A Little Inspiration for You Lovebirds

Oliver Culley, 29, proposes to Miranda Moore, 25, at Bryce ski resort in the Shenandoah Valley.
Oliver Culley, 29, proposes to Miranda Moore, 25, at Bryce ski resort in the Shenandoah Valley. (Family Photo)
By John Kelly
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"She's been proposed to twice, so I guess I would be the third," Oliver Culley told me last week, a few days before he was planning to execute Project Marriage Proposal.

We were talking about Miranda Moore, the young woman Oliver met two years ago when they were both serving in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria.

Slender, dark-haired and brown-eyed, the 25-year-old Miranda, a graduate student at American University, is the love of Oliver's life.

"She's beautiful and attractive and intelligent," said Oliver, 29, a CPA.

They've been living together on Capitol Hill since October.

"I'm still as excited to see her and talk to her and be with her every single day as when I first met her," Oliver said. "I genuinely enjoy spending all my time with her. Once I realized that, it became pretty obvious to me that it was time to get married."

But how to pop the question? Memorably, Oliver decided. Publicly, with both their families as witnesses.

And presumably a little differently than those two guys who found themselves not engaged to Miranda.

Oliver started scheming months ago. Miranda, he knew, loved her mother Mauri's engagement ring. Miranda's stepfather had crossed 12 time zones to deliver it to Mauri, who was stationed in Israel at the time, as a producer for NBC News.

Oliver e-mailed Mauri: He was going to propose to her daughter, and, by the way, could he have a photograph of her engagement ring?

"I just started screaming and running around the house telling my family what happened," said Mauri, who lives in Edmonds, Wash. "It was so exciting. To have somebody so committed to your child is a wonderful thing."

With photo in hand, Oliver went to Bensons Jewelers on F Street NW. Yes, said owner Ken Stein , he could make a ring like that: a pear-shaped diamond set low in a simple band.

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