Her boyfriend promised her that he’d meet her at the concert. Then, when he called to say that he’d been held up in traffic, he guaranteed he’d be there for the intermission. But it all turned out to be a big lie. The concert started without him. However, as the music began to play and the singer started the first verse, it took the girlfriend’s breath away. She slowly realized that something amazing was about to happen.
At the invitation of her father, Lauren Esposito paid a visit in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Her boyfriend, Zach Hamner, would already be there for work. So it made sense for the three of them to take the opportunity to enjoy some quality time together.
While they were visiting, the local church happened to be staging a concert, and so the three of them made plans to attend. Hamner would be working on the day of the show, though, which meant that they couldn’t all arrive together. Esposito, however, was okay with the plan, as Hamner would still be there, just a little later.
Hamner was working at a trade show which wasn’t due to finish until 6:00 p.m. So on the day of the concert, Esposito was aware that there was a strong possibility he would be late.
While Esposito was waiting for her boyfriend to show up, however, she received a text from him. It seemed that although Hamner had finished work, he had unfortunately hit traffic on his way to the church. He was running late and said that he would now certainly miss the start of the concert.
But traffic can’t be helped, right? And at the very worst, Hamner would meet Esposito during the intermission. As frustrating as the situation was for both of them, there was nothing they could do. But the show must go on, and so the concert began without Hamner in attendance.
Proceedings began with an announcement from the singer. “We have a short, special presentation we want to make tonight,” he began. “It’s an opportunity to honor somebody that’s in our midst. Unfortunately the person for which this is meant could not be here, but we’ll go ahead and present anyway.”
Music played, and the presentation began; then something unexpected happened. When the singer delivered the first verse, images began to scroll across a screen to the side of the stage. It was only then that Esposito knew something was going on.
Hamner had appeared on the screen. He explained, “Lauren and I have been together for about a year and a half. And when we first met, things just clicked. Everything we did just felt natural. We were open and honest with one another, we share everything with one another.” Everything? Well, not this time.
The whole thing was a set-up, and Esposito’s dad had been in on it, too. The premise that Hamner was in town for work was just a ruse. When he visited Chagrin Falls that weekend, he did, in fact, have something much bigger in mind – and he needed Mr. Esposito’s help.
Arriving in Chagrin Falls a couple of days before Esposito, Hamner had gone to lunch with her dad. As it transpired, Hamner had a very important surprise for Mr. Esposito’s daughter. And he had certainly devised an elaborate plan in order to deliver it.
As the concert began, the song that opened the show happened to be a very special one for the couple. And although the penny may not have dropped immediately, Esposito no doubt began to realize that something was going on when pictures of her and Hamner started appearing on the screen.
In fact, Hamner hadn’t been late to the concert at all; he had been there the whole time. Yes, the whole set-up had been in the couple’s honor. When the song had finished, Esposito turned around to see Hamner walking towards her from the back of the church.
An obviously emotional Hamner said, “Lauren, this past year and a half has been nothing short of incredible. And I can honestly say that you are the love of my life. You’re my best friend and you’re my everything. And I can’t imagine living in a world without you.”
Hamner continued, “Because of that, I have a question.” Hamner paused, perhaps nervous, or maybe he was choked with emotion. “What are you doing for the rest of your life?” he asked Esposito, to the laughter of the church guests. They watched in delight as Hamner dropped to his knee and proposed to Lauren.
With the help of Esposito’s father, Hamner had arranged a very special way to ask the woman of his dreams to marry him. And although it was something they had talked about, the unsuspecting Esposito certainly hadn’t anticipated what was happening. Indeed, they had actually planned to wait until after Hamner had graduated.
As Hamner subsequently explained, “A couple of months ago I got the idea of proposing in her hometown of Chagrin. I had actually wanted to do it at an outdoor concert, but doing something where it was going to be a complete surprise.” But to pull it off he needed some help, and that of course is where Esposito’s dad came in.
Esposito’s father later revealed, “Zach called me up under the premise that he was going to be here for business. We went to lunch… he asked for my permission to marry my daughter, Lauren, which I was happy to grant.” Then they put Zach’s plan into action.
Although the staging of the concert may have relied on a lie or two, the web of deceit was clearly spun with the best of intentions. In front of a church full of people, a tearful Esposito – in complete shock – accepted Hamner’s proposal.
Hamner had once been skeptical about finding “the one.” But when he met Esposito, things changed. He said, “I remember instantly just knowing [Lauren] was going to be someone special.” He concluded, “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Lauren. It’s going to be an amazing future and I can’t wait to see what it holds for us.”