The Proposal: Ikaika & Lily Bullock

By P. Ann Chen

Bullock 1

Married 19 December 2012

Do you know all the words to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”? The Bullocks do—after all, it’s their song. Flash back to October 2012 at the outdoor courtyard of the Shops at Riverwoods. Ikaika and Lily, both business undergrads, had been dating for nearly a year after meeting at the Marriott School’s international internship showcase dinner. “I wasn’t looking for love, but something about Ikaika just felt so familiar and close,” Lily says. A friendship was gingerly nurtured on Facebook, and after an impromptu first date where Ikaika took her on a late, all-night scooter ride through Provo, things turned serious. “Lily had always talked about her dream engagement, often showing me videos of flash mob proposals,” Ikaika says. “I wanted to do the best I could with what I had.”

Scouting for locations, he thought the outdoor mall would be perfect, but there were several events that evening—which meant a very narrow window to play the music and have people get out there and dance. “I told Lily we were going to meet my uncle for dinner,” he says. “But we arrived early, and I had to stall her.” Finally, the Native American dancers did their last encore, the sound technicians geared up, and Perri’s voice filled the night. Ikaika took Lily by the hand to the center gazebo, and as they started slow dancing she saw friends, family, and strangers—three hundred in all—moving to the music.

Bullock 2“When it stopped, I dropped to my knee, took the mic, and asked her marry me,” he says. They kissed to the sound of applause from the crowd. The couple will celebrate their first anniversary this Christmas and get their bachelor’s degrees in the spring. And as much as they’re looking to the future, they know saying goodbye to the Tanner Building will be bittersweet. “It’s been our home—we get there at 8 a.m., study, eat, work, nap, and stay until we’re kicked out,” Lily says. “But we love it.”

Catch more Marriott love stories in “Joint Ventures,” in the Winter 2014 issue.

About the Author

P. Ann Chen, a native of Los Angeles, California, is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in People, Allure, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others.