He swept her off her feet.
Apply this adage to the fairy tale marriage proposal Brett Cohen, 31, orchestrated for his now-fiancee, Laura Menzies, 26. The two helicoptered in from Republic Airport in Farmingdale to meet dozens of friends and family members at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho — but only Cohen knew of his engagement plans.
Moments after the bright yellow Robinson R44 helicopter landed, Cohen took a knee and proposed to Menzies, his girlfriend of three years. Within minutes, and after Menzies responded with a resounding yes, the couple greeted their guests waiting only feet away on the makeshift landing pad.
“I saw my mom and then I saw my friend Rochelle and then I started to cry, said Menzies, who, like the assembled guests, thought the helicopter ride was a three-year anniversary gift. “I’m overwhelmed with happiness.”
The couple met in 2015 on the dating website JDate.com. Cohen is a Queens native but has spent the last two decades living in Plainview, where he attended John F. Kennedy High School. His bride-to-be hails from Levittown and is a graduate of Island Trees High School. Menzies is a nurse at Winthrop University Hospital while Cohen owns and operates the tech startup, PopSpot TM.
Cohen said he worked for weeks on the surprise.
“She’s a special girl,” he said. “I wanted to do something special for her because she deserves it. There’s no one like her.”
Nearly 30 friends and family members came out to join in the celebration, despite knowing nothing of Cohen’s proposal plan.
Lynn Menzies, the tearful mother of the bride-to-be, said she was surprised.
“Never in a million years did I expect this,” she said. “The helicopter was in the distance and someone said ‘wouldn’t that be funny if they were in it?’ ”
Both Cohen and Menzies are SUNY graduates. Cohen graduated from SUNY Albany and Menzies from SUNY Binghamton. Graduating from a SUNY school isn’t the only thing the couple has in common — Cohen’s birthday is Feb. 12 and Menzies’ is Feb. 13.
Cohen said he would have proposed earlier but did not want to take the spotlight away from Menzies’ brother, who recently married.
Even family members unable to physically attend the event were able to get a glimpse of the couple’s special day. Roberta Cohen, Brett Cohen’s mother, witnessed the event from her hospital bed in Manhasset at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital, courtesy of her husband, Robert Cohen, who streamed the event on Facebook Live.
The couple already have a wedding date — September 2019.
“We have our colors and everything,” Laura Menzies said.