While most furniture stores can promise to furnish your home, not many can claim to furnish their buyers with love.
IKEA is one of the few.
The world's largest furniture retailer hosted a very unorthodox marriage proposal on Saturday afternoon at its Sunrise location. The proposal, put together for Carlos Gato, consisted of a flash-mob style dance to Bruno Mars's "Marry You." While the unsuspecting girlfriend's attention was engulfed in the performance, Gato made his arrival from the second floor via store escalator.
As the 29 year-old Miami Paramedic strutted towards Rebecca Shackelford, bouquet in hand, the assembled crowd erupted. Gato dropped to one knee and popped the question he had been preparing for the last eight months.
"When I saw him, I was in shock," said Shackelford, who responded to Gato's proposal with an immediate 'yes.' "I'm still shaking."
With cameras flashing and the crowd cheering, the newly engaged couple locked lips and proceeded to thank everyone who assisted in their unforgettable day.
"We've been rehearsing, we had some IKEA co-workers involved, but basically it was all about them and their love," explained Chantal Nichtawitz, of IKEA public relations.
Although the proposal went off without a hitch, it was a long time in the making. Gato was determined to propose in the same place the relationship began two years prior, and says he sent out over 60 emails before he was able to contact someone who could help him. No amount of turbulence was going to derail him.
"I had to bring her back here because, against all odds, we met here. We had lunch in the cafeteria, separate checks, and then we spent the rest of the day here. When it closed is when we left."
Gato conceived the idea of the flash mob dance so IKEA, once on-board with the process, reached out to Sean's Dance Factory in West Palm. Sean Green, owner of the factory, put the choreography together and instilled the routine through a few rehearsals.
"I love how it came out," said Green. "I'm just excited for Carlos and his new wife to be. We thank IKEA for allowing us to be here and put this project together."
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