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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Will You Marry Me?

February 9, 2023

A Glimpse into the Proposal

Kudzai Mhondiwa

Walla Walla University students brief their experience of the life-changing moments leading up to their marriage proposal. 

“I was pretty nervous, I didn’t write out anything at all — my heart was pounding for sure,” Matthew Orvek, a senior product design major, recounted the moments leading up to his engagement. [1] From that very moment, he knew his life had changed. 

A marriage for some brings a level of anxiety leading towards the big question. Two WWU students unpack their unique experiences during the long-awaited proposal. Senior business finance major Drew Irvine recalled his time crunch leading to the proposal: “There was always the thought that something could happen because it all came down to a 30-minute window.” [2] 

The sighting of a marriage proposal creates an exciting moment of disruption for many onlookers. A crowd stops and freezes at the golden words “Will you marry me?” followed by cheering and photos. WWU is home to students that have lived those moments in a world affected by the declining marriage rates in America. 

Research conducted by Joseph Chamie of The Hill reported, “The marriage rate has declined from more than eight marriages per 1,000 down to six marriages per 1,000 population in 2019,” the lowest rate of marriages since the initial recorded U.S marriages of 1867. [3] 

“We both felt really comfortable with each other – we both knew this is it, there’s no reason to question or look somewhere else,” Orvek added. [4] He described his thought process in realizing the time had come in executing the proposal. Irvine also said, “We were dating for about five-and-a-half years. I made it clear to her, I need you to send me your preferences on the ring you want.” [5] The remarks between the couple signaled Irvine’s prompt response in preparation of his soon-to-be fiancé.  

Matthew Orvek dropping on one knee during the proposal, photo taken by Matthew Orvek.

Orvek described the moments that followed asking his fiancé's hand in marriage, stating, “She laughed and wasn’t surprised, she didn’t say anything for a little bit and said, ‘Yes! I forgot to say yes!’.” [6] Orvek recollected his fiancée’s disbelief during the proposal as a moment he will cherish throughout their over five-year relationship.  

As Valentine's Day gets closer, one can be reminded of the abundant love we share or keep close to ourselves. The choice is ours for love to be heard or remain hidden inside. 



  1. Interview with Matthew Orvek, 2/1/2023. 
  2. Interview with Drew Irvine, 2/1/2023. 
  3. Joseph Chamie. (2022, August 12). The end of marriage in America? The Hill. 
  4. Interview with Matthew Orvek, 2/1/2023. 
  5. Interview with Drew Irvine, 2/1/2023. 
  6. Interview with Matthew Orvek, 2/1/2023. 
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