ALGOA FM journalist and part-time presenter Doreen Loubser was the only one taken by surprise when her boyfriend Hannes Marais proposed to her earlier this month.
The proposal, which was meant to be a surprise and private, was anything but, as crowds at The Boardwalk gathered around, curious to see what was behind the spectacle of a romantically lit-up fountain and a bed of flowers at the entrance of Algoa FM earlier this month.
“Three months into our relationship we started talking about marriage; we weren’t getting any younger and I was sure I wanted to marry her shortly after we met,” Hannes said. “I also knew she wanted the proposal to be a surprise but also private.”
Hannes is a broker at Halcyon but he still found the time to prepare something special for Doreen.
In preparation for the engagement, Hannes roped in Doreen’s colleagues at Algoa FM, who helped him prepare for the big night on July 3.
“Somebody organised with the casino centre management to have the waterfront set up for a romantic background and her boss asked her to fill in for a colleague,” Hannes said.
The 30-something couple met through friends last year and although Doreen hoped her boyfriend of almost 11 months would one day pop the question she didn’t know that day would be July 3.
“He knew it long before I did … the only mystery was the where, how and the when,” she said. “On Thursday the third I was asked to stand in for Kaycee Rossouw on air for the 7-10pm show. When the show ended, I was on my way home when I saw a commotion outside the Algoa FM entrance. I was completely surprised as Hannes planned everything behind my back without me knowing a thing!”
Doreen, who had been out of the dating game for about six years when she met her beau, told of how their fairytale relationship began: “We met on August 16 through mutual friends. I jokingly told my friends at dinner that it’s time I put myself ‘out there’ again and they suggested that I meet their friend.”
Within minutes her friends had invited Hannes to join their table “and exactly one week later he officially asked me to be his girlfriend”.
The Walmer couple are from the Free State, and lived on the same street while growing up, even going to the same primary school.
“We are both from Riebeeckstad [a suburb in Welkom] and yet never met each other before,” Doreen said.
With a “non-traditional and very different” theme in mind the pair plan to celebrate their big day on the day of love next year, with the wedding planned for February 14 2015.
“That way Valentine’s Day will forever be doublefold special,” Hannes said. – Balisa Ntloko