Bride orchestrates perfect 'bouquet toss' marriage proposal for best friend
Posted June 16
JAMAICA — No bridezilla here. A Canadian woman helped orchestrate the perfect surprise marriage proposal for her best friend — on her very own wedding day.
Jess Nakrayko has known Jessica Kieley since elementary school, and they have seen each other through many of life’s ups and downs, according to People. So when Nakrayko began planning her destination wedding to her now-husband, James, Kieley stepped in to help with the heavy lifting.
“All of the work, time, effort that she put into my wedding planning leading up to the wedding was huge,” Nakrayko told People. “She really poured herself into the wedding, and she did so much for me without even expecting a thank you.”
Kieley and her longtime boyfriend, Adam Brake, had talked marriage, but the bridesmaid extraordinaire told Nakrayko she wasn’t counting on anything moving forward until after the craziness of the wedding died down, according to the Huffington Post.
That’s when Nakrayko got an idea. What if Brake were to propose during their Jamaican wedding weekend? When she approached him about it, Brake was hesitant — worried about the potential of stealing Nakraykos’ thunder, according to Today.
“I would never ruin your wedding like that,” Brake told her.
But Nakrayko was committed, and while planning certain reception details with her sister — who is also a close friend of Kieley’s — the pair hatched the perfect setup.
“My sister said, ‘what if you didn’t throw the bouquet, but you passed it to Jessica, and Adam was waiting behind, down on one knee?” Nakrayko told the Huffington Post. “And we just lost it.”
After repeatedly assuring Brake that a proposal at her wedding was really what she wanted, Nakrayko succeeded in convincing him to get on board.
“When he thought about it, he knew she would be so shocked and so happy beyond words,” she told People.
The day of the April wedding finally arrived, and the ceremony and reception went off without a hitch. When it came time for the bouquet toss, the new bride was almost as excited as she was before saying, “I do.”
The only people who knew what was about to happen were Brake, Nakrayko and the wedding photographer — who was standing at the ready to capture the moment, according to the Huffington Post.
“So then we had the song change from ‘Man I Feel Like A Woman’ to Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry Me,’” Nakrayko told the Post. “I starting walking to Jessica, and there was a moment where we locked eyes, and as I went to pass her the bouquet, she started hysterically sobbing, saying ‘no, are you serious?’”
Kieley turned around to find Brake on one knee, ready to pop the question.
Photographer Ross Dance photographed the surprise and ensuing proposal, and posted about the experience on Instagram.
“One of the most beautiful and unselfish things I’ve ever witnessed shooting weddings,” he wrote.
The June 6 post, which includes an image of the second before Kieley turned around for the proposal, quickly went viral. As of Thursday morning, it had garnered more than 5,100 likes.
Nakrayko said she has no regrets, and that she couldn’t imagine a more perfect ending to her big day.
“My best friend was starting her love story — I didn’t even think about that being me giving up my day. I have love and I want people close to me to have that love too,” Nakrayko told the Huffington Post. “I don’t think that people need to be greedy about love.”
Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.