By: Alex Karn
Jared and Leah’s Story
Some men opt to wait for a quiet, intimate candle-lit dinner to pop the question, while others choose to make a dramatic romantic gesture, asking for their love’s hand in the most public space possible. Local businessman Jared Gallay planned an elaborate engagement aboard a cruise ship which surprised not only his girlfriend, Leah Lloyd, but also more than 1,400 onlookers. Luckily, she said yes.
Each year, Mr. Gallay’s employer, BlueStar, hosts a very well attended tradeshow called VARTECH for their best hardware, software and service vendors and resellers. This fall, the show took place on the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas cruise, and Mr. Gallay worked with the BlueStar’s vice president of marketing, Mark Fraker, steal the stage during the show’s opening ceremonies to make his proposal.
“We’ve come to expect this type of thing at VARTECH,” says Mr. Fraker. “We pride ourselves on our ability to provide the channel’s best platform for networking, education and technology with our partners in the Americas and Europe. Jared just leveraged a great opportunity to network with Leah and we wish them the best of luck as they begin their life together.”
“We had met online and had our first date three months earlier,” Mr. Gallay explains. “We had an instant connection and just sat together for four hours talking. We knew we were in synch.” He says that since that first date they had been inseparable, and when he heard about the conference he knew that would be the perfect opportunity to act.
“The upcoming conference was five days on the ocean, with no kids; it just seemed perfect. I spoke to president of BlueStar Canada beforehand and put together a speech about networking and partnerships in business that transitioned into my speech to Leah about our personal relationship.” The skit and speech were planned over a month beforehand, and rehearsed onstage in secret.
“I had no idea what was going on and I just nodded yes,” says Ms. Lloyd. The couple plan to elope with a small wedding party in June of 2016. “Right now, we’re saving and scrimping for a house which we’re hoping to move into this winter.” She explains. Mr. Gallay says his family was very excited about the engagement and have grown to love Ms. Lloyd already. Immediately following the five day cruise, the couple got off the plane and drove to the Peterborough Wedding Trends bridal show to begin their wedding planning journey.