Marine Jon Trommer, adorned in his dress blues, surprised his girlfriend, Mandy Wehe, on the snow-covered doorstep of her parents’ home to pop the question.
She had no idea he was home from being stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, let alone with a diamond ring.
“With my unit, we only get vacation or leave twice a year,” Trommer, 22, told ABC News. “They usually tell us a few months in advance.”
He believed he would have time off to get home in January, but “then we got word from our command that we can come home earlier,” said Trommer. So he used the unexpected good news to his advantage for the surprise proposal.
“Her siblings and her parents knew, everyone except her,” he said.
The lovebirds had arranged to have a Facetime date at noon, as they often do to appease their long-distance relationship.
“I wanted to make sure she was ready enough,” said Trommer, who had hired a professional photographer to capture the big moment. “I didn’t want to come to her house and have her not be there so I said, ‘For our Facetime date, let’s get dressed up really nice and do something fun,’ and she’s like, ‘OK.’”
He flew home the night before with the ring in his backpack, nervous to travel with it. As he arrived at her parents’ house in Parma, Ohio, Wehe, 29, almost didn’t open the door, but her sister insisted.
“She didn’t want to answer the door and of course her sister knows it’s me,” Trommer recalled.
As Wehe locked eyes with her soon-to-be-groom, she got weak in the knees before running outside barefoot in the snow to reply, “Yes,” said Trommer.
“It went really smoothly,” a relieved Trommer said. “It was so hard to keep the secret from her.”
The happy couple plan to wed on Aug. 12 at American Wilderness Campground in Grafton, Ohio.