How to propose in a newsroom

On Tuesday, the newsroom at the Detroit Free Press took part in and was the scene of a wedding proposal, Catherine Taibi wrote Wednesday in the Huffington Post. Deadline Detroit’s Allan Lengel wrote about Marcel Cohen’s proposal to reporter Zlati Meyer on Tuesday.

He proposed in front of about 100 people in the newsroom around 4 p.m. And oh by the way, Meyer said yes.

Thinking of a newsroom proposal yourself? Here are a few tips on pulling it off, gleaned from people who have already pulled it off.

1. Add music: Newsroom sounds aren’t romantic. They’re mostly clacking keyboards and noisy scanners and meeting editors and disgruntled mumbles. Or silence. For his proposal Tuesday, Cohen brought in a jazz singer.

2. Strategically leak the news: Would journalists even get up from their desks to witness an impromptu proposal? Maybe. If there is cake. But involve them in it before hand, and you have a group of people willing to hand out roses, like in Detroit, or in the case of a March proposal at the Los Angeles Times, just witness it. The proposal, which was planned and staff did know about, happened during a newsroom tour and wasn’t between journalists.

Laura Nelson, a transportation reporter at the Times, told Poynter in an e-mail that no one at the Times knows the couple. “They’re just two people who really love their local paper.”

3. Live happily ever after. As long as you’re OK with late nights alone in the newsroom where it all started. For Valentine’s Day this year, Poynter talked with lots of couples who are both journalists about the best and worst of that arrangement. Among the worsts were lots of canceled plans.

“Our plans or date nights sometimes have to change on a whim if news breaks,” Holly Taylor, associate art director at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, told Poynter in February for that story. Taylor is married to Nate Taylor, a sports reporter at The New York Times. 

Holly Taylor and Nate Taylor, submitted photo

If proposing in the newsroom isn’t your style, consider these alternatives:

Propose through the newspaper: That’s become an annual thing at The Toronto Star.

This year, they took the proposal online.

Create an infographic: In 2012, Drake Martinet, then at, (now with VICE News) made a visualization of his feelings for Stacy Green, now chief marketing officer at Mashable. She said yes. Later, Poynter reported, they made a GIF.

"We just got so married" on Twitpic

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  • katesharmon
  • ljatlanta

    I handled my proposal to my wife in a much less public manner, but one thing I might add is that the person delivering the proposal make reasonably certain that their beloved will say yes. Rejection in the middle of a newsroom is probably not a memory to cherish.