When Kansas meteorologist Tom Bedard proposed to his girlfriend, fellow meteorologist Raya Maday, he didn’t let anything rain on their parade.
However, the couple did get photobombed by a tornado during the big moment ― which made for a perfect storm and a fitting picture.
Bedard first met Maday at an annual American Meteorological Society event in New Orleans in 2016, and eventually the two became co-workers for AccuWeather in Wichita, Kansas.
“We’ve always been pretty heavily connected in the weather community,” Maday told AccuWeather. “Even from the day we met.”
Bedard knew for months that he wanted to marry Maday, but wanted to pop the question at the right moment. For this weather guy, that meant waiting until there was a tornado ― since neither he or Maday had seen one in their lives.
“I had known that this was the year I had wanted to propose and was just trying to find the right scenario for it,” Bedard told The Wichita Eagle. “Being that she and I still hadn’t seen a tornado and there was a whole lot of talk earlier in the season about it being a good tornado season, it seemed like the best kind of circumstance.”
Bedard got his chance on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend when the couple went storm-chasing with some friends who, unbeknownst to Raday, were aware of his proposal plans.
“We were ready for just about every circumstance,” Bedard told AccuWeather. “We had already driven so far. I was already anxious about taking us all the way to southeast Colorado on a slight-risk day and coming back without putting a ring on her finger ... I thought ‘Oh God, no, we’re going to do all this travel for nothing.’”
But Maday ended up finding the perfect spot for the proposal she didn’t know was happening.
“She’s incredible. She knew what she was doing and she and Rich (the friend who was there to be the videographer) put us in the right spot. We stuck around and eventually got a touchdown at three or four o’clock.” Bedard said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.”
So when the tornado touched down, so did Bedard’s left knee.
“My legs were shaking more than they had ever before in my life,” he admitted to InsideEdition.
“I have never seen you so nervous — ever!” Maday responded.
Although Maday said yes to the proposal, she is still processing it.
“In no measure would I ever expect something like this to happen. Like, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if Tom proposed in front of our first tornado.’ Not gonna happen. Never gonna happen. But it somehow happened,” she told AccuWeather. “It was just so absolutely unexpected.”