Lawyer stages elaborate fake trial to surprise attorney girlfriend with marriage proposal
A crafty prosecutor spent five months planning an elaborate fake trial — to pop the question to his attorney girlfriend.
Brandon Dinetz and Jen Lettman, both 28, met while working together as attorneys in 2016 and their professional relationship quickly blossomed into romance.
When Brandon, of Palm Beach, Fla., decided to propose, he knew he would have to work hard to catch his astute girlfriend by surprise. He then spent five months planning an imaginary DUI trial in the Palm Beach County Courthouse and told Jen it was important that she saw his opening statement.
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The romantic even roped in a judge, a defense attorney, a fictional defendant and 17 of Jen's family members and friends to act as the fake jury.
The unsuspecting Jen began to cry when Brandon addressed the room with a specially tailored statement of his love for her.
"He and I had always talked about getting married and we knew we were going to be together, but I didn’t think we would get married anytime soon," Jen said.
"When we worked together we would regularly watch each other’s opening statements and critique each other, so it wasn't unusual for me to be in the courtroom with him," she explained of why she was in court that day. "I didn’t know the facts about the DUI trial he made up, and I didn’t really ask.
"I wasn’t really paying attention until I recognized that one of the jurors looked like Brandon’s dad, which I thought was funny. Then I saw my dad and I was so confused. When I saw my sister I knew what was happening and I started crying.
"Of course I said yes," she added.
Jen admitted she "ugly-cried throughout the whole thing," but she was glad the proposal was caught on camera.
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As Brandon explained, he even had the judge come out as usual, and ask if the defense was ready to proceed.
"Then she said, ‘Bring in the jury,'" he recalled. "All of our friends and family started to come in and I think when Jen saw her sister and my dad she immediately knew. My back was to her but I could hear her start to cry."
"When she said yes there was a huge cheer from the jury," she added.
Brandon says the judge concluded the proposal by saying, "Mr. Dinetz, you have been sentenced to life."
"Everyone laughed," he remembered.
Brandon said a huge concern was whether Jen would be too busy at work and cancel her appearance at the carefully planned trial, but he wasn't nervous about whether she'd accept or not.
Jen, meanwhile, said she knew the "court case" was important to Brandon, so she made sure to be there, despite starting a new job and having a "ton" of work to do.
"When I give someone my word that I’ll be somewhere I stick to it, so I knew I had to go," she said.
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Brandon had also proposed to Jen with a personally designed ring, embedded with a diamond from her grandmother’s engagement ring, and Jen said she was completely caught off guard.
"It was the biggest surprise ever," she said. "It’s in his nature to make a grand gesture but this time he went above and beyond. He’s such a caring and thoughtful person. It was incredible," she said.
"With Brandon, I am laughing every single day. He cares so much about other people and when you have someone who cares for you so deeply it’s very special… We’re just enjoying our engagement for now. We haven’t talked about whether it will be a little courthouse wedding or a big party. It sounds really cheesy but we’re just happy to be together."
As Brandon added, "Jen’s the warmest, most loving, and beautiful person inside and out. The proposal was exactly as I hoped it would be."