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Former Pictou County woman opts for yes when boyfriend proposes with News poll

Justin Taylor and Nicole Villeneuve are pictured in front of The News office in New Glasgow. Villeneuve has long been a fan of The News polls and Taylor pulled some strings to use one to propose to her.
Justin Taylor and Nicole Villeneuve are pictured in front of The News office in New Glasgow. Villeneuve has long been a fan of The News polls and Taylor pulled some strings to use one to propose to her. - Submitted

NEW GLASGOW, N.S. - “Will you marry me?”

These four words are often a common denominator in most proposals.

But, how the question is asked is usually as unique as the couple. Some choose to write it in the sky, others whisper it over a candlelit dinner.

Justin Taylor used a poll on The News website.

Taylor and his girlfriend Nicole Villeneuve, who is originally from Pictou County and now lives in Toronto, have been dating for several years and, like many couples, began discussing the topic of marriage and ever-after with each other.

Taylor wanted a unique way to officially pop the question. It was then he remembered his girlfriend’s love for online polls The News used to publish.

“Nicole had always loved sharing the New Glasgow News polls with all of our friends (I'm certain her Facebook banner was one about pumpkins for years) and I thought it would be a fun way to have our ‘engagement’ feel a little more significant and to start the party planning on the right foot.”

But there was a problem: the polls had been discontinued.

So he took a shot in the dark and sent an email to The News asking if, for one day, the poll could be returned to allow him to ask the question.

Staff with SaltWire Network, which The News is part of, went to work to make it happen, coding a special page for the website and then, at a time chosen by Taylor, sent a tweet to Nicole about the poll returning with a link to the proposal poll.

“When she first saw the tweet about the polls ‘being back’ she turned to me and screamed, ‘I just got sent the greatest tweet of my life!’ which made me extremely nervous,” Taylor said. “I was legitimately afraid that her enthusiasm for the engagement would be overshadowed by her crushing disappointment that the polls were not, in fact, back. Fortunately, I think excitement won out (I hope).”

When Villeneuve clicked the link, she admits it took a second to realize what was happening.

“The honest answer is that, clicking a link and seeing my name on a website, I thought I'd been hacked,” she said. “It didn't take long to figure out what was really going on, and I made Justin tell me the whole story as I laughed till I cried.”

She said yes and the pair celebrated with Pizza Delight garlic fingers for an East Coast flavour.

Villeneuve explained afterward how her love of The News polls began.

“My brother and I had both moved out of Pictou County for work and school, respectively, years prior. He stayed up-to-date on local news better than I did, and started sending me screenshots of the polls in August 2012 (or at least, that's as early as I can trace),” she said. “The questions were simple – about the weather or Remembrance Day poppies or people's nicknames – and at least one of the poll options always sounded annoyed or impatient at the question. They were a little strange and very sweet, and so, so funny.”

She said she was devastated when The News switched web platforms and the polls were discontinued.

“Frankly, I'm still in denial,” she said.

The pair will be getting married on July 7 and Taylor has a wedding gift idea.

“The perfect wedding gift would be if the polls became a permanent fixture again.”

This is the poll that was built by SaltWire staff for Justin Taylor to propose to his girlfriend with.
This is the poll that was built by SaltWire staff for Justin Taylor to propose to his girlfriend with.

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