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Rudolph flies in from Australia to pop the question

Shane Fallflew from Australiguise Rudolph Red-Nosed Reindeer  propose his girlfriend Rae Taylor who is student WheatCollege.   |

Shane Fallon flew in from Australia in the guise of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to propose to his girlfriend, Rae Taylor, who is a student at Wheaton College. | Natasha Korecki~Sun-Times

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Rudolph flew into Chicago from Australia this week, and lighting his path along the way was a very shiny . . . engagement ring.

On Tuesday afternoon, he landed in Daley Plaza at the Christkindlmarket, where he held out a giant furry paw and proposed to his love: Wheaton College senior Rae Taylor.

It was really Shane Fallon inside that Rudolph costume. He fumbled the ring for a moment and struggled to get down on one knee in the awkward getup. A friend took off the top of the reindeer suit so he could reveal the big surprise.

“She thought I was in Australia,” said Fallon as his stunned bride-to-be wiped away tears. The two hugged and locked lips as shoppers, merchants and passersby applauded and cheered.

The two Aussies met in Perth, Australia, about six months before Taylor was to leave to study in the United States. For about four years, they carried on a long-distance relationship, seeing each other on breaks. Fallon had been in Australia just days before where he secured a diamond ring that belonged to Taylor’s great grandmother.

Moments before springing the question, Taylor and friends posed for a photo with the fully costumed Rudolph in front of the downtown Christmas tree.

Her friends, Aaron and Jodi Hoekstra and Taylor’s roommate Alaina Berg, were in on the plot.

Taylor was growing a bit nervous as the reindeer flung an arm around her and touched her on the head.

“She just thought it was a random reindeer,” Aaron Hoekstra said.

That’s when he popped the question. And for Taylor and Fallon, the rest of the story will no doubt go down in history.

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