By Christine Hayes, Globe Correspondent
The holiday season is a popular time for proposals. But Taryn Coster had no idea her boyfriend, Phil Rich, would get down on a knee at the Boston Common tree-lighting ceremony to ask her to marry him. And in the midst of the chaotic holiday cheer -- surrounded by families, college students, vendors and performers -- she said, "Yes."Moments later, they were both on their cell phones, telling their friends and family the good news.
"You're the second person I told!" Coster said to a loved one with a grin, a diamond ring sparkling on her left hand.
Rich and Coster met seven years ago when both were students at Boston University. Rich, 25 of North Reading, is an investment banker. Coster, 25, originally from Madison, Conn., and now a Brookline resident, works in research at the Boston Children's Hospital.
Though the two have been dating for awhile, Coster said she was completely surprised by the proposal. She said it probably took her a few minutes to actually say "yes" because she couldn't believe what was happening.
“I’m in shock," she said. "I thought it would be another eight years. That's what he told me."