Many purple and gold fans saw the moment Erin Sampere went from girlfriend to fiance.
Captured in a four minute video that quickly went viral, John Brucato proposed to his girlfriend at the LSU v. Georgia Southern game on Aug. 31., using signs planted along pathways and the LSU Colorguard.
Brucato said he didn’t go into the proposal planning for it to be a media sensation. He just wanted to wow Sampere.
“I wanted to go big,” Brucato said. “And I guess when you go big, media sensation follows.”
Brucato, 26, is originally from New Jersey, but lives in Houston now. He and Sampere, 25, met when she moved back to Houston following her graduation from Louisiana State University. In the year and a half they’ve been together, Sampere has converted Brucato into an LSU fan.
“I’ve trained him well,” Sampere said.
When Brucato decided to propose, he knew he wanted to do something big.
“My original idea was to propose to her on the fifty yard line of Tiger Stadium,” Brucato laughed. “That didn’t happen, so I had to think of something else.”
Sampere was on the LSU Colorguard during her time at the school. Brucato knew that the Colorguard was important to her and had been a special part of her life, so he decided to reach out to some of the girls that had been underclassmen when Sampere was a senior and see if they would be willing to help.
“These girls were complete strangers to him,” Sampere said. “It was so sentimental and sweet.”
The proposal turned into a big production. According to Brucato, many people were involved by the end, with more than 40 people working together to pull it off.
“I truthfully don’t deserve much credit,” Brucato said. “I firmly believe that this was a team effort.”
In the months leading up to the proposal, Brucato had written down a list of nearly a thousand things he loved about Sampere. He had signs made that listed out some of these things placed along the walk to the Greek Amphitheater, where the proposal took place.
At the Amphitheater, some of the guard girls walked in front of the couple with signs reading “Will you marry me Erin Elizabeth Sampere?” As they passed in front of the couple, Brucato went down on one knee.
Sampere was completely surprised. “I knew he had a ring ready, but I didn’t know how or when or where it was happening,” she said.
Sampere accepted, with the crowd clapping behind them. Brucato said he was just happy she accepted him.
“I’m just so blessed she said yes,” Brucato said.