Greeks orchestrate surprise marriage proposal


Whitney Silkey

Senior Zeta Chi fraternity member Rick Rosas popped the question to his high school sweetheart Brittany Windom in front of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house. Image by Whitney Silkey.

Many little girls dream of the day they will hear a marriage proposal. Senior Brittany Windom got to be that little girl for a day when senior Rick Rosas proposed to her on Oct. 11 in front of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house.

The couple has been together for more than five years, and the proposal had been in the works for about three months. On the day Rosas got down on one knee, all of Windom’s sisters were there to witness the moment.

Earlier in the evening, the women in the sorority performed a candle passing, and the candle went around four times, meaning an engagement.

“We had a candle passing on the calendar for months,” Windom said of her sorority.

To Windom’s surprise, Zeta Tau Alpha Chapter President Hali Wimbush, who was in charge of the candle passing, blew out the candle at the end of the passing, saying it was just something for Zeta Tau Alpha’s International Office and that they had business to go over now.

“I sent Brittany into the house to get my laptop charger because it was about to die,” Wimbush said. “While she was distracted, everyone got in position outside.”

The candle passing was held inside the house, so to lure Windom outside, sorority member Alora Cain sent a group text message saying that everyone needed to come outside for picture.

When Windom came out of the front door, she saw Rosas surrounded by lights alongside all of her sorority sisters. In the background a favorite song for Windom and Rosas, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, was playing.

Windom remembers Rosas saying, “We all knew this was coming,” before he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

She said yes, and now the couple is engaged. But there is also a back story to how the magical day became possible.

Earlier this year, Windom’s grandmother died. Windom was very fond of her grandmother.

Rosas, who is a member of Zeta Chi fraternity, had the idea of taking Windom’s grandmother’s main diamond and putting it into an engagement ring. Rosas contacted Windom’s grandfather asking for permission to use the stone, but unfortunately he could not immediately find the ring.

“I was trying to keep this a secret, but Brittany’s grandfather slipped up and let her mom know that I was looking for her grandmother’s ring,” Rosas said. “I got a text from Brittany’s mom with a picture of the ring saying, ‘Looking for this?’”

In the end, Rosas was able to obtain the diamond and place it into the ring that Windom wears today.

“Not a lot of people knew about the proposal,” Rosas said. “It was mainly my best friend, her best friend, and a few people in the sorority that needed to know to make it happen.”

Windom’s family owns a venue in Omaha, Nebraska, where the wedding will take place. She is from a large family, but her family has a policy of only hosting one wedding per year. The year 2017 was already booked, which pushed Rosas and Windom’s wedding to June 2, 2018.