Conventions Cosplay

Pop Culture and Popping the Question: Engaged at Dragoncon

Dragoncon, one of the largest pop culture conventions in the world, took place this past weekend. Since 1987, thousands of people have traveled to Atlanta to be immersed in a multi-genre experience of comics, science fiction, and cosplay.

However, for two lucky people, it was more than that. For Ralph Butcher and Beth Livengood, it was the perfect time to pop the question.

The Proposal
Ralph Butcher (Naruto) proposes to Beth Livengood (Hinata) poolside at the Aloft Atlanta Downtown. Photo courtesy of Hoon Lee.

“I actually had been planning this proposal for about 8 months,” said Ralph Butcher. “And the reason that it was a perfect moment was because it was very nerdy and cheesy – which we definitely are as a couple. That’s just a fact. But it was also kind of a nostalgia thing. Our first big vacation that we took together was Dragoncon.”

The two had only been together for 4 months when they decided to plan out their first con adventure. It seemed that even from the beginning, they both had no doubt they were meant to be together. Upon asking how the two originally met, I was given a story that truly did have an air of fate to it. Believe it or not, their first meeting wasn’t really a meeting at all.

“We met at a party that I never went to,” said Beth Livengood. “How, you ask? So, a friend of mine invited me to a party, but I wasn’t able to make it because of the weather. I went to sleep like a lame-o.”

“I went on the Facebook page the next day and saw that she had confirmed that she had went. I thought to myself that yeah, I think I remember her being cute and awesome, said Ralph.

Beth continued by stating, “I messaged him, because he was cute. I just asked him hey, do I actually know you? And he said yeah, you came to my party last night. So, I told him that I wasn’t there, and we laughed about it. But it was enough to get the conversation going, and we just really hit it off from there!”

True Love
The two embrace post-proposal. Photo courtesy of Hoon Lee.

The two have been inseparable ever since. As of October 10th, they will be celebrating their 4 year anniversary as a couple, and they are looking forward to a tentative wedding date of January 24, 2019.

With how much certainty the couple has had in each other since day one, it is easy to see why they gravitate toward other power couples in the wide world of nerdom. For Ralph, getting engaged in cosplay was a no brainer, but getting engaged as Naruto and Hinata was an absolute necessity.

“Naruto and Hinata represent a very important power couple in a big anime world that we both really enjoy and love,” said Ralph.

It was here that Beth interjected, “Also, I think Ralph really enjoyed the fact that Naruto had a cape. He was able to make the cape flip when he got down on one knee, and it was the most magical thing I have ever seen.”

Dragoncon Group Photo
The group poses together at Dragoncon. Photo courtesy of Hoon Lee.

Amidst all of the romance, many friends had also ventured down to Atlanta to witness the big event. After the proposal, the group headed out for drinks, merriment, and The Last Party on Alderaan, Dragoncon’s premiere dance party.

“It was insane. There were Storm Trooper helmets on scantily clad bodies…very interesting, but very fun!” Beth recalled.

Not only do the pair already have nerd themed ideas for their wedding such as a blue geode cake with a Hoth version of Han and Leia on top, but they also have advice for nerds out there still searching for love. According to Ralph, “You will find someone who will accept you for who you are, so don’t settle or try to change yourself…at the end of the day, we’re all nerds for something.”

The Big Kiss!
The big kiss! Photo courtesy of Hoon Lee.

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