| AMY TANNENBAUM
THE STORY OF Dena and Brittany has been complicated, over the top and full of song; a chance meeting in a Wisconsin bar led to a flash mob proposal in High Street in the Short North. But their long journey together almost didn’t happen! After Brittany – known by friends as “Bitty” – stood up Dena twice following their first meeting, they ran into each other again at a bar, and Dena explains, “The Red Sea parted when she came into the room.”
Dena, a northeast Ohio native who calls Columbus home, was spending the summer in Wisconsin as part of a new job promotion, and Bitty had taken a trip to Wisconsin from her home state of Illinois and, five years later, was still there. Dena met her on her first night exploring the new city. Reluctant to start a relationship with someone planning to relocate in just a few months, Bitty blew her off twice, and Dena was discouraged; once Bitty came to her senses and began approaching her again at softball games, Dena gave her the cold shoulder. But their mutual friends knew better and facilitated the opportunity for them to give each other another chance: they forced Bitty to need a ride home from the bar. Bitty hopped in Dena’s work vehicle – a big, white windowless van Dena calls the “child molester van”- and Dena solicited payment for the ride in the form of a kiss. From there, there was no more denying their relationship.
Dena returned to Columbus two months later. Their relationship continued long distance until Bitty was able to secure a transfer with her company and join Dena in Columbus.
Three years later, Bitty started asking for “The Ring.” (Dena wanted one too, but Bitty says, “I asked first!”) Around that same time, an online flash mob proposal to Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me” that went viral caught Dena’s eye. At that moment, she knew she didn’t want to propose in an ordinary way. “I wanted to do something big and fun, for me, for her and for everyone!” she proclaims. Knowing they didn’t have the blessing of either of their families, she felt empowered to do it her way.
In the end, as you can see on YouTube, the flash mob proposal went off without a hitch this past July. When her sister presented the ring, Bitty said yes! Dena is still shocked that she pulled it off in such a short time, with so many people involved and without Bitty finding out before it all went down. In fact, Bitty, who runs a dog-sitting business, was dog sitting just down the street during one of their final practices! “I can’t believe everybody kept their mouths shut,” says Dena. “I can’t believe I kept my mouth shut!”
If you haven’t seen it already (or even if you have!), you should definitely watch the video below.