Starbucks Baristas Help with a Celebrity Engagement

Celebrities in Starbucks? Happens all the time. A celebrity wedding proposal? That's uncommon, but one happened last month and Starbucks partners (employees) share how they helped with the special moment for Daniel Franzese and his partner.

Mercedes Wiegel knew Joey as a regular at the Starbucks in North Hollywood where she’s a shift supervisor. She first spoke with Danny over the phone when he contacted her about a surprise wedding proposal he wanted to arrange in the store

Danny, Wiegel has now learned, is Daniel Franzese, widely known for his portrayal of Damian, a scene-stealing character from the 2004 film “Mean Girls,” which grossed $129 million worldwide and has become something of a cult classic.

Franzese first spoke with the 10-year Starbucks partner (employee) the night before he planned to pop the question to Joseph Bradley Phillips, whom he’d met for the first time at the North Hollywood Starbucks.

“He needed an opportunity to get the ring to Joey,” Wiegel said. “The idea was to introduce Joey to a new drink and then have the ring in an empty cup. I said, ‘No problem at all. I can totally do that.’”

After the call ended, Acacia Cornley-Blanchard, another shift supervisor at the store, texted to make sure Wiegel had connected with Franzese, letting her know about his role in “Mean Girls” and sending along a picture of the actor.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s Damian!’” Wiegel said. “I was completely blown away.”

The next day, Wiegel slipped into a position behind the bar to take the couple’s order. Franzese handed off the ring when Phillips stepped away to purchase a newspaper.

“I put it in a short cup and then I finished their order like nothing was different,” she said. “Joey was completely surprised when I handed off his iced coffee with “Mr. & Mr. Franzese” written on the cup. He laughed and thought it was cute. And then I went a step further and said, ‘Hey, Joey, try this new drink. I think you’re going to like it.’ He grabbed it and said, ‘What is this?’ He wiggled it because it was really light. All that was in it was the ring.”

At that point, Franzese dropped to one knee and proposed to the visibly stunned Phillips as customers and staff cheered the couple on.

He said yes.

Since the video above was posted on YouTube, Wiegel has heard from friends who spotted her in her brief but vital supporting role.

“I honestly didn’t know it was going to go that viral,” she said. “It was an amazing experience for the store to be involved in.”

Photo and video credit: Gavin White

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