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Mike's wedding proposal on Dovedale stepping stones

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: August 06, 2014

  • Michelle Dobson says yes to Mike Buckingham's marriage proposal at Dovedale Stepping Stones.

  • The couple plan to marry abroad next year.

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THE iconic tourist haven of Dovedale has often been referred to as "romantic" but for Michelle Dobson and Mike Buckingham it will always hold a special place in their hearts.

Mike, a 30-year-old local builder, chose the stunning valley setting alongside the River Dove as the perfect spot to propose to Michelle and spent months planning the moment down to the last detail.

Michelle, a 35-year-old PA, woke up on Thursday to find a white rose next to her bed and rose petals all over the bedroom floor.

She followed a trail of petals that had been laid through her house, in Brookside Meadows, all the way to the kitchen where she found a box containing a dictaphone.

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Mike had recorded a message instructing Michelle to be ready to be whisked away to a secret location at 10.15am. The first stop on Michelle's mystery tour was at Kay and Co hairdressers in the market place to have her hair done before Mike drove her to Dovedale.

She said: "I had a feeling at this stage we might be going for a picnic and then when he pulled a small bag out of the boot I thought 'he's not got a picnic in there' so I was a bit confused. While we were walking to the spot, we were holding hands and his palms were getting sweatier and sweatier, and when we got there he said to me 'you're about to see why I'm so nervous; look up there'."

Mike had been up one of the hills alongside the river that morning and placed a large banner which read: "Michelle will you marry me" and, when Michelle glanced back at Mike, he was down on one knee holding a ring made from a Love Heart sweet, bearing the words "Marry Me." Michelle, who had joked about wanting a sweet for an engagement ring in the past, said in reply: "How can I say no, with a ring like that"?

Michelle, who met Mike through a relative just over a year ago, said: "I think I was in a bit of a trance at the time, wondering what was happening.

"The place was rammed, there were people everywhere and they must have thought we were complete nutcases."

"I'd always thought I'd want to meet somebody who can be romantic, but what Mike did was really special and thinking back on it now, I think it was lovely how much effort he went to just for me."

The spot Mike chose for his big moment was the same place where the couple had spent a romantic second date at the beginning of their relationship.

They climbed up to see the banner up close before enjoying a glass of champagne and setting off for a meal Mike had arranged.

Mike said: "I'd been planning it for weeks, and I thought it would be wonderful to do it in such a beautiful place in front of everyone at the Stepping Stones.

"It couldn't have gone any better. Once my nerves had gone and once we were up there looking down on everyone, that was the best feeling in the world.

"There's no other word for it, it's a fantastic feeling."

The pair, who each have children from previous relationships, are planning a beach wedding abroad next year.

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