Catching Up With the Couple Behind Pittsburgh’s Most Famous Proposal

Months after Joey Lancianese’s flash-mob proposal to longtime girlfriend Alex DeLoia, we checked in with the happy couple to hear just how he pulled it off.





With more than 300,000 hits on YouTube, it’s probably the most famous proposal Pittsburgh has ever seen: On a warm July night (on National Dance Day, to be exact), in front of hundreds of onlookers, Joey Lancianese got down on one knee and popped the question to his girlfriend of six-and-one-half years, Alex DeLoia.

But this was no ring-in-the-champagne or jumbotron proposal (though the latter is perfectly acceptable so long as it’s at a Pens or Steelers game). Indeed, while most marriage proposals are special, this one had a little extra ... shall we say, rhythm.

After all, nothing says “I love you” quite like a 310-person flash mob. And with moves like Joey’s, we really don’t see how Alex could have said anything but “yes!”

OK Joey, how did you come up with the idea?
J: It was actually my second one. Alex and I had a trip scheduled to Vegas for Labor Day, and I was going to do it [then]. But her best friend ended up texting me around May and said, “You know, Joey, I really think Alex is going to know it’s coming. She really thinks that’s when it’s going to happen.” So then I [thought], I have to go the surprise route. I reached out to a dance studio in Robinson Township and told the choreographer my idea. When she mentioned it to some of her students, they were like, “Oh, this will be awesome.”

So were all of the dancers volunteers?
J: It turned into about 250 to 300 people participating in the flash mob, and about 100 of them were friends and family [some of whom flew in]. There were literally seven states represented. It was unbelievable, the people who were able to be there — and I saw Alex’s reaction as she saw their faces. She had no idea they were even in town, let alone doing that for her. That was my favorite part — to see her see that.

A: It was really overwhelming [with] how many people were there. Everybody I could have possibly hoped to be included in this was [right there].

Joey, would you have changed anything?
J:  My brother, who is in the U.S Army, lives in New York and wasn’t able to be there. But I really don’t think there’s anything I would have done differently. It turned out better than I’d hoped. It was the best night of my life.

So Alex, at what point did you figure it out?
A: Actually, it was really funny because the songs he chose were some of our favorites — but I feel like when Joey started dancing to the choreographed routine, [that was when] I was like, “Well ... that’s probably something happening.” It was pretty surreal.

How did this measure up to anything you might’ve imagined?
A: I literally had no expectation whatsoever because Joey is just really unpredictable like that. It could have been anything from a quiet night at home, or it could have been a 310-person flash mob.

What advice would you give to other Romeos looking to propose?
J: Alex always jokes with me that I think my life is a movie. So I figured, why not make [the proposal] a movie moment for us?

A: It’s funny because a lot of guys have come up to Joey and [said], “You ruined it for everybody!” Just do your own thing. It’s all about making it count for the two of you.
 

Hot Reads

Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

The 412

Gear Up for Month of Mud's Final Bike Race of 2014

Gear Up for Month of Mud's Final Bike Race of 2014

The homegrown race series wraps up on Sunday at Ohiopyle State Park.
Local Developer Creates Pittsburghese Plugin for Google Chrome

Local Developer Creates Pittsburghese Plugin for Google Chrome

Have a little fun as you search the Web.
Pittsburgher Ali Spagnola Releases an App Version of Her 'Power Hour' Album

Pittsburgher Ali Spagnola Releases an App Version of Her 'Power Hour' Album

The creator of the app — which takes any playlist on your smartphone or tablet and plays it in one-minute pieces — reminds users to please drink responsibly.
NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

The group behind the station's Sandwich Monday blog series orders the iconic sandwich and writes a review.

Hot Reads

Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.
40 Under 40: 2014

40 Under 40: 2014

In their own ways, the 40 men and women we introduce here show us daily how we can ensure that Pittsburgh is deserving of its Most Livable City title.