WACO, Texas – For aspiring model Haley Rohde, it’s “Texas everything."
She loves Whataburger, the Dallas Cowboys and — especially — Dr Pepper.
So it only made sense for Brad Lytle to pop the question at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco.
“She loved it,” said Lytle, who lives in New Braunfels while his soon-to-be-bride lives in Austin. “She was completely caught off guard.”
Lytle asked Rohde to marry him while they stopped near the museum’s gift shop after their tour on Jan. 30.
A graphic designer in his past life, Lytle created a label that asked “Marry Me?” with the numbers of the special day, and placed it on a vintage Dr Pepper bottle.
When he presented it to her, Rohde thought it was a joke, Lytle said.
Then he got down on one knee, amid museum employees who knew the plan all along.
“There were so many of them peeking around the corner, waiting,” Lytle said, laughing as he recalled the joyful moment.
While the engagement lasted just under one minute, planning took a few weeks with the help of his sister, Sam.
The siblings initially told Rohde that they were going have a photoshoot in downtown Waco, considering she’s an aspiring model and makeup artist.
And to add to the excitement, Lytle wanted it to land on his birthday.
“It turned out really well,” he said.
After all, Dr Pepper is Rohde’s "thing.”
“She’s all about Texas. It’s Texas everything.”
Rohde’s passion for the soda, which is believed to be created by Charles Alderton in Waco in 1885, is also based on a Dr Pepper scholarship her mother won. Her mother was able to pass the scholarship down to Rohde, who used it while attending Texas State University in San Marcos.
Lytle and Rohde’s Texas love story began about two years ago when they met as co-workers at a Spec’s in New Braunfels.
It happened by chance; she applied to a Spec’s in Austin, interviewed in San Marcos, but was placed at the New Braunfels location, where Lytle is now a manager.
They have been dating for more than a year.
“We laugh about it all the time. It was meant to be," he said.