The couple, Marybeth O’Haire and Chris Narine, have been dating for five years now. They both knew things were serious—and it looked like it was time to tie the knot.
They have always been the creative types. When they met at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, she was studying interior design, and he wanted to be a graphic designer. They hit it off immediately and started dating.
It was a perfect match, and even their families approved. “We knew he was a keeper,” Marybeth’s cousin, Kelly Joyce, said of Chris.
“He treats [Marybeth] the way every parent dreams their daughter will be treated by a significant other.”
“I knew she would say yes,” he wrote on Reddit. “Trust me when I say she wasn’t shy about making it known she was ready to have a ring on that finger.”
But even though Marybeth was expecting a ring sometime soon, Chris still wanted it to be a surprise—so he went all out with a fittingly creative proposal.
“She had no idea it was happening the way it happened. I weaved a web of lies.”
Chris told Marybeth that he had a fun night out in New York City planned for them. He bought tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway, where they’d be joined by Chris’ brother Shaun and sister-in-law, Moury.
Chris suggested that she wear a red polka dot dress she had recently purchased.
The couple, both fans of art, decided that while they were in the city, they would hit up one of their favorite spots: the Museum of Modern Art.
Marybeth’s favorite artist is Picasso, so they visited a wing of his artwork.
The pair walked around the exhibit, admiring the pieces…
But there was one that Marybeth didn’t recognize… one that definitely wasn’t a Picasso.
She noticed the woman in the painting was wearing the same dress as her. She looked at her boyfriend … and suddenly realized that he was the artist.
“She began immediately crying when she realized that the painting was of what was about to take place,” Chris wrote on Reddit.
Chris kneeled and made the painting a reality:
She may not have literally said “yes” but she did uncontrollably sob…so yeah. I love her. Thank you to @shaun1stofhisname @mourys @framing_the_chaos we may end up banned from the met but it was worth it. (Also no big deal but now I can say my art has been hung in the met next to a Picasso) #oncloudnarine [ To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email email@example.com ]
Marybeth was thrilled—and in tears. Her cousin Kelly, a professional photographer who was there to capture the moment, recalled her amazement at the perfect proposal.
“I just got engaged to the man of my dreams in front of a Picasso! Did that actually just happen?!”
Chris even designed the art deco ring himself.
So how did he pull all this off? How did he get MoMA’s permission to hang a piece up in their exhibit? He didn’t—he was just sneaky.
Chris had asked a few museums for permission to pull the stunt, but when none approved, he decided to just go big at MoMA … even if it violated their rules.
He gave his brother and sister-in-law the painting he made to sneakily hang in the museum. When he was given the signal, he brought Marybeth over for the proposal.
It was a joyous moment, but not everyone was thrilled by the stunt.
“Soon after I rose back to my feet, we were greeted by a less than happy guard who told us to remove the painting from the wall and suggested that we leave,” Chris wrote.
“After a few more quick photos, we left the building and the rest is history or should I say … art history.”
Overall, the plan was a success. Even the dress was part of Chris’ plan: He had bought it for her, gave it to her mother to give to her on her birthday, and then had to persuade Marybeth to wear it on their night out. (Another risky move—it’s usually not a great idea to give your girlfriend fashion advice.)
But it was worth it. The proposal perfectly matched the artwork.