Proposals make us cry, but an Athens-style proposal makes us sob. Carly Finton, a 2015 Ohio University graduate, received a nice surprise when Ryan Schulman, also an Ohio University graduate, proposed to her on August 11 with help from the Athena Cinema marquee. The marquee displayed the words, “Carly Kay Finton, will you marry me, love Ryan.”
Schulman and Finton met around four years ago, when a resident at The Laurels of Athens, a nursing and rehabilitation center, introduced them both. At the time, Finton was finishing her undergraduate degree in exercise physiology.
Schulman had been planning the proposal for six months before finally taking Finton back to Athens.
“The whole facade about why we went back to Athens was fake,” Schulman said.
Schulman explained that it became harder to hide the proposal from Finton as family and friends found out around three months before the actual proposal.
It was truly a magical moment for the newly engaged couple when Schulman went down on one knee to propose. Finton loves Athens and describes it as the “best place on Earth and hOUme,” seemingly making it the perfect place for the proposal.
“Now that our engagement has happened, you can put glasses on and see a family happen,” Schulman said.
Schulman was scared that Finton might have refused, and that he would be made a fool in front of everybody on Court St.
“I sure as heck hoped she was gonna say yes,” Schulman said.
Connor Baker, a full-time worker at the Athena Cinema, helped Schulman plan the proposal. He thinks using the marquee was a fun way to propose.
“He was trying to come up with the most Athens-y way to propose,” Baker said. “He really wanted to do it here.”
Baker said Schulman booked a theater for a clip that family and friends watched after the proposal took place.
“His family showed up before he showed up,” Baker said. “Some people watched it happen on the street.”
Baker also explained that the Athena Cinema has had proposals before using the marquee, but this one was the most elaborate.
“It reminds you that the place you’re working at is a big part of people’s lives,” Baker said.