Alex Goldschmidt admits that when he dashed off an email to his friend Taylor Swift to share his news about planning to get engaged, he didn’t expect much in the way of a reply, even though they had known each other casually for a few years. She’s only one of the most popular music stars in the world. Maybe she’d reply to his email? Or mail a handwritten card? Or at most, send a nice flower arrangement.
But let’s let Goldschmidt (CGS’06, COM’08) explain what led to the surprise of all surprises at a party late February 2019 in Los Angeles to celebrate his engagement to his partner, 2008 Emerson College alum Ross Girard:
“We’d been dating for three years; marriage was something we’ve known for a bit. We had already bought a house. I decided in January I wanted to propose.”
He told his friend Alex Moore (COM’08), who worked in event planning and had restaurant connections, about his plans to propose and then throw a surprise engagement party.
“We started the planning process. One thing I wanted to do was just thank Taylor for the years of advice she has given me and for writing the song ‘King of My Heart’ that I was listening to when I decided not to wait any longer to propose. Ross was the one. I was content focusing on my career and just being happy and letting love find me instead of finding it.”
Goldschmidt, now 30, had met the Grammy-winning singer a few years earlier, and they’d stayed in touch. They reconnected while he was working on the NBC show The Voice through his job doing social media for TV shows at Digital Media Management in LA.
“I met Taylor first backstage at her concert, but that was nothing. I also met her at an Ed Sheeran concert in New York. We took photos. Ed had invited me backstage at the concert, and Taylor was there as a friend and a fan. He asked if I wanted to meet her. The photos sort of went viral within her fan community, of Taylor and Ed together.”
Not long after that, Goldschmidt heard from Swift’s people about a secret project she was working on.
“She reached out and asked me to come to LA to be in a music video for ‘Shake It Off.’ A secret project. I flew out to LA for the video. And we happened to stay in touch through social media. She’s responded to tweets of mine; we’ve kept in touch through the years.”
Even though Goldschmidt and Girard both attended college in Boston at the same time, they did not meet then. They met in LA through a mutual friend and the dating website Tinder.
“I studied PR at BU in COM. BU ended up being the best option for me. I lived in Myles Standish my first year, then off campus. I was in the Treblemakers, I did a cappella. I loved being at BU—Boston was a great place to go to school, to find myself, and find friends. I did an internship at Schneider Associates, and at Allied Integrated Media. I also worked at Sweet Cupcakes.”
So back to Taylor Swift. Goldschmidt sent the email to her, expecting nothing in return. But…
“Two weeks later I got a call from her team. Taylor read my email and had the idea to perform ‘King of My Heart’ acoustic at my party. I just waited on logistics, scheduling—it was all her idea. I started planning with friends. None of them knew about Taylor except my best friends. I wanted all of our family to be there. I realized it needed to be our official engagement party, just do the whole damn thing.”
And yes, he pretty much reacted to that phone call the way you or I would.
“I had to pull over my car, I had to pull over—I was not able to breathe.”
Of course, Taylor Swift’s schedule is not so easy to nail down, but eventually it came together.
“I got a call saying Taylor is confirmed, we’d figure out the time and scenarios.”
Goldschmidt asked a friend of Girard’s to invite him on a hike on the big day, something the two of them did all the time. And she invited Goldschmidt, as well, so Girard wouldn’t get suspicious. They hiked up to Wisdom Tree on Cahuenga Peak in Los Angeles, where Goldschmidt and Girard had hiked on their second date.
“At the top, I got down on one knee. And he said yes! We came down from the hike, I told him I wanted to have a moment to ourselves before we told people. I told him we were going to lunch. We went home to get ready. I managed to find ways to look a little matchy, a little cute. We walked in and he was completely shocked seeing all of his friends there, and his family was a third surprise.”
Then came the last surprise.
“Taylor came about 15 minutes into the party. She came to the back kitchen. She asked how I was feeling. I showed her a photo from the proposal, and I went out and set up the surprise. It was insane watching the sea of faces, jaws dropped, people crying.”
As the five-minute video of the moment shows (it’s been viewed more than 85,000 times, and counting), he’s not kidding. By the time Swift had serenaded the couple with “King of My Heart,” hearts had melted.
“Throughout our friendship, she’s been one of the nicest people on this planet. An angel who radiates happiness and joy—it seeps out of her pores. In my wildest dreams, I figured maybe she’d send a flower arrangement. Now, we have this!”