Love in plane sight

Aerial banner helps pop the big question over West Chop. 

Ivan Margolin’s girlfriend, Kate, got quite the surprise on Thursday, Sept. 24, when a plane flying a banner that read “Kate, will you marry me?” traced the horizon in front of her.

According to Margolin, he and his now-fiancée had been dating for six years, but he wanted to propose when the time was perfect, and he knew the perfect spot to do it — Martha’s Vineyard.

“I wanted it to be really perfect and special for both of us. I always knew it would be something different,” Margolin said. 

Margolin and his fiancée met in New York City, and although he said they both enjoy their time there, he wanted to get away to a place that is a little more quiet, and have a unique celebration that the couple would remember forever.

“It was very romantic and beautiful at the beginning when we were in the city, but when you live there for a long time, you kind of want to get away somewhere else,” Margolin said.

Even though Margolin said there are plenty of nice places to propose in the city, he wanted to go somewhere with a stunning sunset and some peace and quiet for him and his significant other.

“Two of my friends did propose in Manhattan, with the Manhattan skyline in the background. We were thinking we might both go to Europe, but it didn’t work out,” Margolin said. He considered Paris, one of his fiancée’s favorite places, but still kept coming back to the Island of Martha’s Vineyard.

The couple were planning on traveling to the Vineyard to celebrate Kate’s birthday, and also wanted to recognize her success in getting into her dream school, Georgetown University.

“I got this idea from movies, where you see planes fly with a trail behind them and they write a message,” Margolin said. “But I figured that would be really expensive, and might need more than one plane.”

With that, Margolin thought about a time he had seen a plane carrying a banner with some sort of advertisement on it. “I thought maybe I could do this with a proposal message. So I Googled something like ‘plane banner New England,’ because I was pretty sure there wasn’t anything like that on the Island,” Margolin said.

He came across the Cape Cod Airfield website, which offered specialized banner messages and advertisements.

“I got in contact with Chris at the airfield, and he asked me for the location, what text I wanted on the banner, and sent me some examples of messages and graphics, like a heart at the end,” Margolin said. 

At first, he wanted to have the banner be flown across South Beach, but then reconsidered when he imagined his proposal under the glowing light of a Vineyard sunset. 

At first, Margolin said he heard the plane coming, and got a rush of nervous excitement. Then, he saw the plane behind Kate, and got down on one knee.

“I said absolutely everything I wanted to say to her, and asked her to marry me. She said, ‘Of course I will,’” Margolin said. “When the banner got there, I finished my speech and she saw it. The timing worked out really well, which is good because there were lots of little things that needed to happen for everything to go smoothly.”

Even though the couple didn’t see the sunset, Margolin said, “it was a really nice occasion,” and they had the area of beach where they were situated all to themselves.

“She cried a little bit, and was very surprised to see the banner,” Margolin said. “The Island is a very beautiful and unique place. I spent a year and a half working on the Island, and I am glad I get to make it a part of my life again.”

Margolin said he believes a proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he wanted everything to be perfect. “I am glad I did it on the Island, and now it is a special place for both of us, and always will be,” Margolin said.