The Backstreet Boys sweetly schemed to help a longtime fan get the proposal of her dreams at a meet-and-greet for the group’s Larger Than Life residency show at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday.
Having spent more than six months trying to get in touch with various members of the boy band’s team, 30-year-old Marine Corps vet Lance Williams finally got to take a custom-made engagement ring out of hiding and pop the question to 32-year-old psychologist Lori Meono. It all went down thanks to Lori’s BFF, Sarah Schwartz, working with a fan club rep to sneak Lance into the pre-show meet-and-greet the two besties were attending.
Hiding by the stairs until venue security head, Scotty, escorted him to the photography area, Lance prepared to ask the love of his life to marry him. However, with Lori distracted by the group, whom she has seen in concert more than 100 times, it was several seconds before she realized that he was standing right in front of her.
“Babe! What are you doing here?” she exclaimed in shock, as he got down on one knee.
The pair has been together since 2015, after serving as groomsman and bridesmaid for their close friends, though they'd surprisingly never crossed paths before. As their relationship progressed, naturally, Lance was eventually brought along to a Backstreet Boys concert. He was accompanying Lori and Sarah to another gig in Las Vegas, which prompted the perfect proposal plan.
Their epic engagement came five years after Lori was selected from fans around the globe to help present the GRAMMY-nominated band with their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Speaking on behalf of the “BSB Army” at the ceremony was the best day of her life … until Friday!
“I don’t think they even realize it, but the Backstreet Boys have literally watched me grow up,” she told ET after the dreamy moment. “I have pictures with them from when I was 11 years old. They have laid the soundtrack to my life’s most memorable moments, and this is another prime example.”
“I don’t think I would have ever in my wildest dreams imagined them being there during our engagement, but both Lance and the Backstreet Boys have taught me that things that seem to be outside the realm of possibility can still happen,” she added. “This has been the best night of my life so far and I have no idea how I got so lucky.”
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The group, who are currently working on a new album, looked thrilled to witness Lori say “Yes” -- with Brian Littrell immediately diving in for a close-up look at the vintage-inspired, etched gold diamond ring. “I was thinking, ‘Can I kiss my fiancé first!’” Lori laughs.
Kevin Richardson then told Lance, “You did good,” while AJ McLean, Howie Dorough and Nick Carter congratulated Lori, who has followed the group for more than two decades.
“I remember AJ teasing me and saying, ‘Haha, we knew before you!’ and Howie told me he was so happy for us three times,” Lori said. “I think the most memorable part was not what they said, but the looks on their faces immediately afterward. They all looked so genuinely happy for us, and that’s something I will remember forever.”
As for how they hope to incorporate the quintet -- who recently entered the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart Top 10 with their latest hit, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” -- into their big day (likely to go down next summer), the two are quietly hoping for a “miracle.”
“I know that the wedding music will be heavily centered on the boys, but I think we're also planning to send them invitations,” shared Lance, who served with the U.S. Marines and is now studying accounting, finance and business administration. “If they aren't touring at the time and the stars align, maybe a miracle will happen.”
“I’ve been more focused on the music,” Lori added. “We have 25 years of music to choose from, so their songs will definitely be the primary soundtrack to our wedding. Beyond that, I know they have a world tour coming up and they’re going to be busy for quite some time, so the odds of them making any sort of appearance are slim to none. But they do have a way of making the impossible happen … I’ve learned not to rule anything out!”
This isn’t the first time that the group have helped magical moments unfold in Las Vegas, where their hit-heavy residency is continuing with further dates in August, October and November, before their final shows in February and April next year.