It’s tough to think of creative ways to propose to that special someone.
But Nam Tran found a way.
Trang Vu and her boyfriend came to UCLA to visit their alma mater last Saturday when suddenly, a flash mob of about 200 people spontaneously joined a choreographed dance. For a moment, Vu thought it was a back-to-school event, until she spotted her cousins … and her best friends … and then her parents, who live 300 miles away, all dancing to her favorite love song.
“In that moment, I thought, ‘My God, this is for me,'” Vu recalled. “That’s when I knew he was up to something big.”
“Big” is an understatement.
In fact, Vu’s boyfriend – well, fiancé, Nam Tran – spent 5 months planning the flash-mob marriage proposal, which is now on YouTube. The video has gone viral, nearing half a million views since Saturday and drawing unexpected media attention.
Vu, 28, and Tran, 32, have been together four and a half years, and he’s known for more than a year that he wanted to marry her, so he had time to plan, he said.
“We both love musicals, and we both love dancing, and a flash mob is the closest you can get to a real-life musical,” Tran said. “It was also a great way to involve family and friends and have them there celebrating with us. It was something I really wanted to do for her.”
Tran, who graduated in ’02, brought Vu, ’06, back to campus by pretending there would be an independent book fair on campus, just like on their first date. They met on campus in 2003 when he taught a workshop she attended, though they didn’t start dating until 2007.
On the “Big” day, the company that Tran hired to organize the dance, Flash Mob America, helped sneak a microphone onto him in the men’s bathroom before the couple headed outside where the surprise was waiting.
Moments after the Frankie Valli song, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” began to play, dancers rushed from all corners of the plaza. About 100 strangers signed up online to participate, and another 95 were the couple’s friends, co-workers and relatives, many of whom traveled from out-of-town and even out-of-state, but still kept the secret. One minute into the song, Tran jumped into the crowd and joined the dance while Vu watched with a look of overwhelmed delight on her face. At the end of the song, he pulled Vu into the middle of the crowd.
“You’re so cheesy!” Vu said affectionately, drawing laughs from surrounding friends and family.
A few heartfelt pledges later, Tran knelt, and the whole crowd knelt with him. The choreography was developed by Flash Mob America, he explained later, but asking the crowd to kneel with him was his idea.
“I wanted her to feel at the center of it all,” Tran said. “It was a nice moment where she was the center of the world.”
Down on one knee, he said, his voice quavering with emotion. “Will you marry me?”
Vu appeared to choke back a sob, before replying, “Well, duh!”