If you saw the page 2 advertisement in Thursday’s Log Cabin Democrat that read, "Katie, will you marry me? -Ryan," the answer was a resounding "yes."
Katie Horne, the Log Cabin Democrat’s public relations coordinator, was finishing her breakfast at her desk in the newsroom Thursday morning when her now-fiancee Ryan Rylee walked up behind her with a copy of the day’s paper.
Through coordination of different departments at the newspaper, Horne hadn’t seen a proof of the newspaper’s ads the night before, or a copy of Thursday’s edition.
At her desk surrounded by her coworkers, Rylee told Horne there appeared to be a mistake in the paper, and she should take a look at it.
"He walked in, I didn’t see him, he was behind me. He said, ‘I think there’s something wrong with the paper. I think it’s on Page 2,’" said Horne. "I opened it up, looking for blank places, big black holes, stuff that goes wrong with the newspaper. I saw the ad. I asked him, ‘Are you serious? For real? Is this really happening? I looked around and he was down on one knee."
She said "Yes."
How’d he pull it off?
With the help of advertising account executive Betsey Barham, and accounting and circulation clerk Chealsey Mosby, among others at the Log Cabin, Rylee was able to sneak an ad by the person who typically handles them.
"We kept it quiet through email, and I texted him the ad proof to make sure everything was O.K." Barham said. "I was sneaking back in the corner calling him. It’s hard to keep an ad from a person who works at the newspaper."
Mosby said Rylee approached her Tuesday with the challenge, and together with Barham the three worked together to carry out the proposal.
"Betsey and I got together and decided how to bypass Katie," Mosby said. "I got with Ron Garner, circulation manager, and he shoved today’s papers under my desk. They weren’t in back stock. I made sure she didn’t have a paper. Ryan was supposed to get here at 8:15, but he was here at 8 on the money. He was nervous the whole time."
Barham said her department waited for Horne to go home before placing the ad Wednesday evening.
"We were like, she needs to go home. Go home Katie," Barham said. "I have been a nervous wreck. I was so worried I would mess up his proposal. Me and Chealsey were on edge. I worried about it this morning and last night."
Horne said she had no idea he was going to propose, and that she and Rylee had only tossed the idea around abstractly.
"He had been talking about a big surprise. I thought it was a cruise. I’ve been bathing suit shopping," she laughed, adding that she’s not at all disappointed.
Rylee said he’s surprised his plan actually worked.
Horne was as well, because it was unusual that she didn’t double check the ad spot marked ‘miscellaneous’ that came through on her computer Wednesday.
"It worked out. I don’t know if it ever would again, but it worked out this time," she said.
Rylee had also worked ahead to get permission from Horne’s father to propose.
"I said yes, then stopped and said, ‘Did you ask my dad?’ That would be really important to my dad. I knew he would have. I still would have said yes, but we’d have more explaining to do," she said.
Rylee told Horne even the Log Cabin publisher, Zach Ahrens, was in on it.
Horne’s coworkers obeyed the sign posted by the boss on the back door that read, ‘Please don’t say anything, Katie doesn’t know.’
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)