ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — A couple returned to Elkins this summer and got engaged after meeting at Davis & Elkins College more than a decade ago, and the bride-to-be’s reaction is going viral.
D&E alumni Hasika Wijegunwardana and Taylor Fealy were both collegiate soccer players and met in 2012. According to an engagement announcement on Fealy’s artist Instagram page, their teammates helped them get together and she’s known he was “the one” ever since.
Over the summer, the couple, who are now based in Washington, D.C., returned to the place they met where Wijegunwardana had a huge surprise planned. With help from Art Department Chair Kevin Woodcock, other staff on campus and a few family members and friends, Wijegunwardana set up an art gallery in the D&E Myles Center for the Arts with pieces depicting their love story. The first few pieces in the gallery were gifts that Fealy had made for their one-year anniversary nearly a decade ago, and the last piece in the gallery was a piece showing their engagement.
In an interview with 12 News Fealy said that the proposal had been in the works for more than a year when it came to fruition on Fourth of July weekend. Fealy said that although her groom-to-be is more of a “go with the flow” type of person, he planned everything about their engagement, from the Myles Center being unlocked to the art being set up to the cameras being planted, down to a tee. “I was not expecting him to propose in such a thoughtful way,” Fealy told 12 News.
In a video that has gone viral since Fealy posted it on social media Labor Day weekend, she begins screaming and jumping up and down when she realizes she is being proposed to. She said that as soon as she saw the poster over the gallery, she knew she was getting engaged. The video has gotten national traction with several national outlets sharing it on social media. It was even featured on “Hoda’s Morning Boost” on the TODAY Show on NBC last week. That clip is available to watch in the player above. “I don’t think I have reacted like that before to anything else,” Fealy joked, although she said loves surprises and even suspected he might be proposing that weekend.
The couple had brought a large group of friends to West Virginia to see Fealy’s hometown of Ellamore and were staying in Thomas. Too many things had “just worked out”—a large group of their friends had all been able to come to West Virginia on the same weekend, which Fealy said has never happened before, the doors to the D&E art department just happened to be unlocked when they stopped by to visit, and Wijegunwardana and her entire friend group had made sure that her nails were freshly painted the night before.
Fealy said that the proposal happening in West Virginia was very special to her. “West Virginia is very very close to my heart.” Although life has taken Fealy and Wijegunwardana out of the Mountain State, Fealy said she is glad she grew up here. “When it comes to like having a yard, or like being able to go sledding—I didn’t realize how many of my friends didn’t grow up going sledding,” Fealy said.
The pair still tries to make trips back to the West Virginia mountains when they can, to ski, hike, kayak and enjoy all the adventures the state has to offer.