2) Jump

I met Jericho through a roommate while attending Texas A&M. From the first day I met Jericho, I knew she was the type of girl that I wanted to marry. We were friends in college, but nothing more. Jericho graduated and moved on to obtain her masters degree at Texas State while I finished my undergraduate degree at A&M. After graduation, I moved to Houston to work. Six months after that, Jericho graduated from Texas State and began searching for a teaching job. I pushed her to check out Houston, and luckily she agreed and found a job at a school close to my work.  

Soon after she moved in June, we began dating. Around Christmas that year, I realized she was the girl for me, and began to plan my proposal. I was excited, but also a little scared because I knew it was still pretty early to get engaged. I brushed those feelings aside and went full-steam ahead with my plans to propose.  

I knew that I wanted to have both of our families involved since we are very close with our parents. We had also gone skydiving in September, and I thought it would be fun (and a challenge) to try to incorporate that into the proposal. We had a couple of close college friends that lived in Maryland that had planned a trip for the end of February, so I thought it would be fun to have them there as well. I worked with them, and pushed their trip back to February 29th. Finally, I had a date set for the proposal.  

Finally, after about 6 weeks of planning, March 1st arrived. Everyone met at my apartment around 7:30 AM to head for the jump zone. I had my brother head up there 20 minutes early to remind the staff of the proposal and make sure that everything was going to work out. We arrived at the jump zone around 9:00 and went through training. After 3 hours of waiting, it was our turn to jump. I got a few congratulatory hugs from the friends and parents before we stepped on the plane, and knew there was no turning back.  

We fell from the plane 10 seconds longer than Jericho did so that I could beat her to the ground. We had a wonderful jump (complete with a backflip out of the plane!) and I landed right on the back side of my banner that simply read "Jericho, will you marry me?" I found out that she was under the green canopy, so it was exciting to get to watch her come down to me as I stood with the ring in my hand. Her jump partner did a great job and she landed approximately 20 feet from the front of my sign. As soon as she was unhooked, she came at me running and yelling yes. So I gave her a big hug, and a kiss, and finally got to propose. After she said yes (again), we walked back over to my family and her roommate and childhood friend (who had been hiding in a car for 3 hours so that she wouldn’t know they were there – thanks guys!) were there waiting as well.  We all had a big group hug, and went out for a celebratory lunch. She thought that was the end of the proposal.  

I had scheduled for her parents to meet us for dinner that night. I used the excuse of a business dinner and got Jericho to dress up a little with the new ring on her finger. We set out for dinner, and I explained that I was sorry I had to pull her from her friends that night, but that it was an important dinner. They walked us over to the table, which was reserved under the company name, and she immediately began to tear up when she realized what I had done. Finally, my last surprise for the day was revealed. We all enjoyed a nice dinner, and went back to my apartment so that I could tell her all the secrets I had been keeping for the last 6 weeks.  

I was ecstatic that the day had gone as well as I had hoped for, and I knew that I had created a proposal that we will always remember.  

Proposal Story by:

Billy Vardeman

Houston, TX


The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the worlds top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
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