When Michael Winagar of Novi, Mich., was ready to propose to his girlfriend of five years, Amanda Klukowski, he knew he wanted a special location to ask the big question – somewhere they both enjoyed and would serve as a memorable backdrop.
“I had heard about the Titanic exhibit here, and I thought it would perfect,” he said. “We both love the movie [James Cameron's Titanic] and had heard great things about the exhibit, so I thought, ‘Oh, this would be a great place to propose.’”
So Michael stopped by Henry Ford Museum one morning and let a few of our team members in on his secret – he would be bringing Amanda through Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition a few days later, and when they got to the Grand Staircase, he wanted to pause just long enough to present her with a ring.
Before long, our Guest Services staff was buzzing with excitement as word spread that they would be witness to a marriage proposal. At just after 3 p.m. on the big day, Michael stood in line for the Grand Staircase photo opportunity inside the exhibition with Amanda – who was completely unaware! – and waited for their turn to climb the steps.
As our exhibition staff photographers positioned the couple for their photo, Michael knelt down to tie his shoe…and slowly raised an open ring box before Amanda.
Our Guest Services and exhibition security team members (who had quietly gathered at the doorway to watch the big moment) stood with bated breath as Amanda stared at the ring in shock – and then broke into a big smile as she said, “Yes!” and kissed her groom-to-be!
Michael was thrilled – he had completely surprised her!
Everyone broke into applause for the happy couple…but Michael had just one more request: “Do you mind if we take a normal picture, too?”
Still laughing and looking completely surprised, Amanda asked Michael, “So, did you purposely untie your shoe?”
“Oh yeah, right over by the coins [artifact case],” he laughed. “I’ve been setting up this shoe tie idea all week!”
Congratulations to Michael and Amanda…thank you for allowing us to be part of such a special memory for you, and we wish you many years of happiness together as husband and wife!