a lot of people!”