As marriage proposals go, Paul Saleh pulled out all the stops to propose to his girlfriend on a sunny summer’s day in Caldecott Park.
With the help of Impact Dance, Paul prosed to girlfriend Lucy Outhwaite as part of a flashmob in the middle of Caledott Park in Rugby on Sunday.
Paul, 28, who works at Virgin Active in Rugby, said: “I’m just in shock. It was so lovely. I’m so happy.”
Paul and Lucy, 23, met in Hull where they both originally lived before moving down to the midlands.
They have been together for four and a half years and live together in Lutterworth.
Paul has been secretly planning his proposal to Lucy for the last three months with the help of Impact Dance choreographer Becky Smith.
He said: “I had the idea of the flashmob and I knew Becky because she’s a member at Virgin Active where I work.
“I approached her and asked if she could help me.
“I wanted an archway that I could walk down. I was looking at different places to do it.
“Caldecott Park is fantastic. It’s so lovely and with the bandstand it gave me the archway.
“I knew that was the place to go.”
Paul, Becky and Impact Dance have spent the last few weeks rehearsing the routine to the Bruno Mars track - Marry You - in preparation for the big day on Sunday.
Paul said: “Lucy started painting her nails just before we were due to go out and I started panicking. I had to think of a way to get her out. I told her a friend had text and we were going to meet them in a park and have some lunch. She started asking questions. We got to Rugby an hour early so I had to stall her. My heart was coming out my chest. It was so nerve wracking.
“She knew there was something going on but she didn’t have a clue what.”
Lucy’s first surprise in Caldecott Park was seeing her parents and Paul’s family.
Paul nodded to Becky and the music and dancing began.
He said: “I started filming it on my phone then I gave the phone to her dad and joined in.
“A lot of people didn’t realise what was going on. It was my t-shirt that I changed into that gave it away at the end which said ‘just say I do’.
“I can’t remember what I said but she was crying and a few people in the crowd were crying.
“It was fantastic. It was a really good atmosphere.”
Paul and Lucy went back to the Old Tool Shed Cafe where there was a buffet to say thank you to the dancers. Cafe staff had also made the couple a celebratory ice cream cake.
Hayley James, owner of Impact Dance based in Mill Road, said that around 35 to 40 dancers of all different ages took part in the flashmob.
She said: “There were lots of people in the park so it made a really big impact. They are a really lovely couple.
“There was a not a dry eye in the park. It was very emotional. It was lovely to see it all come together and work.”
Choreographer Becky said: “I’m so proud of everyone and so honoured to be asked to choreograph this surprise flashmob.”
Paul said the last few days had been ‘very surreal’ and ‘overwhelming’.
He added: “We’re going to go on holiday in a couple of weeks time and let it all sink and then we can start planning the wedding when we get back.”
He thanked Becky from Impact Dance for arranging all the dancers and the choreography, Trevor Hoyte at Caldecott Park and to his future wife for making him the ‘luckiest man in the world’.
**To view the video of the flashmob proposal link on the blue text link**