02:15 PM EDT 07/10/2016
Originally posted 04/10/2013 01:20PM
Ryan Merriman worked hard on New Year's Eve to make his proposal special. First he tried a tiki bar, but that wasn't quite right. And then he tried out a New Zealand nightclub where it was far too loud.
Finally he headed to Auckland's SkyCity and the harbor, where high above the water in an outdoor tower, as the New Year's fireworks display was launched into the night skies, he finally summoned the nerve to ask for Kristen McMullen's hand in marriage.
"I did it on the fly of the moment. Thank God it worked," he told PEOPLE Tuesday at the premiere of his new film, the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 where he plays Brooklyn Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, in Hollywood. "She said 'Yes.' "
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