Boyfriend stages fireworks and fairy lights on Farncombe Estate. Could this be the world’s most romantic wedding proposal?
Harvey Appleton, a 20-year-old student from Long Marston, wanted to stage a wedding proposal that would sweep girlfriend Jess off her unsuspecting feet. So he spent months planning the day, the setting, the fireworks, the subterfuge cameraman… and his parents hiding in the bushes. It was all to take place at sunset on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway.
“She said yes, no hesitation!” said Harvey, a first-year Media Technology student at Oxford Brookes University. “It’s amazing – we are so happy.
Harvey’s proposal began months before with an email to staff at the private Farncombe Estate, home to Farncombe Conference Centre and the wedding/party venue Foxhill Manor. He sent over detailed diagrams of his imagined Proposal Platform, complete with red carpet and fairy lights, and carefully marked the spot where he planned to pop the question. Kerry Jones, assistant estates manager, took up the top-secret project.
On Friday 9th May, Harvey took Jess up to the beauty spot which overlooks Broadway, the Vale of Evesham and the Malvern hills beyond.
“Jess thought we’d just come up to see the sunset,” said Harvey. “We even ‘bumped into’ my photographer, who pretended he was working on a project about couples in love! Jess and I had talked about getting married, but she didn’t know this was the moment until I blindfolded her and led her to the little garden on the estate.
“She just loved it. With all the lights it was magical. We walked through the archway to the garden and I went down on one knee at the pagoda by the pond. She said yes immediately.”
Harvey had thought of everything. His mother Vanessa was camouflaged in bushes nearby with a flask of tea, a set of binoculars and a flashlight. On her son’s signal, she shone her torch to John, Harvey’s dad, who was stationed higher up the Estate on firework duty. After a couple of attempts, the fireworks were finally lit – a signal that all staff on Farncombe Estate had been waiting for with baited breath. Jess had said yes.