An attempted bank heist is not the usual setting for romance to blossom, but nobody told Gary Heading who stole the heart of his girlfriend by going down on one knee in an escape room in Peterborough.
Gary left Serena Moden in tears with his unexpected proposal as the couple took part in a game at Escape (Peterborough), Church Walk, last week.
The magic moment happened when accounts manager Serena (28) opened up a filing cabinet to be met with an engagement ring, a bottle of champagne and a sign asking her to marry Gary, who was waiting behind her to drop on one knee.
General builder Gary (30) said: “I just wanted to do something a little bit different. We both enjoy doing the escape rooms and she would not really have guessed she would be proposed to there.
“I spoke to Ryan from Escape Peterborough at the end of October/November last year and ran the idea by him to see if they have done it before. I wanted it to be the first one there.
“We just bounced a couple of ideas across each other and they were a great help.
“The ring was put in one of the filing cabinet doors. There was a light-up box inside which said ‘will you marry me?’ on it as well as a bottle of champagne and the ring.
“As Serena opened the filing cabinet I crept up behind her and got down on one knee. She got a bit of a shock!
“I asked her in person and she said yes. She was a little bit teary. We then carried on playing the last minute and a half.”
Serena said: “I was more than a bit shocked. It was well thought out and put together.
“I just remember thinking it can’t be real - I was just so stunned. I never imagined it would happen that way.
“It was a bit overwhelming. I just wanted to let my family and friends know!”
The couple from Mepal got together through dating app Tinder. Their engagement took place on their second anniversary while playing The Bank Job - a game which sees you given an hour to negotiate the security systems inside a room and escape with as much money as possible.
Everything was going to plan for Gary who had been given a key beforehand to open a safety deposit box which had a clue inside. This would lead Serena to the filing cabinet where her engagement ring was waiting.
But unfortunately for Gary, he also needed a code to open the safety deposit box and, although he knew what it was beforehand, he managed to forget it, a problem which could have scuppered his proposal. He said: “I completely forgot what the code was but luckily Ryan was looking in on the game and gave me a hint.”
The couple are planning to marry next year, but an escape room themed wedding is not on the cards.
Gary added: “We did come up with it as an idea but it may be a bit too far-fetched.”