Local sisters Laura Audsley, 22, and sister Natalie, 23, went along to the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, on the pretext of a seeing a romantic fantasy film as a girly night out.
It had been paid for by their apologetic boyfriends who insisted they were working and could not celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.
But unbeknown to farmer’s daughter Laura, from Stainton near Endmoor, the darkened screen two was actually filled with 60 family and friends posing as cinemagoers. Her sister was also in on the act.
Above them in the projectionist room was Laura's businessman boyfriend, David Hall, waiting for his moment to appear with a ring and roses.
ABOVE: David's proposal video
David, 34, who runs The Punchbowl pub at Barrow’s Green, had spent six months covertly planning the surprise to the last detail. It included working contacting dozens of Laura’s family and friends and secretly asking her father for her hand in marriage in advance.
So as former Dallam School pupil, Laura, settled down to watch what she thought was newly-released Hollywood movie, Beautiful Creatures, she found it was a short video from David, spelling out his feelings for her using Scrabble tiles, among others to get his message across.
David, from Oxenholme, had made the film of their time together - celebrating their 13 months and 13 days as a couple and featuring a song from the film The Wedding Singer, called Grow Old With You.
His film finished with the screen house lights going up and David appearing and getting down on bended knee.
As a tearful Laura said: ‘Yes! I love you so much,’ emotional family members applauded and burst into tears before heading off for a surprise engagement party David had arranged at the Brewery’s Warehouse Cafe.
Thoughtful to the end, David had even managed to swap Laura’s work shift the next day so she did not have to worry about having Champagne.
Speaking this week, Laura whose family farm at Stainton, said: “I’m still in shock! I knew something was going on at the cinema because when I sat down I started recognising people’s heads and saw David’s hands on the film! “I thought: ‘Hang on, this isn’t Beautiful Creatures!’ "But it was amazing. I just felt so lucky to have the proposal for me. I felt like the luckiest girl ever - he’s so thoughtful. I don’t often cry but every time I see the film, I can’t stop.”
Landlord David Hall, 34, had been considering the proposal since Laura’s birthday last October.
The former Queen Katherine School pupil said: “I just wanted to make her feel special. She’s made me feel unbelievably lucky since the day I met her. I knew she was ‘The One’ right from the start."
"I knew if I put everything I wanted to say on film I could do it without being too nervous.”
The pair met at The Punchbowl which David rejuvenated over three years ago and were matchmaked by the wife of a regular who knew busy businessman David was looking for love, and that local girl Laura was single.
David admitted: “I’m a workaholic and Laura makes me want to do other stuff as well apart from workand taught me that you don’t have to work all the time.”
Laura, added: “I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. I can’t believe how well everybody did, keeping it all quiet. A lot of people I work with and don’t work with all knew! “ David was keen to thank The Brewery’s Chris Ashton, of Kendal, and second chef at The Punchbowl, Sam McGarrity of Kendal, who played important roles in springing the surprise.
Unusually, David explained how the number 13 had been lucky for him and the business and that his grandmother says that should he and Laura go on to have children, they will be the 13th great-grandchild in the family.
Which explains why he presented Laura with 13 pink roses and 13 red roses.
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