PORT Elizabeth pet shop owner Gareth Evans took to the skies to propose to the love of his life, special needs teacher Christine Hitchens. On Christmas Eve last year, Gareth, 27, took Christine, 26, for a champagne breakfast at the Bayside Pantry and surprised her with her first helicopter ride.
The Lorraine couple flew above the bay for a while taking in the scenery below.
It was not long after the two flew over Sardinia Bay beach when Christine and Gareth looked down and spotted a pod of dolphins.
“I was very excited, and as I looked down on the sand dunes, I saw a huge red sign. At first I thought it was a ‘Merry Christmas’ sign because of the time of the year and the red writing, but when we flew close it was enough for me to see the words clearly,” Hitchens said.
Imagine her surprise when she read the words: ‘Marry Me’, printed on a banner held up by a group of their friends.
“I turned to Gareth who was holding an opened jewellery box with a beautiful diamond ring.
“I said YES and excitedly waved my hand with the new shiny ring on my finger at my friends who were jumping up and down below us.
“When the helicopter landed, Gareth took the ring off my finger and went down on one knee and proposed again because he knew I love the sentiment of proposing on one knee, which he was unable to do in the helicopter. He got another yes!”
The couple popped champagne and spent the rest of the day celebrating with loved ones who used the imaginative “Marry Me” sign as a beach table cloth.
Christine, who is a teacher at Quest School for Learners with Autism, met Pet Boutique owner, Gareth, when she was 19. Gareth helped her at the Bridge Pet Shop when she acquired a puppy.
“I knew he was the one after we had been dating a few months when he sent me on a scavenger hunt with gifts hidden around the house ending with shoes hidden in the microwave and a note saying: ‘I love you’ after I’d had a bad day.”
With Christmas being Christine’s favourite time of the year, the wedding is set for December 28. “We’re planning our wedding at African Sky’s. It’s perfect for the theme – an all white wedding with a bit of Christmas.” Christine said excitedly.
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