Winnipeg Man Live-Tweets Wedding Proposal

Good Morning America
Winnipeg Man Live-Tweets Wedding Proposal

View photo

Winnipeg Man Live-Tweets Wedding Proposal (ABC News)

When Winnipeg resident Mike Duerksen popped the big question over the weekend, he and thousands of others were waiting with bated breath to see whether his girlfriend would agree to marry him.

It was a private moment shared very publicly, as Mike Duerksen live-tweeted his marriage proposal to his girlfriend Janelle Freed, after more than 12 hours of minute-by-minute tweets updating followers throughout an elaborate date that culminated in the proposal.

"About to tell her a story: Our story. It ends with a question. Here I go. #MikeProposes," Duerksen wrote on Friday night, leaving the Twitter world to wait sixteen minutes to find out the answer to his question.

Duerksen started the proposal festivities by announcing on Twitter that on Friday, he would take his girlfriend on eight mini-dates, to eight special places in their relationship, culminating in a marriage proposal that night. He referred to his girlfriend only as "J," and assured followers she would not catch on while reading Twitter.

She thinks Twitter is a much lamer version of Facebook for geeks, he tweeted. "She's not on Twitter and she's leaving her phone at home."

Duerksen said he had the idea weeks before, when he was live-tweeting an event for work and realized how easily friends and colleagues could become part of an event.

"I wanted to let them in on the big day, and use it as experiment, to see what happens. I didn't know what to expect, and it just took on life of its own," Duerksen said.

"I expected friends and maybe some people in the city to follow along, but I started getting tweets from all over the world. I got so much support and positive tweets sent my way, halfway through the date I was starting to really feel the pressure!"

Utilizing the hashtag #mikeproposes, Duerksen interacted with Twitter followers who became interested in watching the events unfold. He answered questions, retweeted proposal suggestions, and thanked followers for good luck wishes.

"Now, to address a few questions: Yes, I'm aware it's Friday the 13th. No, she's not on twitter. Yes, I think she'll say yes. #MikeProposes," he wrote.

The elaborate, Twitter-aided proposal matched the couple's love story, one of a chance meeting in a foreign country, followed by a long distance relationship, in which they used Skype sessions, emails, and text messages to keep in touch.

Duerksen and Freed met in 2009, at a professional conference they both attended in Paraguay, where he spotted her across the room and arranged to sit next to her for a session. Following the meeting in Paraguay, she returned home to Pennsylvania and he to Winnipeg, and they took to the internet to keep their budding romance alive.

"The core of our getting to know each other was all done over social media. Maybe people think social media is only about shallow connections, but this is proof that it can go beyond the superficial," Duerksen said.

Finally, two years after meeting, Freed moved to Winnipeg for a year, and the pair began dating.

"We've been partners in crime since. #MikeProposes," Duerksen wrote.

Friday morning, Duerksen tweeted that he was off to pick up Freed for their first date, breakfast at a local eatery. He then tweeted and posted pictures of the seven dates that followed, including a bon fire in his parents' backyard, where he finally popped the question.

Twitter users, many of whom Duerksen had never met or heard of, began to chime in and wish him luck.

"Don't know who @mikeduerksen is, but he's live-tweeting his marriage proposal & I'm not leaving the couch until she says yes. #mikeproposes," wrote Twitter user @stephaniepelley.

Around 8:30 p.m. Friday night, the moment had finally arrived for Duerksen, Freed, and hundreds of Twitter followers. Duerksen built a bonfire for the two to sit around together, recreating their first date, and wrote one last tweet, announcing that it was time to pop the question.

Sixteen minutes later, after Freed was let in on the joke and urged him to not keep his followers waiting any longer, Duerksen returned to Twitter with good news: "Folks, she said yes! #MikeProposes."

Duerksen received congratulatory messages-- and offers for wedding photography and other services --from all corners of the world.

The couple plans to marry in October.

View Comments (7)

Recommended for You

  • Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Looked 'Real Mean,' Neighbor Says

    Neighbors of the man accused of killing three people -- including a police officer -- in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs described him as "kind of strange" and looking "real mean," but they say he mostly kept to himself. Police and federal agents today used a bomb…

    Good Morning America
  • Officer Killed in Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting Called a 'Man of Great Integrity'

    The police officer killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was a "man of great integrity" who was always motivated to help people, friends said today. Officer Garret Swasey, a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs campus officer, 44, was killed when he…

    Good Morning America
  • Dog Missing More Than a Year Found in Maryland Storm Drain

    Cookie, a Wheaton Terrier missing in suburban Maryland since October 2014, was rescued Friday afternoon by animal service officers and Montgomery Country firefighters, according to spokesman Pete Piringer. The 30-pound dog, also known as Mai Thai, was originally rescued from Thailand after…

    Good Morning America
  • Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Fired at Random, Witness Says

    A woman who was caught in the crossfire during a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs Friday said the suspect fired at random. Ketanya Craion was in an exam room when the shooting began Friday morning. Three people were killed and nine others were injured before police…

    Good Morning America
  • Family Says ‘Thanks’ to Former Neighbors in Disney World Surprise

    The Spencer and Campbell families were more than just next door neighbors in Oklahoma. One notable instance of Amy and Jeff Campbells’ support occurred after Lt. Jack Spencer, 43, a Judge Advocate General for the U.S. Air Force, volunteered to serve in Afghanistan, leaving his wife, Mindi, and…

    Good Morning America
  • 3 Killed in Colorado Springs Shooting, 9 Victims in Hospital

    Two civilians and one police officer were killed at the Planned Parenthood building in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday. The gunman has been detained, according to the Colorado Springs police department, and nine individuals, including five police officers, have been wounded. Federal law…

    Good Morning America
  • Family of Belgian Terror Suspect Insists He Didn't Help Paris Attackers

    The family of wanted Belgian terror suspect Mohamed Abrini insisted he was innocent of helping the Paris attackers in an exclusive interview with ABC News. It was not clear when he allegedly traveled to Syria.

    Good Morning America
  • Mariah Carey on Her New Children’s Christmas Book, Directorial Debut and Holidays

    Her hit song, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is a classic, and now she’s made it into a children’s book. ABC News’ Amy Robach sat down with the superstar to talk about the book, her directorial debut and the holidays in the Carey home. “’All I Want for Christmas is You’is one of the all-time…

    Good Morning America
  • How a Missouri Hospital Became Center of Alleged Stolen Baby Controversy

    Zella Jackson Price overflowed with joy as she hugged her daughter Diane Gilmore, whom she hadn't seen since her birth nearly fifty years ago. Gilmore thought her mother abandoned her after birth. Price claims that just hours after she gave birth at the hospital a nurse told her that Gilmore --…

    Good Morning America
  • Black Friday Gets Off to a Roaring Start

    With major retailers including Walmart, Target and Macy's opening on Thanksgiving, some eager shoppers were able to get a jump start on their holiday to-do lists. The Black Friday frenzy was in full force at Macy's flagship Herald Square location in New York City where an estimated 15,000 people…

    Good Morning America
  • Chilling New Surveillance Video Shows Moments Leading Up to Shooting of Tulane Med Student

    New surveillance video shows a clearer picture of the moments leading up to the shooting of 25-year-old Tulane medical student Peter Gold as he stepped in to help a woman who was being dragged by a man on a New Orleans street last Friday. Peter Gold is seen stopping his car in the middle of the…

    Good Morning America
  • What Facebook Is Doing For New Parents

    Facebook has made a policy change that gives four months of paid parental leave to new parents. The announcement comes just days after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would take two months of paternity leave when his daughter is born. "This expanded benefit primarily affects new fathers and people in…

    Good Morning America
  • How the Kardashians and Jenners Celebrated Thanksgiving

    For Thanksgiving, Kylie Jenner shared a sweet photo of her entire "blended family" that includes Caitlyn, Kris and Kendall Jenner; Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick; Kim and Kanye West, and all the little kids like Penelope and North.Read: Khloe Kardashian Opens Up About Lamar Odom, Relationship…

    Good Morning America
  • Man Trains His Dog to Catch a Lobster

    Alex Schulze found a way to make man’s best friend even better. The co-founder of Devoted to the Ocean, an online retailer that donates a portion of its profits to ocean conservation, taught his black Labrador dog to catch lobsters from the ocean floor. Schulze posted a video of his dog, Lila, in…

    Good Morning America
  • Zach Galligan Shares Details of 'Gremlins 3'

    "It's not going to be a reboot," he told the audience in London, who had come out for a special screening of "Gremlins," followed by questions for Galligan, according to the BBC. "It will not be a remake in any way, shape, or form.

    Good Morning America
  • Best Shopping Deals for Black Friday

    Black Friday is now a season. Planning your shopping is key to deal hunting.The good news is that online deals are almost as good as the in-store deals, with a few notable door-buster exceptions. Even more interesting is the adoption of mobile-based deals that retailers are offering to entice you…

    Good Morning America