Love was in the air on Sunday and shared with the community.
By Mary O’KEEFE
The Montrose Harvest Market was the backdrop for a creative and romantic scene on Sunday.
“We come here a lot on Sundays,” said Artur Kasabyan, 26, referring to himself and girlfriend Narine Mnatskaian, 25. “We love the Harvest Market. This is our community.”
What better place to share one of the biggest moments in a person’s life than in the community where he grew up? So when it came time for Kasabyan to propose to Mnatskaian he knew the perfect place would be somewhere he could share the experience with his community.
Kasabyan and Mnatskaian have been dating for three years, but have known each other most of their lives. Kasabyan knew it was time to take the next big step in their relationship; he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this woman who he loves.
“She has always been so nice to me,” Kasabyan said. “She has made things [fun] and is always so happy.”
He thought of a way to ask her that would be special and fun, where he could share the day with his family, friends and community. He knew the perfect place – the Harvest Market. All he needed was the “how” and for that he turned to social media where he found L.A. Rock Choir.
“I contacted them through Facebook and they said they had never done anything like this before but that they would love to do it,” he said.
L.A. Rock Choir is a group of people who love to sing. They meet, rehearse and sing all simply for the love of music. They are located in North Hollywood.
Kasabyan approached the group who began rehearsing four weeks prior to Sunday’s big event. On the big day they gathered in the parking lot behind Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and had a quick rehearsal. The song Kasabyan chose was Bruno Mar’s “Marry You” written by Mars, Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine. As the Choir rehearsed, family and friends hid away in the Bank of America parking lot.
The secrecy was part of the fun of the proposal. There were so many whispers and people walking quickly to their hiding places.
“I told Narine to dress nice because I was taking her to Malibu for dinner,” Kasabyan said.
His soon-to-be fiancée was a little curious but was happy to dress up and meet her boyfriend.
“Her friend has opened a new salon so she [went over] there to have her hair done,” he added.
At the appointed time, Kasabyan went to pick up Mnatskaian and brought her by the Harvest Market. He would think of a reason for the Malibu delay on the way to Montrose.
He and his brothers, Edgar and Grigor, own Electronics Beyond at 3448 Foothill Blvd. so, as one would imagine, technology played a role in the event with cameras and even a drone flying overhead.
“Did you see the drone? That’s our cousin’s,” Grigor said, as word came that the couple had parked and were on their way to the appointed spot in front of the flower booth at the market. Their cousin Peter Knight is a photographer and owns the video production company Knight Lux Production. He made certain the entire event had an aerial view recorded via a drone.
As the word spread that the couple were on their way the Choir began milling around the Harvest Market area posing as shoppers. Then, as the couple stopped at a nearby booth, the Choir began “Marry Me” in perfect harmony and Mnatskaian stopped in her tracks, placed her hands up to her face and looked at her boyfriend as tears began to fill her eyes.
As the Choir continued to sing passersby paused in their veggie shopping and watched this very personal question being asked in a very musical way.
After a chorus of “Marry Me,” and Mnatskaian really realized what was going on, Kasabyan joined the Choir and sang a chorus, then got down on one knee and asked that all important question. Through her tears Mnatskaian nodded, the couple hugged, he placed the ring on her finger, stepped back and yelled – “She said yes!”
Both Kasabyan and Mnatskaian are Crescenta Valley High School graduates and after Sunday their roots are planted even deeper in the community they both love.