Emily says yes to big screen romance

The happy couple after the proposal
The happy couple after the proposal
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A couple played the starring role in their own Hollywood romance when they got engaged thanks to the big screen

Gareth Stracey popped the question to girlfriend of 10 years Emily Stenceley when they visited the Moonlight Drive In Cinema in Hampton.

Gareth arranged for the words ‘Will You Marry Me’ to appear on the big screen before the showing of Emily’s favourite film, Love Actually - and thankfully for Gareth, she said ‘yes’.

However, rather than just the words, Gareth organised for a montage of pictures of the couple - who are both aged 26 - together to be shown on the screen, and Emily said she had been ‘embarrassed’ by the gesture.

She said: “It was very unexpected - I have been waiting about 10 years for it- but it was lovely.

“He booked for us to go - he is quite a laid back person so I did not expect it.

“About a week before he made sure I had nothing on that night, so we could go.
“We got in, and there were quite a few cars already there. Before they played the movie, some people came up to us and said we could move to the front and centre because our car was quite low.

“I didn’t think anything of it. Then at the start, ‘Emily’ came up on the big screen. I thought it was an advert at first - and then a lot of awful pictures of us came up - and they were getting bigger. It was very embarrassing. I looked at him and he was smiling, and he asked the question. I said ‘yeah, of course.’ It didn’t really sink in.

“I think I missed the first part of the film because I was getting messages from everyone about it. Some of my friends were also at the screening so they saw it and were texting me.”

The couple, from March are now starting to make plans for their wedding - although they have not set a date as yet.

Gareth said: “We have been together since we went to Wisbech College together 10 years ago.

“After we decided to go to the cinema, I got in touch to see what we could do. They did the work with the photographs for us. They were really good at helping set it all up.

“She had no idea what I was planning - I think she was very surprised I did something like this.

“When the words appeared on the screen, I said ‘will you marry me?’

“It saved me having to get down on one knee.”

Ben Stonehouse, Founder of Moonlight Drive-in Cinema, said: “Moonlight Drive-in Cinema was delighted to play a part in Gareth and Emily’s engagement story. Congratulations to the happy couple; we wish you a long and happy future together.”

The Moonlight Drive In Cinema will return to Peterborough in February.

More details will be announced tomorrow at www.moonlightcinema.com/peterborough/