Light of my life: Co Down engineer's bright idea for proposing to his girlfriend
A romantic Northern Ireland man lit up the night when he sprung a surprise proposal on his girlfriend.
Tommy Patterson used four-foot illuminated letters to spell out the message "marry me" on the helipad of the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.
The 25-year-old from Magheralin, Co Down, dropped to bended knee to propose to his stunned girlfriend Rebecca Greer (24) who he then presented with a diamond ring.
The couple, who have been together for five years, were booked into the hotel in Newcastle for the weekend and Rebecca (24), a dental nurse from Moira, had no idea of Tommy's plans.
Tommy, who insists he is not normally romantically inclined, was thrilled he was able to keep last Saturday's surprise under wraps thanks to the help of wedding planner Debbie Bradley of Elite Events NI.
He explained: "At first I wanted to spell it out in fireworks, but that was going to cost a couple of thousand pounds, so I Googled the next best thing, which was to light up letters.
"I found Debbie's company, and she was happy to bring the letters down and set them up while we were in the hotel.
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"The Slieve Donard set a table up on the helipad, with champagne. When we checked in, they gave us a free upgrade to a front room, and from the window I could see Debbie on the helipad setting it all up, and I had to try and keep Rebecca away from the window.
"We had a great dinner and we were stuffed, and Rebecca just wanted to relax with a drink, but I persuaded her to get a bit of fresh air first and walk the food off, and I steered her down towards the helipad."
When they reached the helipad, Tommy dropped to his knee and proposed.
He added: "Rebecca was a bit speechless, but I think she was very happy about it.
"Thankfully she said yes!
"I wouldn't call myself a romantic, but as an engineer I like to do things differently."
Rebecca said she had no idea, and got the surprise of her life.
She added: "He isn't usually romantic, and I would never have thought he would plan something like that.
"It was just lovely, and the letters were so high they could be seen from the hotel, but the helipad was far enough away for it to feel like it was just us on our own. It was very special."
Debbie, who is more used to organising weddings for happy couples than proposals, said: "The unique part for me was being at the start of their journey. I always meet the couples after they have got engaged.
"It was really very precious.
"People in the distance were taking photographs and shouting congratulations.
"It was beautiful, and something which they will never forget."
The happy couple are hoping to tie the knot in 2021.