Photo Appeal: Man Catches Proposal on Film by Accident, Finds Couple

By Seth Daniel

There are few better places in Boston that the Public Garden to catch the beauty of the foliage at this time of year, and one Tufts University student caught that and then some last weekend.

Not only did he catch the bright foliage, but from a distance and unknowingly, he caught a marriage proposal on the footbridge. Then, through the magic of social media, found the mystery couple within a day.

Aaron Idelson, a film/media studies and sociology major at Tufts, said he has truly enjoyed the fall in Boston over the last several years in the area as a student, and one of his favorite places is the Public Garden. With some friends from out of town, he was using a remote camera to catch some sweeping landscape shots on Saturday, Oct. 21.

“I’ve experienced enough New England falls since I’ve been here to know that they are beautiful, and one of the best places to capture that, I think, is in the Boston Common and the Public Garden,” he said. “Last Saturday we were at the Common and on Newbury Street and then the Public Garden. I took a bunch of shots of the Garden, and just as I finished, my friend came up and was saying, ‘Wow someone just got engaged on the bridge.’ I was disappointed that I had missed it, and then 10 minutes later I realized I hadn’t missed it. I was looking through my shots and saw I had a photo of the exact moment the man was proposing. Of course, then it became a huge mystery.”

Idelson said he ran over to the bridge to try to find the mystery couple, but they and their party of onlookers were gone.

Idelson said it was curious, but his friends were really rooting for him to find the couple, so he put it out on Twitter.

It began to take off pretty quickly, with about 100 people in the first hour retweeting it.

“A couple people saw it and were really adamant about doing what they could to make this happen,” he said. “So they took it and ran with it.”

By Sunday, the photographer for the couple had reached out to Idelson, and then on Monday, the couple – who wanted to remain anonymous – reached out to Idelson to end the suspense.

The couple was not from Boston, and it appeared that it was somewhat of a surprise.

“I think the big take is Boston really responded to do this and showed what a sense of community we have here,” he said. “I jokingly put out there that it would be funny if we could find this couple. and the Internet is very scary and it found them. That speaks to the community we have here in Boston.”

Beyond that, he said there is always hidden beauty to be found in everything if one looks close enough.

“You may thinking you see something really beautiful in a photo, but then there might be a lot of other things just as beautiful in that same picture that you didn’t even notice at first,” he said.

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