"He was so cute," says von Oy, who wed Dell computer data consultant Brad Bratcher in Newtown, Conn., on Oct. 10. "He mulled over all these ideas and ultimately realized who we are as a couple: It's just about being at home with our five dogs."
So on New Year's Eve, during a romantic night in, Bratcher got down on one knee and popped the question – but not without a few snafus.
"I almost ruined it," says von Oy, laughing, as she recalls how she almost called her parents (whose permission Bratcher had requested) before he proposed. "He was afraid if I called them, as soon as [my mom] answered the phone, I would know."
Bratcher managed to convince von Oy not to call her parents yet, and then ran downstairs to change into a sports coat for the big moment.
"He's such a gentleman," she says. "Even though I was in these sweatpants and slippers with pompoms, he felt the need to dress up because it was important to him that I understood the respect in it."
Von Oy almost ruined that, too, when she started to come down the stairs to see what Bratcher was doing. He quickly ripped off his jacket so she wouldn't get suspicious, then put it on again when she wasn't looking.
For the actual proposal "he blindfolded me and sat me down on our favorite chair and said to all our dogs, 'Come in here kids, I need you!' " she says. "Miraculously, they all somehow innately knew it was important, and all five of them were sitting around me with him on his knee when he took the blindfold off."
Delious Kennedy Photography
Von Oy says the two will celebrate their union in May (when Bratcher can take two consecutive weeks off) with a romantic honeymoon to France and Italy. But don't expect them to spend too much time sightseeing.
"He's never been to Europe," she says. "He said, 'For our honeymoon, I just want to sit in the countryside with you and have wine.' "