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'She's the total eclipse of my heart': Couples get engaged during the eclipse

Daviyion Johnson and Cheney Brockington stand arm in arm with Cheney showing her ring finger. Daviyion is wearing a blue denim shirt and blue jeans and stands with his right hand in his pocket. He wears glasses and has a huge grin on his face. Cheney is wearing a yellow top and blue jeans and holding a bouquet of white roses. She is smiling.
Holly Kirkpatrick
Daviyion Johnson and Cheney Brockington got engaged during the eclipse.

During Monday’s total eclipse you may have witnessed the diamond ring effect. It happens as totality ends and the first bright spot of sunlight flashes through, resembling - you guessed it - a diamond ring. And for some in Buffalo, what was happening in the skies was reflected back on Earth when their loved ones got down on one knee to propose.

WBFO reporter Holly Kirkpatrick was out and about reporting from Buffalo’s parks and parkways on eclipse day, and at Soldiers Circle in the Elmwood Village she met not one, but two couples who got engaged during the eclipse.

Listen to the story by selecting "listen," or read the transcript, below.

Daviyion Johnson and Cheney Brockington

Daviyion: Yeah, I just proposed to my girlfriend!

Holly: Congratulations! So you just popped the question during totality?

Daviyion: I popped the question during totality, yes. She is the total eclipse of my heart.

Cheney: Oh my gosh, you're so corny! I had absolutely no idea today. I felt like you were acting a little odd, but I wasn't really sure. And yeah, the eclipse happened, we went into the path of totality and shortly after, you know it started to brighten back up. And I turned around and he had flowers and one knee and it was, yeah, it was absolutely magical. I'm so grateful to be with you, I really am.

Holly: Oh, my goodness this is so cute. And how long have you been planning this for?

Daviyion: Um, that's a good question. I mean, I certainly had the ring in a drawer for probably eight months, just sitting there, chillin', figuring out like, what to do with it.
I knew it was gonna go on her finger I just didn't know the when. So I think the plan to actually do this was actually randomly last month. I was like, You know what? Why not? Let's let's make it something special. You got this total eclipse happening - this could be cool. And let's pop that question.

Holly: Well, congratulations from me and from us at WBFO.

Cheney: : Thank you so much, thank y'all.

Daviyion: Thank you.

Cheney: Oh, my gosh, we're so excited. I'm engaged!

Zach Klapp and Brianna Lanoye

As the interview ended, a couple who were walking by approached Daviyion and Cheney to congratulate them with hugs and handshakes. It transpired they too had got engaged during the eclipse! The passersby were the newly betrothed Brianna Lenoye and Zach Klapp. Holly spoke with them.

Zach Klapp and Brianna Lanoye
Holly Kirkpatrick
Zach Klapp and Brianna Lanoye

Brianna : We were walking up and saw this beautiful couple getting a picture and I said to my fiancé [laughs]. I said, "I think they just got engaged let's go say hi!" And I don't know there's just this energy. And they did just get engaged and so did we! So it was really exciting to meet them.

Zach: Very exciting.

Brianna and Zach hold hands with a white rose to show Brianna's ring. The diamond is a kite shape with other diamonds around it set in a gold band.
Holly Kirkpatrick
Zach Klapp proposed to Brianna Lanoye just after totality

Holly: Did you just get engaged in totality?

Zach: Yes we did. She was wearing her glasses at the time and I was subtly putting a camera together behind us and tried to start that as a video, and then I proceeded to ask her to marry me. That was just passed totality.

Brianna: I think it was because it was so cloudy I had my glasses so tightly fixed to my face so I could see right before the totality that he set everything up. But yeah, it was very shocking.

Holly: So did you have any idea this was coming?

Brianna: Not No, not at all. Or else I would have put makeup on, I would have done my hair, done a lot of things! [laughs] I'm wearing a moon kimono it's great!

Holly: How many people have you told so far?

Brianna: So I guess like seven people, you're the eighth, well, yeah, they were the ninth, so you're in the top 10!

Both: Top 10!

Holly: Congratulations! And what a strange way that we all met on the street in Buffalo with two couples that have just got engaged. Congrats!

Holly Kirkpatrick is a journalist whose work includes investigations, data journalism, and feature stories that hold those in power accountable. She joined WBFO in December 2022.