When Michael Yo, co-host of CBS's The Insider, planned to pop the question to Claire Schreiner, his girlfriend and former Miss Wyoming USA, he knew he wanted to do something spectacular. In fact, he had been thinking about it for over a year and spent three months actively planning the day! "We've been dating for a year-and-a-half but I knew she was the one only three months in," he exclusively tells BRIDES. "Claire is the kind of woman who gives without expecting anything in return. I've never met someone so selfless."
He came up with a plan to surprise Schreiner with the most romantic proposal he could dream of, followed by an impromptu engagement photo session. He enlisted the help of Paparazzi Proposals to not only capture the moment he got down on one knee, but to then surprise his new fiancé with a photo session on a California property she had been dreaming of visiting. "Claire has mentioned Malibu Wine Safari several times, but we've never been," he explains of choosing the winery for the surprise. "When I planned to propose and then surprise her with engagement photos right after, I knew this would be the perfect place to go and get some amazing shots. Plus, we both love animals."
When the big day finally arrived, Yo arrived at the winery at 10 a.m. to start setting up, but the actual proposal wouldn't happen until 5 p.m. The pair was enjoying a picnic when their French bulldog, Paul, ran up to Schreiner with the engagement ring tied around his back. "Even with all the moving parts of the day, I was most nervous about Paul. This could have gone real bad real quick," Yo says. "Can you imagine him chasing around those horses instead of sitting by my side with the ring? But he was a superstar and everything went off without a hitch."
Once Paul was in site, Yo dropped to one knee and presented Schreiner with a pear-cut diamond ring that he designed with the help of Peter from Inta Gems and Diamonds. "Claire was shocked and stunned," he remembers. "She was crying. We were both ugly crying! I've never felt love like this in my life."
His dream of a total surprise came together perfectly, and Schreiner admits she had no idea it was going to happen that day. "I didn't know the engagement was coming," she says. "I was in shock. Words can't even describe it. It was a moment I always dreamed of followed by one surprise after another."
Those surprises included a hair and makeup team ready and waiting, a rack full of dresses from her favorite designer, Walter Mendez, their engagement session, and an engagement party with all of the couple's friends and family. But there was also one huge surprise that Yo hadn't anticipated. Immediately after the couple got engaged, Kendall Jenner, who was visiting the winery with friends that day, was the first person to congratulate the happy couple. "It was so funny, I had just finished proposing and Claire and I were walking and saw three girls and one said, 'That was the most romantic thing I've ever seen!' She realized it was me and starting calling my name and ran up and said, 'It's Kendall Jenner!'" Yo says. "We hugged, she congratulated us. It was really sweet."
They haven't started planning their big day yet, but Yo already knows he'll let his bride-to-be take the lead on this event. "I won't be a groom-zilla," he says. "I will be a yes-zilla. Anything Claire wants I'll be saying 'yes.'"