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Video: Plaza engagement ‘ringer’ for royals’

TODAY contributor
updated 5/26/2011 11:16:54 AM ET 2011-05-26T15:16:54

It had been a year since he first floated the idea of tying the knot, even going so far as to ask her what sort of ring she might want when the time came. And though Rachel Bickle-Stone secretly hoped that her boyfriend, Dan Silverstein, would at long last propose during their trip from Nevada to New York, no one was more surprised than she was when, in front of hundreds of onlookers on Rockefeller Plaza outside the TODAY show’s Studio 1A — not to mention a national television audience of millions — Silverstein dropped to one knee.

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“I love you,” he said. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for you, and I came out here to ask you to marry me.”

At first Bickle-Stone only nodded, speechless. But then, as Silverstein fished a jewel box out of his pocket — a box containing the same spectacular sapphire she had chosen online a year earlier — she found the word she was searching for.

“Yes,” she said, as the onlookers broke into applause.

Related: Hey, that’s my dress! Kate’s gown rings a bell

Actually, Silverstein, a lawyer working in the Public Defender’s Office in Las Vegas, had been planning the surprise proposal for some time. “I wanted to do something special; this girl deserves it,” he told TODAY.com.

Rachel Bickle-Stone’s ring bears a strong resemblance to the one given Kate Middleton by Prince William — but she insists she chose it first.

“I know somebody at NBC. He suggested [the on-air proposal] and said it was a possibility and I said, ‘Absolutely, I want to do that.’ ” It took a bit of subterfuge, of course: Silverstein knew that his soon-to-be fiancee had never visited New York City, and also that she was a big fan of TODAY.

“I had to lie to her a little bit,” he admitted. Carefully guarding his plans, and stashing the ring where she’d be unlikely to find it, he told her “we were coming here to see Matt Lauer.”

Even so, somewhere deep inside, Bickle-Stone, a fellow Las Vegas attorney, was harboring a secret wish that Silverstein would propose on the trip. “I was hoping it would happen in New York but I didn’t want to get my hopes too far up,” she told TODAY.com.

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The couple arrived in the city Tuesday, and nothing happened. Wednesday passed; still nothing. And then, on Thursday morning, Silverstein popped the question on the plaza.

Video: Watch Dan Silverstein propose live on TODAY show (on this page)

“I can’t believe it happened on the TODAY show,” she said. “I watch it every morning.”

Related: Bret Michaels proposes to girlfriend on show

Now sporting the ring that she had selected a year ago, Bickle-Stone admits that it bears a striking resemblance to the one given by Prince William to Kate Middleton, the same ring that had been worn by his mother, Princess Diana.

But Bickle-Stone insists her ring is no copycat. “I came up with it first,” she said. “She copied me!”

The couple have not yet set a date for the wedding. But Silverstein already knows that whenever and wherever it happens, it will have to be pretty spectacular to outdo the proposal.

“I think I set the bar really high,” Silverstein said.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Celebrity weddings of 2010

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  1. Richie rich wedding

    Musician Joel Madden and Nicole Richie were married on Dec. 11, 2010, in a lavish yet private ceremony at Lionel Richie's Beverly Hills estate.

    The ceremony was officiated by rapper-minister Rev. Run and the bride donned three different looks, all by Marchesa, according to UsMagazine.com. (John Shearer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ready to rumble

    Wrestler Hulk Hogan married girlfriend Jennifer McDaniels on Dec. 14, 2010, at an intimate ceremony in Hulk's backyard in Clearwater, Florida. Radar online reports that the wedding got chaotic when cops were called to break-up a brawl between a photographer and the wrestler's bodyguards. (Chris O'meara / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. He makes her laugh

    British actor/comedian Russell Brand and singer Katy Perry wed in a traditional Hindu ceremony at a luxury resort in a tiger preserve in India on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. (Steve Granitz / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. She said 'Yus'

    "Brothers & Sisters" star Dave Annable and actress Odette Yustman were married on Oct. 10, 2010, in an outdoor ceremony in Ojai, California. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Making music together

    "American Idol" star Crystal Bowersox married musician Brian Walker on Oct. 10, 2010, at Uncommon Ground Café in Chicago, the restaurant where the couple had met six years earlier while both performing at Open Mic Night. (Rene Macura / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Sunny union

    "Bones" star Emily Deschanel married writer-actor David Hornsby on Sept. 25, 2010 during a small private ceremony in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Hornsby appeared on the comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." (Matthew Simmons / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Knox-ing on love's door

    Johnny Knoxville wed longtime girlfriend Naomi Nelson (right) on Sept 24, 2010. They have a son, Rocko Akira Clapp, who will be one on Dec 20. Knoxville also has a teenage daughter (left) with his ex-wife Melanie Clapp. The two divorced in 2008. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hawaiian paradise

    Rocker Eddie Vedder and model Jill McCormick wed in a romantic ceremony in Oahu on Sept. 18, 2010. They have two daughters, Olivia, born June 11, 2004, and Harper Moon, born Sept. 23, 2008. Vedder and McCormick became engaged in Dec. 2009 at the Kennedy Center Honors gala in Washington, D.C. (Paul Morigi / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. She took our breaths away

    Kelly McGillis, the actress who won the heart of Tom Cruise in the 1986 movie "Top Gun," wed her girlfriend of ten years, Melanie Leis, in a civil union ceremony in Collingswood, New Jersey, on Sept. 15, 2010. (Mike Coppola / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Model love

    Supermodel Kate Moss married her long-term, rocker boyfriend Jamie Hince in August 2010. According to reports, Moss went barefoot and wore a see-through white gown for the low-key ceremony in Sicily. (Fred Duval / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Lowe high on love

    Chad Lowe and Kim Painter were married on Aug. 28, 2010, before a small group of friends and family at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles. According to People magazine, Chad's brother Rob Lowe was best man and the couple's 15-month old daughter Mabel served as ring bearer. (Duffy-Marie Arnoult / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Just her (blood) type

    Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, stars of the HBO vampire drama "True Blood," got married Aug. 21, 2010, at a private residence in Malibu, Calif. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Duff love

    Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie married Aug. 14, 2010 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The 22-year-old Hilary, in Vera Wang, and the Canadian hockey player, 29, exchanged vows in front of 100 guests. (Dr. Billy Ingram / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Field day

    British pop star Robbie Williams and actress Ayda Field got married Aug. 7 2010. The couple, who met in 2006, exchanged vows in front of about 75 friends and family members at his Beverly Hills home. (Dave M. Benett / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Keys in key

    Singing star Alicia Keys and music producer Swizz Beatz attend a benefit at Russell Simmons' estate in East Hampton, N.Y., on July 24, 2010. The couple, expecting a child together, held a wedding celebration on the island of Corsica on July 31, 2010, where the guests included Bono and Queen Latifah. (Jerritt Clark / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. T.I. twosome

    Rapper T.I. and singer-songwriter Tameka "Tiny" Cottle arrive at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February 2009. The couple, who have two sons together as well three other children, were married in Miami Beach on July 31, 2010. (Larry Busacca / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Wedding of the year

    Chelsea Clinton walks with Marc Mezvinsky after their wedding ceremony at Astor Court in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on July 31, 2010. Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter married her long-time boyfriend in what has been dubbed America's royal wedding. (Genevieve De Manio / Handout via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Love in Bloom

    Australian model Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom attend the grand opening of Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas in 2009. On July 22, 2010, Kerr released a statement announcing that the couple had been married in a quiet ceremony. (Denise Truscello / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Give that couple an Oscar

    Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem joined the ranks of Oscar-winning married couples after tying the knot in the Bahamas in July 2010. The pair, each marrying for the first time, started dating in 2007.

    Cruz, 36, won an Academy Award in 2009 for her supporting role in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Bardem, 41, won his statuette a year earlier for "No Country For Old Men." (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Hockey player finds his "Idol"

    Country star, Carrie Underwood, 27, and her hockey player beau, Mike Fisher, 30, tied the knot at a luxury resort Saturday, July 10, before 250 friends and family. The ceremony featured classical music and the couple's favorite Bible readings, according to PEOPLE.

    Fisher, who plays for the Ottawa Senators, was engaged to Underwood on Dec. 20, after quietly dating for about a year. Underwood told PEOPLE in March that with their busy schedules, “We'll be little nomads for a while” and that they planned to keep homes in Nashville and in Peterborough, Ontario. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. All-star wedding

    TV personality La La Vasquez and Denver Nuggets basketball player Carmelo Anthony attend their wedding at Cipriani 42nd Street on July 10 in New York City. Some of the guests that attended the wedding were Ciara, LeBron James, Ludacris, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian and director Spike Lee. (Moises De Pena / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. "Office" star finds his Pam

    Actors John Krasinski and Emily Blunt made got married on July 10, in a private ceremony at the Villa D'este in Como, Italy. Krasinski's rep confirmed the wedding, according to published reports, adding that Blunt wore a custom cream chiffon sweetheart draped Marchesa gown with embroidered detail. Krasinski, 30, and Blunt, 27, began dating in 2008 and became engaged in August 2009. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. 'Bad Boy' becomes husband

    Comedian Martin Lawrence and longtime girlfriend Shamicka Gibbs were married on July 10. Their daughters Amara, 7, and Lyanna, 9, and Lawrence's daughter Jasmine, 14, (File photo shows Jasmine, right and Lyanna, left) from a previous marriage were flower girls. After the ceremony, Lawrence, 45, and Gibbs, 35, held a family-style celebration. (Gregg Deguire / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Foxy couple

    Megan Fox and former "90210" star Brian Austin Green got married on June 24, 2010. Green's son, Kassius, 8, was present at the ceremony. Months before the wedding, Megan told Us Weekly that Brian would be a hands-on groom: "He is in on the planning. He wants to be!" (Phil McCarten / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Indiana settles down

    On June 16, 2010, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart tied the knot in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ceremony took place at the Governor's mansion, where Governor Bill Richardson officiated. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Full of glee

    "Glee" actress Jane Lynch and Dr. Lara Embry were married at the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland, Massachusetts, on June 6, 2010. A friend who became a Universal Life minister for the event officiated. (Jon Furniss / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Happy TV ending

    Former "Beverly Hills 90210" star Ian Ziering, who was on the 2007 season of "Dancing With The Stars," married Erin Kristine Ludwig, a nurse, in Newport Beach, California, on May 28, 2010. (Michael Buckner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Musical union

    Alanis Morissette married rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway during an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles on May 22, 2010. "So happy to share with you that my man Souleye and I got married," Morissette shared on her Twitter page. "We're very excited to embark on this journey with each other." (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Network nuptials

    CW stars Danneel Harris and Jensen Ackles were married in Dallas, Texas, on May 15, 2010. The couple dated for three years and costarred in the 2007 comedy "Ten Inch Hero." (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Red-hot love

    Actor and comedian Seth Green married model Clare Grant on May 1, 2010, at a private vineyard in Northern California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. That's niiiiiiiice

    Comedian and "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen married Australian actress Isla Fisher, of "Confessions of a Shopaholic," on Mar. 15, 2010, in a small Jewish ceremony in Paris. According to PEOPLE magazine, Isla said of her nuptials, "It's very important to me to have a beautiful ritual celebrated with my family and friends. And when you are in the public eye, to keep that private and to make it happen without it being really visible is really difficult."

    On 19 October 2007, Fisher gave birth to a baby girl named Olive Baron Cohen in Los Angeles, California. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Good news

    "Weekend Today" anchor Amy Robach and former "Melrose Place" actor Andrew Shue were married in New York City's Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on Feb. 6, 2010, which was also the bride's 37th birthday.

    Shue's mother officiated the ceremony and the couple exchanged their own vows before guests. "It was the most beautiful night in every way," Robach said.

    (Courtesy of Amy Robach) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. What a Dahl

    British author and model Sophie Dahl, 32, married singer and pianist Jamie Cullum, 30, in a secret ceremony in the New Forest, Hampshire on Jan. 9, 2010. According to reports, the bride wore an ivory Versace-style gown for her reception.

    Sophie Dahl is the granddaughter of celebrated children's author Roald Dahl, who penned "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Matilda." (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Swinger no more

    On Jan. 2, 2010, "The Break-Up" star Vince Vaughn married Canadian real estate agent Kyla Weber in his hometown of Lake Forest, Illinois. They enjoyed a small, private ceremony at the Great Hall of the historic Armour House at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois.

    The couple has been engaged since Valentine's Day 2009. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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