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Photos: Behind the Scenes of Employee's 'Share a Coke'-inspired Marriage Proposal

“I owe her a grand moment,” Wil Ramos says, with a serious expression that quickly curls into a smile. “She’s going to be so surprised.”

A little less than 24 hours later, he greets Trunshedda Washington, his girlfriend of five years, at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, where he works as a senior change manager.

Trunshedda thinks she’s there for a Coca-Cola function, but Wil has bigger things in mind. They walk to the Jacobs Pharmacy soda fountain on the company’s newly renovated campus and take seats at the counter. Wil orders two Coke floats. 

The waitress brings over two tall glasses with scoops of vanilla ice cream and red straws, then a pair of glass bottles of Coca-Cola with the labels facing away from the couple. Wil slowly rotates the first, which has “Marry” printed on the label, then the second, which reads “Me.” 

He drops to one knee, pulls an engagement ring from his pocket and slides it on Trunshedda’s finger.

“I set it up so she’d say yes,” he said. 

And she did. Trunshedda buries her head in Wil’s chest and breaks down in tears when she turns around and realizes they’re not alone. A handful of Wil’s coworkers – who helped him plan and pull off the meticulously orchestrated proposal – are there to witness the special moment along with several of the couple’s friends and family members. Dozens of surprised bystanders cheer and toast their Coca-Cola colleague and his new fiancée. 

“That’s when it hit her… all the coordination that had gone into this,” said Wil.

Wil is no stranger to strategic planning. After grad school, he worked for the Clinton administration and later served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer based in Fort Benning, Ga., leading combat operations strategy for seven years. He left the Army in 2007 and went to work for Georgia-Pacific, where he met Trunshedda, an attorney. 

He joined Coca-Cola in the summer of 2013 and, when it came time to pop the question a few years later, he knew he wanted the popular “Share a Coke” campaign – which features first names and custom messages on Coke bottles and cans – to play a role.

“The two places I spend most of my time are work and home… and both make life better because of the people," he explained. "I thought it would be great if I could combine the two and create an unforgettable moment.”

Over the last two months, he and his Coke teammates bounced creative ideas off each other before finally landing on a game plan for the big day: Friday, July 17. “I’m truly thankful for them taking time out to help me,” Wil said. “It says a lot about them.”

Their hard work and coordination paid off. “It went flawlessly… I’m relieved it’s over,” Wil told me Monday morning via phone.

But his planning days aren’t done. He and Trunshedda, who have a two-year-old son, are eyeing a fall wedding in Atlanta.

“She deserved a big event… I think it made her feel special and showed her how magnificent she is to me,” he said. “This morning she told me, 'I’m dreading going back to work because these past few days have been a fairytale.'