Love reached its destination late Friday afternoon at the Abbotsford airport, as Dan Berg carried out the elaborate marriage proposal to his sweetheart Hanna Dosa, just as he planned.
The two met a year ago, matched up by a mutual friend, and they fell for each other in a big way. Marriage was just a matter of time.
In fact, just the other weekend, Hanna told Dan to skip the ring and just marry her. Friends and family thought it was going to happen at Christmas.
But Dan, a finance manager at Deerborn Ford in Kamloops, wanted to set the scene for a proposal the love of his life would not soon forget. He knew Hanna was keen to be hitched.
"She bugs me every single day, when am I going to put a ring on her finger," he told the Times last week.
Dan already had the engagement ring for three months, and even asked her dad for her hand in marriage, but he wanted to make it a real surprise for Hanna.
"I'm going to do this once and once only in my life. I want it to be memorable," he said.
So he came up with a plan that involved West Jet managers, crew and staff at the Abbotsford airport terminal, dozens of passengers and the Abbotsford Mission Times.
A couple weeks back, Berg, 35, called the airline and told them he was flying to Abbotsford from Calgary on Jan. 27 and he wanted to hand out 50 red carnations to 50 willing passengers, who would then hand them, one by one to Hanna, who would waiting for him at the YXX terminal.
Well, it turns out, everyone loves a love story.
West Jet embraced the opportunity, and everyone from the airline's managers to crew to ground staff did their best to help Berg carry out his scheme.
On the big day, Dan drove from Kamloops to Kelowna, flew to Calgary and then to Abbotsford just to make his entrance. (He had earlier told Hanna the flight had to take a weird detour to Calgary).
Already giddy with nervousness, when Berg got on the plane in Calgary, he was introduced to the plane by a stewardess, who then handed him the public address speaker so he could explain the plan to his fellow passengers. There were more takers than flowers.
"I couldn't believe how excited people were to participate. I think every woman on board wanted to take part," Dan recalled.
Two passengers, Janet and Chris, were recruited to be the first passengers off the aircraft with flowers when it landed in Abbotsford, and Janet was to make sure Hanna would receive them.
"She memorized Hanna's face by looking at my pictures of her on my iPhone," said Dan, who admitted he was more nervous than he had ever been in his life. "(Janet and Chris) also kept me calm."
Meanwhile in Abbotsford, Hanna waited as patiently as possible with her son Mason, two and a half, who was growing more restless as the flight was delayed by more than an hour. She was completely unaware of Dan's plan.
Finally, at 5:20 p.m. the passengers began to disembark. A West Jet attendant told Hanna she had to stand by the doors, "because of some silly regulations," Hanna said later.
Dozens of passengers hurried through the doors, then a woman (this was Janet) with a crimson carnation appeared, called to Hanna, and handed her the flower and said a few words. All the remaining passengers each held a red carnation, which they handed to Hanna as they passed by her. Many wished her well, she also got hugs and a couple of kisses.
Hanna looked puzzled. Her puzzlement grew into excitement as she realized something was up. Her brown eyes sparkled and she couldn't stop smiling.
"After I saw all the carnations, and people had tears in their eyes and were saying congratulations, that's when I started to shake," said Hanna.
Instead of leaving the airport, many of the newly arrived passengers lingered in the lobby, waiting to witness the proposal. Many held camera phones at the ready. A reporter waited inconspicuously, while West Jet's Abbotsford manager Ryan Hubbard began video taping the unfolding scene.
One of pilots waited just outside the terminal to let Dan know when all the flowers had been delivered.
Finally, with Hanna holding her bouquet of 50 brilliant red carnations, and with a crowd of observers that grew to at least 100 people watching and taking photos, Dan came through the doors with his single red rose, kissed Mason, then dropped on one knee and pulled out a ring. He asked for Hanna's hand.
Almost speechless, she said yes, they kissed, and cheers and applause exploded from the crowd.
"We're totally madly in love," Hanna said after she collected herself.
"He is the most romantic guy I have ever met."
Hubbard, the West Jet video man, was thrilled to be part of such a happy event. It's something the airline likes to support - there have been 432 marriage proposals onboard their aircraft as of 2010, he said.
Hanna, 32, will soon be discharged after serving 15 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, in the Navy as a leading seaman and currently working as a supply clerk in Chilliwack. She's already sold her house she said, and she and Mason will be moving to Kamloops. She's already looking at wedding websites, as the couple plan to marry this summer.
You can see Hubbard's video of Berg's proposal at bit.ly/zVw4YJ.