Britt Burgeson, 26, met Daniel O’Duffy, 25, when they were both students at the University of Notre Dame.
“I knew that I loved her soon after starting at a different college and feeling a void in my life where we weren't talking every day, weren't sharing experiences,” O’Duffy said.
After dating for years, O’Duffy wanted to make things official by proposing to Burgeson last September at one of her favorite places in New York City: The Strand bookstore.
“Growing up an only child, I spent a lot of time reading. Books provided adventure, friendship, and a lens into another’s reality,” Burgeson told BuzzFeed. “New to New York, The Strand was my oasis in the city.”
“Any proposal had to involve books, and books in New York entail The Strand.”
O’Duffy told his longtime girlfriend for months that he was on the search for a special book, and he had a hunch he might be able to find it in the Rare Books room.
Despite his nerves, Burgeson said she really didn’t see any of it coming. “Daniel made it feel so natural and seamless that I wasn’t on guard,” she said. “Actually, going to The Strand was my suggestion, he’s THAT good.”
Meanwhile, a friend actually dropped off a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales with the sales assistant before the couple arrived.
The ring was inside the book, hanging by a red thread with a bookmark on the story, “Brides on Trial.”
“It had to be a common enough book so that cutting a hole in it wouldn't be too heavy on the sacrilege, yet special enough to mean something,” O’Duffy explained.
“My sister suggested the idea of a missing story in Grimm's Fairytales. On the flip side of the book hole was ‘The Heavenly Wedding,’ so that made it extra cool.”
The Rare Books room was minutes away from closing and O’Duffy was nervous he would run out of time.
But with help from friends and The Strand employees, O’Duffy was able to pull it off.
“Thankfully in the whole planning of things I had support along the way,” O’Duffy said. “Britt's best friend Ellie was a rock, and several of my friends and the best bartender in Brooklyn (Jesse of Videology's Sci-Fi Sundays) were there to help.”
“The experience was unreal,” Burgeson said.
The couple haven’t done much wedding planning yet, but Burgeson explained they’ve decided on one important detail.
“In addition to an open bar, we want to have our wedding take place in either a bookstore or a library.”