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Ohio State scavenger hunt proposal goes viral

Courtesy of Nicole Frie

One Ohio State graduate has set the bar high for marriage proposals on campus.
Notable marriage proposals are commonly viewed on YouTube and if creative enough, will gain national attention on the Web. One OSU couple has joined the ranks of Internet fame after a roughly 20-minute video of alumnus Stephen Kaes proposing to his now fiancée and fellow OSU graduate, Nicole Frie, through a campus scavenger hunt gone viral.

Frie was driven around campus and taken to different locations that were memorable to the couple – where they had their first date, where they spent football Saturday’s together and Mirror Lake, where he popped the question. At the various locations Frie was met by friends who handed her flowers and showed her videos created by her soon-to-be fiancé and other loved ones. Kaes incorporated the couple’s family and friends into the occasion by having them star in these clips and hold up signs with lyrics to songs.
The idea for the elaborate proposal came to Kaes when he decided he wanted to do something different for his then-girlfriend.
“The idea for the scavenger hunt and the separate videos came from hearing about other scavenger hunts, and I thought it would be fun,” Kaes said. “I wanted to do something a little bit different than just a normal scavenger hunt, so I found a YouTube video that included family and friends that weren’t in town and I thought them sending me videos would be a good opportunity to include people that couldn’t be in Columbus for the proposal.”

Everyone was happy to be in the video, Kaes said, who was really surprised by how willing everyone was to be involved.
“It was asking a lot from people to get so involved and spend time putting them together,” Kaes said.
A couple of Kaes’ friends helped him by picking up the videos from everyone involved.
Kaes said he was “touched by how many people wanted to be involved.” He said it was stressful waiting to find out how many videos he would get back and get them together in time.
Kaes said he spent a few hours putting together each video, and he put three or four hours into putting together the final video that is on YouTube.
The video is more than 19 minutes long and has been viewed more than 65,000 times since Kaes posted it on Nov. 18. He said he posted the video for the couple’s friends and family and was not expecting the video to gain so much popularity.
Kaes had a Pedicab driver take Frie around campus for the scavenger hunt. Columbus Pedicab employee Joshua Hipsher said he did not know what was going to happen but heard there might be an engagement at the end of the hunt.
Hipsher said the Pedi cab ride lasted only an hour and the hourly rate for the service is $50.
The video starts with an unsuspecting Frie planning to have a night out with some friends on Nov. 10, but on their way they spotted a friend from out of town that Frie was surprised to see on campus.  
“I was 100 percent shocked and when I got out of the car I still didn’t really realize what was going on because my friends were supposed to be in town and that’s who we saw at the first stop,” Frie said.
She said she had no idea the scavenger hunt would end in a proposal.
The first stop for Frie was at Chipotle Mexican Grill on High Street where Frie and Kaes had their first date. While there, Frie watched a video Kaes put together of the friends and family holding up signs to song lyrics.
After Chipotle, Frie rode on the Pedicab to Page Hall, where they used to sit and talk as undergraduates back when they lived in Smith Hall, then Ohio Stadium where Frie greeted more of her friends and watched a similar video.
She was then taken to the Mirror Lake amphitheater, which was lit up by candles, for the final stop and was shown one last video that she watched with Kaes.
After the video, Kaes got down on one knee and asked Frie to marry him, surrounded by 50 of their friends and family.
“It was really cool to get to celebrate with them after the proposal and have everyone around,” Frie said.
Abby Fagin, a second-year in exploration, said she thought the video was really sweet.
“It was obvious that he carefully constructed the video and it took him a lot of time. It was really endearing and it made me believe in romance again,” Fagin said.
The two have set a date to exchange vows next November in Columbus.

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