A man’s guide to popping the question

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First Posted: 3/20/2015

So you met the girl of your dreams and now you want to pop the question.

With women dropping hints that you can’t always interpret, it can be easy to feel lost when trying to figure out how to tackle the most important question you will ever ask someone.

Seth Mahaffey of Kingston thinks he figured out the secret to pulling off a proposal worth remembering when he popped the question to Denise Sprague in December, 2012. Before his July 4th nuptials take place, he is taking a moment to guide other men who may soon be ready to ask the big question.

Mahaffey began dating Sprague in February, 2010, after working together at Red Robin in Wilkes-Barre.

Mahaffey was a bartender; Sprague his manager.

“One of the first things I fell in love with about Denise was her love for hockey. I’m a hockey player. I play in local adult leagues and I have a passion for hockey, too. Our job may have brought us together, but hockey sealed the deal,” Mahaffey said.

It was that same passion for hockey that inspired Mahaffey when deciding how to tell Sprague that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

“We talked about marriage at this point in our relationship, but we never had a plan to do it soon. But to me, just talking about it meant it was the perfect time to bend down on one knee and put a ring on that finger,” Mahaffey said.

Mahaffey enlisted the help of Jeff Barrett, General Manager of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to pull off his proposal to Sprague.

“The whole process from when I asked Jeff to when it actually happened took me four months. They had to make sure it would be the right game to take place at. It was a long time coming and a long time to keep a secret like that from her,” Mahaffey said.

When the timing was just right, Barrett had it planned for Mahaffey to win the Tweet Your Seat contest that typically takes place during a hockey game’s intermission, he said.

“There is this competition called Tweet Your Seat. You tweet the team’s twitter handle what your seat number is. Whoever has the predetermined seat number wins an autographed picture and is interviewed by an announcer and shown on the big Jumbo-tron,” Mahaffey said.

After being awarded his autographed picture, the announcer said, “I think Seth has something he wants to say.”

Mahaffey then proposed to Sprague.

“The place went crazy. The crowd erupted, like as if the Penguins scored a goal. This time it was for me. I scored the goal,” Mahaffey said.

Mahaffey said both he and Sprague were shaking so badly with nerves and excitement that he struggled to place the ring on her finger when she accepted his proposal.

When it comes to advice for other men on how to pop the question, Mahaffey said to put thought into the proposal and prepare in advance.

“Think of something that is special to the two of you that you share together. Then when you figure that out, make sure it is well thought out. If it isn’t, something could go wrong,” Mahaffey said.

Finally, Mahaffey encourages men to remember to breathe, because popping the question is easily a moment that could take your breathe away.