With his beautiful girlfriend, Taylor Townsend, dressed as Cinderella at center stage, a handsome Seth Conerly in full Prince Charming regalia entered slowly from the back of the Jackson Prep auditorium singing “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful.” By the end of the reenactment of the iconic scene from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Conerly was on bended knee proposing to the love of his life with a diamond solitaire ring presented in a glass slipper.
Townsend accepted the ring to the delight of family and friends in the audience, and with the couple still embracing, the student performers of the ballroom scene surprised the audience by quickly transitioning into the sassy choreography of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
The 10:52 video of the amazing proposal, which took place on July 18, already has gained national media attention and is going viral on YouTube. It was the culmination of months of planning, during which Conerly, a student pastor, enlisted the help of friends from Venture Church in Hattiesburg.
Conerly chose Cinderella as the theme of the proposal because of Townsend’s deep ties to the character. When she attended Jackson Prep years earlier, she played the title role. During a visit to New York City in March, Conerly and Townsend saw Cinderella on Broadway.
"It was one of those moments where everything hit me all at once like a lightning bolt,” Conerly told WLBT/WDBD. “It all lined up perfectly because Taylor had played the part of Cinderella… when she was in high school. "
In the video, we can see Townsend pulling up to the venue and being greeted by her brother, who escorts her inside. In the lobby, she sees a Cinderella gown along with a note that invites her to try on the gown and attend the ball. It's signed: Prince Charming.
After changing into the gown, her brother escorted her into the auditorium, where the main aisle was decorated with original comic-book-style artwork created by Conerly. Each drawing was based on a theme or headline supplied by Townsend. Under the title: “If You Had $1,000,000,” he drew a huge sparkly diamond ring.
"I was so excited with how it all turned out and even more excited that Taylor loved it!" Conerly told WLBT/WDBD. "Above all else, I wanted to make Taylor feel truly loved and cherished; she is more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined!”
In the end, Conerly said the elaborate proposal was certainly worth the effort. “The least I could do... for the woman of my dreams is to draw a few pictures, sing a song and wear a goofy costume,” he concluded.
The couple is planning a Valentine’s Day 2015 wedding. See the viral video below. It runs nearly 11 minutes, and be sure to have some Kleenex on hand.