Man Asks 'Will You Marry Me?' at Wegmans
People are loving the new Northborough Wegmans, and this time, loving it enough to make a wedding proposal in it.
Not only is Wegmans bringing thousands to its store to shop, but now to...propose?
It happened. On Thursday evening, at around quarter of 8, Michael Rybacki from Natick got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Nicole Bouyea, in the cafe area of the new Northborough Wegmans.
Before heading to Wegmans for dessert, Rybacki, Bouyea and friends and relatives went out to dinner for Bouyea's birthday. At the end, they all "coincidentally decided" to have dessert at Wegmans, and "Nicole was excited because she'd been begging me to go."
When the group got there, Rybacki dropped to his knee, surrounded by more than 25 of their closest friends and family (who were all hiding), and popped the question in the food court.
"They had a cake prepared for us and non-alcoholic champagne and we celebrated with all of our guests as well as the Wegmans staff and other shoppers," said Rybacki. "In fact, the first lady I hugged after Nicole was a complete stranger who was caught in the crossfire. She just looked so happy to be there!"
For the couple, an engagement at Wegmans signified years of commitment to one another. It was, in fact, a meeting place for them when the two had to be miles apart during college.
"Nicole and I met at the end of high school but we weren't exactly high school sweethearts by any common definition," said Rybacki, who grew up in Shrewsbury. "In fact, she didn't really like me all that much because I was loud and obnoxious and she was a serious student. But we worked together on the school talent show — I was emcee and she the art director — and she even ended up filling out my college applications for me because I had terrible penmanship."
The two began dating the summer after high school, but it "wasn't too serious." Both were headed to college, in different directions. Rybacki went to Syracuse University and Bouyea to Northeastern University in Boston. Still, they reconnected and tried to make a go of it.
"I tried to come home to East Longmeadow as often as I could and then to Boston where she went on to Northeastern University," said Rybacki, "but more often that not it was her who made the nearly seven-hour trek to Syracuse.
Not having a lot of money, they often ate once or twice at Wegmans. They loved the food, and it was close to the highway where the two had to part to go back to school.
"It isn't just that we love Wegmans (which we do) but moreso that making that trip back and forth was quite a commitment," said Rybacki, "especially for a young couple that hadn't been dating very long. And Wegmans is representative to me of that time in our lives when we decided to make this work no matter what. When this new Wegmans store was opening up in Northborough, I knew that's where I wanted to ask her to marry me - right there in the food court."
The couple lives in Natick, but Rybacki's family still lives in Shrewsbury, and his father's company is headquartered in Northborough.
Oh, and Bouyea said yes. The wedding is planned for June 2013.