WEDDING- Marry me! Proposal captured on film


Kate Lynn Schirmer of Charlottesville and Baltimore-native Adam Nemett had a literary courtship– literally. They met seven years ago in a poetry writing workshop at Princeton.

Nemett was immediately intrigued by Schirmer, whom he calls "a talented, beautiful girl who likes to party" and who, like him, was in the creative writing program at the Ivy League school. Alas, each had a significant other at the time, so while they struck up a friendship, the romance had to wait.

Two years (and one break-up each) later, Schirmer's passion for partying took the friendly pair to a Jim Henson theme party. Nemett was dressed as Animal. Schirmer was dressed as the faceless "Nanny," seen in the Muppet Babies series as she would have been by the babies– from the knees down.

"She was wearing knee socks and skimpy Muppet underwear," he recalls.

"They were shorts," Ms. Schirmer corrects.

"It was hot," concedes Mr. Nemett.

Apparently, Schirmer's knee socks had a powerful effect on Nemett; the two have been a couple ever since the night she wore them. 

Thoughts of engagement didn't strike, Nemett says, until last summer, when he spent a month traveling the East Coast without her.

"I was hanging out with friends, going to the beach," he says, "but I was miserable because I was missing her."

Although Schirmer had pronounced her distaste for the tradition of a man asking a woman's father's permission to propose, the tradition-favoring Nemett approached her dad anyway. It was granted during a tear-fest over champagne, he recalls, and Schirmer's parents were happy to play along with Nemett's plan to surprise their daughter.

Schirmer admits she knew something was up the week before the proposal when she saw an email he sent to a friend saying he hoped to have "good news after Sunday." But Sunday was her parents' holiday open house.

"I wondered, 'Is he going to propose in front of my parent's friends and the mailman?'" says Schirmer. When she confronted him about the possibility, he reminded her that they were waiting to get engaged– and he had help with the ruse.

Before the party, Schirmer's father said that he needed to pick up wine. Schirmer's mother nixed that idea, listing several bogus chores that would keep him from leaving the house.

"We can go," offered Schirmer, and everyone else, says Nemett, breathed a sigh of relief. 

At Oakencroft winery, she haphazardly parked the car, and the two ran in through a downpour. The employees– prepped in advance by Nemett– reported the wine wasn't ready and offered them a glass of wine while they waited.

"She was like, wow, we got the good errand!" Nemett laughs. As she went to the restroom, Nemett, his hands shaking, slipped an employee a CD recording of his friend Helen Horal doing a cover of the couple's favorite song, The Cure's "Just Like Heaven."

When Schirmer returned from the bathroom, her groom-to-be presented her with a poem written in the format of her thesis book of poetry– with the words changed to include memories of the couple's time together. The last page read, "I'm a big fat liar."

He pulled her late grandmother's ring out of his pocket. They hugged and cried, and Schirmer remembers saying only, "Of course it's a yes!" 

Unbeknownst to her, family friend and photographer Jen Fariello had photographed the proposal, and then she took more photos of them afterward running around the lake soaking wet. The two returned home to announce the news everyone already knew and to drink champagne until 2am. 

The winery theme continues as the couple plans to marry at Veritas Vineyard on June 20, 2009.