The flowers, the banners, the live band — Christopher Bean had every detail planned out.
His girlfriend Debre Evans would race across CedarBridge Academy and find her family, schoolmates and a chorus of players waiting to watch him ask her to the prom on June 15.
However, in all that planning he forgot to get a haircut.
“Everyone had their phones out,” he laughed.
It’s become customary across the US and in Bermuda to film “promposals”; Christopher hoped his would outshine the rest.
“I’m pretty competitive,” he said. “It’s either ‘go big or go home’. What can I do that people haven’t done or seen before? A band. That’s one of the biggest things you can do. So, I talked to my friend Tyler Jones and he was able to lend me his talents.”
To get Debre in place for the grand display, Christopher had a friend convince her that she was late for an audition in the high school’s North Block.
She was on the other side of the campus at the time.
“I was freaking out trying to race back to this side,” the teenager said. “I walked into the hallway and I saw everyone standing there, but I didn’t think anything of it because I was focusing on the audition. We walked into the courtyard. Everyone was lined up and there was Chris. I was so shocked.”
She can’t recall which song was playing — CedarBridge horn band Brothers in Music was blaring a rendition of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me.
“Initially, my first thought was to play her favourite song but she doesn’t have a favourite song,” said Christopher, who had been quizzing her for weeks.
Though they had been dating for 11 months, Debre wasn’t sure he would ask her to the prom.
“He was so sneaky. I literally had no clue,” she said.
“I told my mom that I wasn’t going to go to prom unless he asked me. He didn’t have to ask me in a big way, I just wanted to be asked.
“I had been helping all my friends with their promposals. I kept bringing it up to him hoping he would get the point.”
He did. He also got “significant people in her life” involved.
Debre’s best friend, Kenji Robinson, her aunt, Kimeke Wilson, and her mother, Kimale Evans, were each given a yellow rose to hand to her.
They were also asked to hold signs which together read: ‘You get the point’.
The thoughtful gesture is typical of her boyfriend, Debre said. “When we’re walking with each other I’ll try to open a door and he’ll stop me and say: ‘Let me open the door for you’. He’s such a gentleman,” she said.
“I don’t have any words to describe him because he’s just — I want to say perfect, but I don’t mean perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. He’s perfect for me. He makes me really happy. He taught me how to love myself.
“He’s such a sweet guy and he’s always looking out for me. He’s not only my boyfriend he’s a best friend to me.”
According to Christopher, his impeccable manners are a result of being raised by Eric and Judy-Ann Bean.
“That is purely parenting. In our family we’ve been taught to treat women with the respect that they deserve.”
He began planning the promposal after he and Debre were crowned Mr and Miss Sports CedarBridge at a pageant in January. It’s also where he got the idea for the flowers.
“I was asked to find a word that describes me and I said yellow,” Debre said. “It was the first thing that came to my head. Yellow is such a happy colour and I think of myself as a very happy and bright person.”
Her boyfriend added: “She can brighten anybody’s day. My plan to do something big like this was, first of all because she deserves it, but I also wanted to start a chain reaction of big promposals — the next one topping the next one topping the next one.”
Go to www.royalgazette.com to watch a video of Christopher Bean’s promposal