Coronavirus: The couples for whom love doesn’t wait

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The coronavirus outbreak may have scuppered many wedding plans, but plenty of couples are still getting engaged. For many, lockdown has been both a bonding experience and a chance to get creative with proposals.

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The couples for whom love doesn’t wait

James French, 33, had originally planned a blockbuster marriage proposal. He was going to pop the question to his partner of six years, Becky Firth, during the holiday of a lifetime to Japan. He pictured it happening amongst the blossom.

Coronavirus put a stop to that. The holiday was cancelled.

However, the couple managed in March to complete their planned move from London back to the north of England where they had both grown up. They had planned to stay with their parents in Saltaire, near Bradford, while they looked for a new home. But since both sets of parents are vulnerable, the couple had to move in with friends instead.

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James, a product consultant for a technology firm, decided to improvise his proposal plans in these far from ideal circumstances.

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I set up a treasure hunt in the village where she grew up with riddles and poems in meaningful places,” he explains.

Since he did it on her 30th birthday, she didn’t necessarily suspect what was to come. The final clue led to a spot on the moors, where he asked the big question. She said yes.

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The tricky thing from a practical point of view was the ring, explains James.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to buy an expensive diamond one online and have it arrive by post, but of course he couldn’t go to a shop because of lockdown.

In the end, he decided to buy a ring online that he would use just for the proposal. He knew it still had to look good, and similar to the real one he would eventually get so that they could show if off in engagement photos, he says.

Becky and James
Becky and James/

In Northamptonshire, Marilyn Coles, 24, and Roland Walet, 26, were also in lockdown.

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They met on Tinder last year and have been living together for just over six months.

They hadn’t been thinking about marriage before, but coronavirus focused their minds.

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