Proposal KTLA

Happy snap ... Patrick Lu's marriage proposal photo is a global feel-good story. Photo: Patrick Lu

The glow of the street lights, the empty park, the man down on one knee: the scene is set for romance.

Now, Joel Bush and Jen Orr’s uniquely private moment in an Austin, Texas park last week has become an internet sensation, after a photographer, Patrick Lu, caught the proposal on camera.

Not wanting to interrupt, Lu uploaded the photo to Reddit, which garnered thousands of votes within hours. Uptake on the news blog Mashable, London's Daily Mail and the front page of CNN followed - and Bush’s proposal of marriage was no longer an intimate affair.

Not that the happy couple, who are now celebrating their engagement in Paris, seem to mind.

Bush told the US radio station Kiro FM: "So many things had to come together for that photograph to exist – so many little coincidences in a chain - and it’s obviously really beautiful and we’re very grateful it exists."

Bush says that the serendipitous photographer had plenty of time to get his camera out after Orr failed to turn around and notice her groom-to-be on his knee.

It wasn’t until two days later when a friend in a coffee shop told him that he had seen the picture on the aggregating site Reddit that the couple realised the world was sharing the special news.

"It’s very sweet. It’s obviously very emotionally poignant to Joel and I and to our friends and family," added Orr, who said she is "dumbfounded" but very grateful to have the moment documented.

"It’s such a sweet story and it’s important to us but it just amazes me how complete strangers - unattached to Joel or I or to the photographer, Patrick - have really taken to the image. It’s a beautiful image though."

Lu told the Daily Mail that he hadn’t been invited to the wedding but the couple have since told Kiro FM that the photographer will indeed be receiving an invitation.