When a filmmaker is ready to propose to a musician, there are a few very on-brand ways it can go down. He can organize a singing flash mob, craft a dramatic fake movie trailer about their love story, or, you know, just get down on one knee and pop the question. Director and editor Joshua Ortiz, however, had something even more unexpected—and even more perfect—in mind for Valeri Santa Cruz, a pianist and composer. In a video he shared on YouTube this week, Ortiz explained how he turned his proposal into a romantic serenade from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which he said is "something special" to Santa Cruz.
"After three years of dating, I felt it was time for her special moment," he said in the video. After some brainstorming, he decided to reach out to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to plan a surprise for his girlfriend. Together, he and DSO administrators crafted a flyer for a fake networking event for young musicians, then made sure Santa Cruz RSVP'd yes. When she arrived at the symphony hall, she was told the event had been canceled, but that she'd be getting an exclusive tour of the space as a consolation.
Meanwhile, although Ortiz had told Santa Cruz he'd be busy working in Miami all weekend, he and his family had actually driven 18 hours to Detroit, so that when she stopped on the DSO stage to observe what appeared to be a practice session for some of the symphony's violinists, he could pop out from behind the curtain and propose. As the orchestra continued to play a romantic melody, Santa Cruz said yes, and their assembled family and friends went wild. "The only thing going through my mind is just, 'Yes, yes, a million times, yes,' " she said in the video.
Just as he'd planned, Ortiz's proposal was special in multiple ways. "I was in shock already from walking on stage," Santa Cruz said. "My first time on a historical stage like the DSO's was with my forever person."
According to the Detroit Free Press, the couple first met in Orlando in 2016, when Ortiz was filming a charity pageant in which Santa Cruz was participating. He invited her to collaborate with him on a film project, and the rest is history. Santa Cruz now lives in Boston, where she attends the Berklee College of Music, while Ortiz splits his time between Orlando and Detroit; they have plans to eventually move to Los Angeles together. They told the newspaper their wedding will take place sometime in the next few years—and will undoubtedly have the most beautiful musical accompaniment possible.