Wayne Ditty had rehearsed his lines. He was ready to take the stage at the Russell Joel Brown: Romance Unplugged concert at the Imperial Theatre on Feb. 12.
For Christy Horsford, there was the excitement of a romantic evening - a jazz concert, dinner at D. Timm's Jazz Cafe and a night at Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta. What the 25-year-old didn't know was that Mr. Ditty had other plans.
"She said she wanted something special and didn't want to know how or when I was going to ask her to marry me," he said.
Mr. Ditty told Ms. Horsford he had to go to the bathroom near the end of the first set, but he didn't return. The band was preparing for its second set when Mr. Brown announced: "Christy Horsford, come on stage."
"I knew something was up when they made me walk to the center of the stage," she said.
Mr. Ditty had arranged for the on-stage proposal with Mr. Brown's marketing department in advance.
"It was packed (in the auditorium)," he said. "But I didn't see one person. I'm glad I rehearsed my lines.
"I thanked Russell, got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.
"I was so nervous, I forgot to take the ring out. I gave her the box."
After she said yes, they received a standing ovation. They leave for England on May 22.
"It's fun," Victoria Ditty, 7, the couple's daughter, said about their upcoming trip. "I think England will be funner than America."
"It's a legal battle, but it's worth it," Ms. Horsford said of being married in England. "We're keeping our fingers crossed."
Reach Ed Scott at (706) 823-3704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.