CHRIS Riddell’s insanely epic and thoughtful proposal may just be the most amazing “she said 'yes'” story of them all.
The big proposal, which has been five months in the making, was finally played out last night at the Regent Multiplex, with the help of more than 40 friends and family.
Not only did Chris ask his girlfriend to marry him, his efforts were seen by hundreds in the cinema and is expected to go viral on Youtube.
It all began when the Englishman visited Ballarat on a holiday to Australia and met Claire Woodfield through mutual friends. After returning home for only a few months, Chris came back to Australia and has stayed with Claire ever since.
About five months ago, the 31-year-old decided the time was right to propose to his long term girlfriend and planned to come up with a proposal they would both never forget.
“I wanted to do it in a way that would be memorable for a long time,” he said.
“It had to be something that was good fun and totally original.”
Chris’ mate and one of the chief accomplices to his proposal stunt, Chris Sargent, started the whole plan in motion with a staged raffle at Seymour’s on Lydiard a few weeks ago, which Claire obviously won. The prize: dinner for four and four movie tickets.
Last night was the big night and at 5.30pm it all started to unfold.
Under the illusion she was going out on a date with her boyfriend and two girlfriends, Claire had dinner at Seymour’s on Lydiard after work and then headed off to watch Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie. Before the previews started Chris excused himself.
Little did Claire know, one of the previews was a video made by her boyfriend and was about to change her life forever.
The video started off with a voice-over from Chris talking about “somewhere in country Victoria, in Ballarat’s Cinema 1 is a very special girl who has captured a young man’s heart”.
Soon followed a music-video with Chris replacing Keith Urban lip syncing like “I wanna love somebody like you”. The video followed the story line of Chris travelling through country Victoria, where he forgets the ring, calls in a helicopter with the help of a friend, gets caught speeding by police and is pulled over, escapes and runs off towards the Regent Multiplex. The last clip was Chris running into the Regent and up the stairs to Cinema 1 and that’s where it went live.
With more than 40 friends and family hidden in the crowd and a secret camera planted in front of the couple, Chris got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage.
Chris spoke to The Courier before the proposal and said he couldn’t believe the day was finally here.
“The whole thing for me has been so amazing. The power of people and goodwill from everyone I’ve approached to help has been incredible and everyone has been so excited.
“I don’t know what I’m feeling right now. It’s been so busy, but I’m so looking forward to it. I cannot wait to see her reaction.”
By the way, Claire said “yes.”
Watch more from Chris’s proposal at www.thebigproposal.com.au.