She said yes - and planning for the big day is under way

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Friends and family released balloons on Portsdown Hill on what would have been Katie's 15th birthday on February 4

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It was our second formal night on board Oriana as we slowly cruised from Lisbon to Bilbao. We were in our cabin in all our finery, Sarah looking stunning in an electric blue gown and myself very Bond-esque in my tuxedo.

Just as we were about to leave for dinner, Sarah asked: ‘What jewellery should I wear tonight?’

This was my cue.

‘How about this?’ I said and, from my inside suit pocket, produced a small box containing a diamond ring.

As she opened it to reveal the sparkler, she looked confused and asked what is was!

I got down on one knee, informed her that it was an engagement ring and asked her to marry me.

My hands were shaking as I placed the ring on her finger, but there was no answer.

Surely not a rebuff off the coast of Portugal on a beautiful cruise ship? This was certainly not the plan!

It took a while for the realisation of what was happening to sink in. She had no idea that I had this planned, you see.

Thankfully a quivering, whispered ‘yes’ came from her lips. I love it when a plan comes together.

But if she had looked in the glove compartment of my car for up to 10 days prior to sailing from Southampton, she would have ruined the surprise!

It was the only place I could think to hide it. I’m useless at keeping secrets and my face is normally easier to read than a Mr Men book.

The planning for the big day has already started. Venues have been looked at, then discarded. We want something personal to us, something intimate, something memorable and something cheap!

My suggestion of on board the Gosport Ferry cruising around the Solent with a Queen tribute act went down like a razorblade sandwich.

So now it begins. Wedding shows, bridal magazines popping through the door and visits to possible venues with Sarah’s friends getting all excited about a hen weekend.

Remember the article I wrote last month about my cousin’s wedding? Well now it’s my turn. But that bar seems a long way off!