This Groom Surprised His Fiancée with an Adorable Engagement Captured on Zoom

By Shayna Seid

Our hearts go out to all the couples having to deal with postponing their weddings due to COVID-19. To spread some light and love, we’ve started highlighting engagement stories on our Instagram from those who are having to move their dates. We came across this recent proposal, and it immediately lifted our spirits and reminded us that—as cliché as it might sound—love is truly not cancelled.

Michael Anthony Gardner—an assistant director of finance in the hospitality industry and a proud father who creates stylish clothes for his daughter, Ava—met Thama Annie Dufort on Hinge last year. After 16 months of being inseparable, he proposed to Thama and streamed it live for family and friends on Zoom.

Because of Michael’s talent for creating outfits for Ava, he has been approached with several sewing-related opportunities. When he told Thama that he was being featured in a sewing magazine and there was a possibility he might make it on the cover, she didn’t think anything seemed out of the ordinary.

“I asked her to participate and created an entire story, so she would have no idea that a proposal was coming,” he says. After speaking with her parents and purchasing a ring in the same day, he headed to the fabric store to create ensembles for the event. “I created a dress for Thama, pants for myself, and a dress for my daughter, along with accessories. Thama is Haitian, so the red, white, and blue is a tribute to her culture.”

On the day-of, Thama believed that he was recording an instructional video for the publication on his creative process; however, he set up the Zoom call outside instead. He created a code word with Ava—”sewing kit”—and he mentioned that Thama might have a hole in her dress, so she should turn around.

Ava quickly produced the ring from her unicorn purse, and Thama twirled to find Michael on his knee. “I asked her to marry me in Haitian Creole,” he says. “She was so shocked and extremely happy.”

Their goal is to get married in 2020. “I had planned to propose earlier in the year, but COVID-19 shifted a few things for us,” he explains. “We will decide on a safe and beautiful way to still have our moment this year. Of course, I’ll be making a flower girl dress for Ava, and I hope to sew something special for myself as well. “