Proposal of the Year

Here is the story of how my Mum’s boyfriend (Lee) proposed to my Mum and how they ended up in the Newspaper. 

It all started on a cold November evening and I had a phone call from Lee. I was sat at my dining room table in Leeds and the first thing he said was ‘are you stood at the top of any stairs’ which I replied ‘no..’ 

‘I’m going to propose to your mum’ 

I screamed and jumped up, I was like a puppy being taken for a walk or a fat kid that had just been given cake. I was so excited. Immediately he told me his plan. 

They are going to Paris this March for a holiday, so he wanted to make her believe that’s where it was going to happen. She was wrong. His plan was to propose half way through an escape room. Myself and Lee started planning. First things first we found an escape room that allowed seven of us to take part. And we made sure myself, Lee, my mum (Cheryl), my brother (mark), his wife (izzy), Lee’s son (Daryl) and his partner (Gemma) were all free for the occasion. 

When we had everyone’s go ahead, we booked the room for the 21st January. The next part of the plan involved me telling my mum I had booked an escape room for us all to enjoy. She was scheduled to have an operation on February 1st so I used the excuse of ‘getting everyone together before you go into hospital’. She totally bought it. So everything was booked, the escape room knew and everyone was going to travel to Leeds to see the plan unfold.

The next stage was finding something we could do half way through an escape room to end up with Lee proposing. We racked our brains and everything was either too complicated or just impossible to do in an escape room. Before this time, I had never talked to Lee on the phone so much in my life. 

Myself and Lee eventually formed a plan.

Right here goes… 

(this plan wouldn’t have worked anywhere else other than an escape room because it was still quite complicated, but totally fitted in with other puzzles) 

I got seven small envelopes and labelled them 1 to 7 (the amount of people in the room) I then made a ‘rules’ sheet which looked like this…


The 7 envelopes and the rules sheet went in one big envelope. Lee had envelope one and mum had envelope two because they were the oldest. When Lee opened his the piece of paper inside, it read ‘question master’. When mum opened her envelope it read ‘answerer of questions’. 

This worked really well in the escape room because beforehand she clearly exclaimed she did not want to answer any questions because she didn’t think she was clever enough and she thought she would let the whole team down. Her face when she got ‘answerer of questions’ was priceless. But she thought it was part of the escape room. 

The plan was then for the rest of us to get in age order. Daryl, Gemma, Izzy, Mark then myself. This is were we opened our envelopes. There was two pieces of paper in our envelopes. The first pieces we pulled out, all together read ‘envelope two yes or no?’ Straight away my mum was like ‘no! I don’t want to be the answerer of questions’.  

The second pieces of paper in our envelopes read ‘Cheryl will you marry me?’ It looked like this..

My next concern was ‘how will everyone know which piece of paper to pull out first?’ This is were I was a genius. I cut out little green tabs and little pink tabs and stuck green ones to the first pieces of paper and pink ones to the second. Like this:

I then proceeded to make a group chat with everyone but mum in it to go ‘GREEN FIRST’ a thousand times before the day so they definitely knew. 

I took the big envelope with everything inside to the escape room the morning of the proposal. The staff were giddy and excited and they agreed to hide it in the room. We were all uber excited and mum didn’t have a clue. 

Well what can I say. It worked amazingly well. Even when the word ‘cheryl’ came out of an envelope she still had no idea! While we were all holding up the words, Lee got on one knee. She was gobsmacked, crying and laughing and ‘omg I never knew!’ The staff was so so good. They ran in and pulled party poppers and then ran back out. We were all full of excitement, until the staff had to remind us that we had to still escape from the room. Mum was just stood there gawping like a fish, we escaped for her, with 4 minutes to spare!

They gave us complimentary champagne and popcorn and it was such a brilliant day. 

They took photos and interviewed us to go in the paper because Cheryl and Lee were the first people to get engaged in an escape room! 

Thank you for a great day ‘The Great Escape Game Leeds’. (I would recommend anyone to go with these for a brilliant activity, it was so so fun!) 

10/10 awarded for myself and Lee for effort and ingenuity!

‘Honour is a balancing act and only the heart can strike that balance’ 

The newspaper post:


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