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Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

'Marry Me Danielle?' University of Michigan alum proposes in grand style at Michigan Stadium after Illinois match

By Kellie Woodhouse


The Michigan Marching Band formed the words "Marry me Danielle?" on Oct. 13 as Jonathan San proposed to his longtime girlfriend, a fellow U-M grad and marching band member,

Photo courtesy of Mike Baer

Four years ago University of Michigan alums Jonathan San and Danielle Mai developed a relationship in between performing for crowds of 110,000 screaming fans at Michigan Stadium.


Jonathan San proposes to his partner Danielle Mai.

Photo courtesy of Scott Raymond.


Jonathan San and Danielle Mai on the Big House video board after they became engaged Oct. 13, 2012.

Photo courtesy of Mike Baer.


The University of Michigan marching band members arranged themselves in this formation Oct. 13 as Jonathan San proposed to his college girlfriend after the Michigan v. Illinois game.

Photo courtesy of Mike Baer

On Oct. 13, after the Michigan v. University of Illinois homecoming game, the two cemented their connection by getting engaged on the very football field they'd played on dozens of times.

Jonathan San, who works for Toyota and lives in Ann Arbor, asked his girlfriend of four years, a chemical engineering graduate student at Illinois, to marry him after the Saturday game. The couple began dating while undergraduates at U-M in 2008.

Both were in the marching band, where San played the clarinet and Mai was on the drum line. San sponsored the Oct. 13 halftime game and in return the band helped orchestrate his proposal afterward.

Once the contest ended and the band began its post-game concert, San slapped a field pass wristband on his girlfriend, guided her on the field and popped the question as dozens of band members formed the words "Marry Me Danielle?" on the field.

"I was just really excited and I was really surprised," Mai said. "He did such an amazing job, I could not have asked for anything more."

San said incorporating Michigan Stadium and the marching band into his proposal felt natural.

"The Michigan Marching Band is very near and dear to our hearts, especially because it's where Danielle and I met each other," he told "Many of our closest friends and most memorable experiences can be traced back to our time together in the band.

It only seemed appropriate to try to incorporate the band into the proposal."

After the engagement routine was over, Mai said she was enveloped with congratulations from friends and fellow band members.

"Once the band broke the form, all the people who we still knew ran over to give us hugs," she recalled. "That was kind of crazy."

The couple hasn't decided their wedding venue yet, but Mai said the Big House is an option for the reception. Michigan Stadium began hosting weddings last year.

"We've considered that," she said.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Susan Montgomery

Sat, Oct 20, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Congratulations, Danielle and Jonathan!


Sat, Oct 20, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

How could anyone possibly have anything negative to say about this?? A wonderful story!! Congratulations to Danielle and Jonathan!!

Kai Petainen

Sat, Oct 20, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

awesome. my beautiful better half hugged me when she saw this. beautiful. my best wishes to the both of you.