Joshua Martin knew he wanted to marry Brittany Weimer, his girlfriend of six years. Martin also knew he wouldn’t be satisfied if the proposal was anything less than extraordinarily memorable.
Martin, the choir director at J.B. Martin Middle School, made the moment count at the school’s spring concert — with a major assist from his class of 150 students, who gave a performance their teacher and his now-fiancé will remember for the rest of their lives.
“I knew I didn’t want it to just be a private moment,” Martin said. “I wanted it to involve the people who meant the most to us. Doing it at our choir spring concert was a way to have all of our friends and family in one place, but also feature these kids who I spend every day with. They’re important to me and they’re important to Brittany, too, as she’s very involved with what we do here at school.”
Martin and his class rehearsed a special song for the concert’s final performance. There would be props — each student was to carry a sign, turned backwards, on stage that would spell out a question for one very specific member of the audience.
When the big night came, Martin took the microphone just before the last song — which would be a rendition of the song “From This Moment On,” by Shania Twain and Bryan White, which Martin described as the couple’s go-to karaoke duet — and announced he would be dedicating the song to “the person who is the most important to me, Brittany.”
Weimer said she had no idea what was to happen when she arrived at the concert, but in that moment, she began to understand.
“When he dedicated the song to me and I heard the first note, and saw all of the students with those signs, that’s when I kind of knew what was coming,” Weimer said. “It brought tears to my eyes. It was such an emotional moment, it really overwhelmed me.”
The students played their roles to perfection — even if not exactly calmly. One of Martin’s students, 8th grader Ayme Melancon, said she “lost it” when Martin took a knee and began the official proposal.
“When he first said something about it, I was like, yeah, go Mr. Martin,” Melancon said. “But when he actually proposed, I wasn’t able to control myself. It was all so cute. We gathered around and started singing.
“He started tearing up, and that was it for me. I forgot to hold up my sign. I had to be nudged.”
That song, Martin said, has been part of a long-standing “joke” between the two that at an eventual wedding, they would sing it as their “first song” instead of the traditional first dance. Now with the wedding set in September of 2017, it’s officially become part of the plan. “It’s our way of making it more of an us thing than the traditional dance,” he said. “She’s a big Shania Twain fan and it’s a song that we like. It epitomizes the idea of togetherness and loving one another … that this is a forever relationship and that we are together from this moment on.”Weimer added, “we’re both singers, and music is what brought us together. The first song exactly what will happen.”
It almost felt like time stopped, Weimer said.
“It took a while for it to really sink in,” she said. “Even days after the proposal … I was just so caught in the moment.”
Martin and Weimer had made light acquaintance in high school — they attended different schools but sang together as part of their district’s honor choir — but did not form a strong bond until their college days at Nicholls State.
She came into a biology class and I recognized her,” Martin said. “She was looking for somewhere to sit, and I said ‘hey, come sit by me.’ We became close friends from there.
It was probably a year before (a relationship) was official, but we were friends first.”
And soon to be husband and wife, following their engagement, which was launched with the help of group of students who will undoubtedly always hold a place near and dear to the hearts of their teacher and his love.
In one way, Martin hopes he’s set an example for the future.“It was a way to partially show them … this is how it should be,” he said. “For them to know they deserve something like this, too.”