Couple Surprise Each Other With Double Proposal: 'The Love at That Moment Was Crazy!'

The couple returned to the place where their love began—the Memphis Zoo

It was two years ago that Jessa Gillaspie and Becky McCabe went on their first date to the Memphis Zoo to attend the park’s popular Zoo Brew event. On Friday, the couple returned to the site where their love began, but both women —unknowingly to each other — brought along engagement rings for a surprise double proposal that was captured on video.

The couple initially met as grad students at the University of Memphis and it was while at the Memphis Zoo that the two first opened up about their feelings for each other, and have been together ever since.

When the duo found out that the zoo was once again throwing the beer-themed night, Jess and McCabe invited their same group of friends who came along the night of their first date. But then, without telling each other, the two individually recognized that returning to the zoo would be a perfect place to pop the big question.

“We knew we definitely wanted to get married someday and talked about what kind of rings we liked, but we decided early on we didn’t want to tell each other when it was going to happen,” Gillaspie, 28, from Memphis, tells PEOPLE. “But we knew it was going to happen at some point — just didn’t know when or how because we wanted those parts to be a surprise.”

But McCabe, 25, is the one who recognized the opportunity first, and quickly started concocting a plan with a friend to help with her proposal idea.

Courtesy Jessa Gillaspie

“I set it up with one of my best friends earlier, we had been planning for a few weeks,” McCabe, originally from New Jersey, says. “I told my friend to pretend like she was taking a picture of us while we were at the zoo, but to actually take a video since I was going to propose.”

Gillaspie, on the other hand, didn’t think of proposing until that same morning.

“I’m the more spontaneous one between the both of us, and I’ve had the ring for a while, but I was waiting for the perfect moment,” she explains. “It just happened to be the morning of Zoo Brew that I realized all of our friends are going to be there and it’s where we had our first date — and I thought, I should propose to her there! So I threw the ring in my purse like an hour before!”

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So when the time came to set McCabe’s plan in motion, she had Gillaspie set up for a picture just outside of the park. As they posed for the photo, Becky dropped to one knee, revealed her ring and asked Gillaspie to marry her—and that’s when Gillaspie burst out laughing and quickly rummaged through her purse.

“When she got down on one knee, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!'” Gillaspie remembers. “I was thinking, ‘Wait, I wanted to propose to you!'”

A few moments later, she showed McCabe she had brought along an engagement ring, as well.

“The love at that moment was crazy,” McCabe says. “We never expected that to happen!”


Though you might not be able to make it out in the video — which has now gone viral with almost a million views on Facebook — Gillaspie did say yes, and the two are planning to have their wedding ceremony about a year from now.

“Jessa is just such a fabulous human being, she totally pulled me out of my comfort zone,” McCabe says of her now fiance. “I feel so comfortable around her and she still, two years later, makes my heart flutter when I see her and everything has just been so amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better person to spend the rest of my life with.”

The couple now hopes that everyone that comes across their video can also find their own happiness and love with a significant other.

“After the first week of us being together, I knew she was never leaving my side as long as she wants to be there,” Gillaspie says. “I hope everyone in this world can find their soul mate in the way that I found Becky. I’m so glad there was such positive reaction and that so many people got a smile out of it. It was the highlight of our lives.”

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