Courtney Thrun lifts her fiancee. | Instagram

For anyone who enjoys feel good LGBTQ engagement videos, former Brandeis University basketball player Courtney Thrun and track runner Elizabeth Irene have produced a Hall of Famer of a swoon-worthy clip.

Courtney proposed to Liz last November 22 during a wine tour while vacationing in the Douro Valley of Portugal. But that incredibly happy sentence barely scratches the surface of the sublime moment they created.

The couple had been planning the Portugal trip for 10 months and originally had not intended for it to be so momentous. For a while, Courtney was mentally preparing to propose to Liz during the summer of 2024.

But once she began looking at rings six weeks prior to leaving for Portugal, a fateful trip to a Salem jeweler convinced her to move up her timeline.

“First one—literally first ring I saw, I was like, ‘This is literally perfect!’ After that, I looked up every other ring. I did so much research, and I was like, ‘No, that one’s perfect,’” Courtney recalled.

She realized she had just enough time to get the engagement ring customized for Liz and surprise her with it on the Portugal trip. The only tricky part was that she’d have to sneak it into their travel gear without Liz finding out.

Eventually, Courtney hatched a plan with her friend Shannon who had helped her pick out the ring. Shannon dropped the two at Boston’s Logan Airport and had to get the ring to Courtney before their flight, even though she and Liz weren’t leaving each other’s side before boarding.

The solution: Shannon dropped off the ring in the tampon box at the airport bathroom. And Courtney walked in to pick it up after she exited.

“It was so sly, I had no idea!” Liz exclaimed.

After executing a plan worthy of a Melissa McCarthy romantic comedy, Courtney and Liz were off to Portugal.

Courtney and Liz have been dating since May of 2021. | Courtesy of Courtney Thrun

Over the next few days, Courtney carried the ring around in her camera bag waiting for the ideal moment. Then when they came to Douro Valley on the wine tour, she sprang into action.

Courtney set up her camera under the pretense that she was going to film a segment for her vlog about the trip and surreptitiously slipped the ring into her pocket.

Once the camera was rolling, she and Liz started joking around and thinking of fun poses to make. All of a sudden, Liz thought it would be funny if she staged a fake proposal.

She kneeled for one second, stood up again, and jokingly asked, “Will you marry me?” as she craned her head back in laughter.

In that moment, Courtney dropped down to one knee, pulled out the ring, waited for Liz to look her in the eye, and replied with all seriousness, “Will you marry me?”

“I’m so specific about that moment. I’ve never said the words, ‘Will you marry me’ to her ever. Like, ever!” Liz remembered, “And I was like, ‘Sure, I’ll say it now I guess!’ And so that’s why when my head snapped back up, I was so shocked. I really did not see that coming.”

After Courtney popped the question, there was a pause as the gravity of the moment hit both of them at once.

“I felt like I was down there for the longest time,” Courtney said, “She was just so shocked. And I feel I know her so well, she was thinking, ‘Is she being serious?’ So I don’t know if you hear in the video but I was like, ‘I’m being serious right now.’”

In that pause, Liz saw Courtney’s emotional state change from nervous to relaxed. She also saw that this was their forever moment and knew it was time to say yes.

The two embraced and kissed. The spontaneity mixed with overwhelming joy to create the kind of emotional response where it feels like Instagram should have an option for “My whole heart just melted.”

Over time, the other people on the wine tour found out about the couple’s engagement and the rest of their vacation turned into a giant celebration.

“All of the camera roll is just me holding up my ring!” Liz noted.

It was the culmination of a whirlwind two-and-a-half years.

The two first met at Brandeis when they were introduced by one of Liz’s track teammates on St. Patrick’s Day of 2021. All it took was one look and Liz was blown away.

“I swear, when she walked into the room, the world stopped moving for a second,” Liz declared, “I don’t know what it was but I remember looking down at my drink…I was like, ‘This is full!’ And then my world just slowed down for a second.”

At the time, Courtney was just moving on after ending a previous relationship and Liz gave her space. Eventually, Courtney realized that she also had feelings for Liz like she’d never felt before and the two officially became a couple that May.

Now that they’re engaged, they’re mapping out an extended RV trip to explore the continent and touch base with their families in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. They hope to get married by 2026 or 2027.

When they plan their wedding, all they’ll have to do is play their engagement video and it’ll already be perfect.

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