She said, ’Yes’
Ed Cooley pops the question to Kaitie Lehat in a unique way.

Photo provided

She said, ’Yes’

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
1/4/2018


SAYVILLE—It happened on Christmas Eve. A sign was posted on a lawn on Lincoln Avenue and it made the front page of last week’s edition, “Christmas proposal” (Dec. 28, 2017). Here’s the information that was gleaned from the posting.

Ed Cooley had wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Kaitlin Lehat, during the holidays. The couple, now both 26, had been dating since high school, so he thought up a special way to pop the question. With the help of both of their families, Cooley was able to pull off a very unusual way to get that done. And it all turned out to be a huge success, not only for the presentation, but also for the fact that ultimately, his Kaitie said ‘yes.’

“She’s always loved Christmas, and so I wanted to do something around that time,” said Cooley in a telephone interview, adding that he was happy it all turned out as planned.

Here’s how he did it. Weeks before the holiday, he elicited the help of family members to build a plywood structure, which was painted black for obscurity in the winter night. The message he intended was then traced onto the wood: “Kaitie Will You Marry Me,” and a charming pierced heart was added in for effect. Then, holes were drilled into the plywood along the wording and the holes were filled in with white lights. The completed sign was kept in the garage until the big night.

On Christmas Eve, the Cooley and Lehat families hid after setting the unlit sign up on the Cooleys’ front lawn. When the couple arrived, the lights were turned on just as Ed got down on one knee to propose. And he didn’t have to say a thing.

“I had no idea,” said Lehat while recounting the moment. “I was oblivious to everything [that had been going on]. It was so amazing.”

Cooley, an accountant, and Lehat, a speech pathologist, said they would most likely tie the knot sometime in 2019. “I’m still in shock,” Lehat remarked. But her intended just might have some other surprises up his sleeve. So, how do you top that surprise?

“I’m not sure,” Cooley said. “I’m just so happy I could do this where everyone got to be there. It was so cool.”