This is how you spell love during the time of coronavirus.
A Staten Island man got creative when proposing to his girlfriend this week — popping the question by displaying the words “Will You Marry Me?” on the back of umbrellas, while their friends and family looked on from a safe social distance.
“No distance or time could come between us or even a pandemic,” Brianna Burtone, 26, told The Post of her relationship with Michael Guarnieri. “Having a pandemic proposal was something we will never forget.”
Guarnieri, a sanitation worker, surprised Burtone on Sunday outside his Eltingville home.
The yellow umbrellas with the proposal written on them were a nod to the show “How I Met Your Mother,” a favorite of the couple.
“I knew that I wanted to propose to her this year,” Guarnieri told The Post. “With everything going on I didn’t know when that would be able to happen because her parents live in Texas and we wanted both sides to be there.”
Burtone, a nurse, planned her own surprise for Guarnieri for his 27th birthday, rallying their loved ones to his house that day. But he used the moment to get on one knee and ask her to marry him.
“It was going great. I truly thought he was completely surprised and then some of our friends looped back around and got out of the car and they had the umbrellas,” she described.
Burtone said she assumed they would say “happy birthday.”
“It took me a minute to read them and to understand what was happening and the next thing I know he was proposing,” she said.
“I was completely shocked and ecstatic and I had no idea it was coming. It was extremely exciting. He got me!” Burtone said adding that the yellow umbrellas were a clever touch. “He’s very creative.”
Guarnieri got the blessing from Burtone’s parents to go ahead with the proposal despite the fact they couldn’t be there and her parents watched the proposal unfold from a Facetime call.
“It was really sweet because after I said yes, when I turned around his family made sure [my parents] were the first people I saw and so it was really special,” Burtone said.
Burtone said that she and Guarnieri have both been working a lot during the coronavirus pandemic as they are considered essential workers and the engagement was a much needed reprieve from it all.
“The two of us have been working a lot. That is pretty much all we have been doing,” Burtone said. “It was really uplifting and peaceful.”
“These times are stressful and uncertain but this moment was such a happy moment and not many people have had many of those recently,” Burtone said. “And to be able to share that with family and friends and see them get uplifted, it was priceless.”
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