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Couple's romantic proposal ends in complete disaster when they pop into M&S to buy sandwich

Irish Mirror logo Irish Mirror 22/12/2021 Jessica Taylor

A bride-to-be was devastated when the engagement ring she'd been given just two days earlier flew off her finger from the top of a multi-storey car park.

Lydia Wagstaff, 26, watched helplessly as the rock given to her by boyfriend Henry Sleight fell into a gutter.

After five years together, firefighter Henry, 29, popped the question on a trip to the Lake District while the pair were out hiking.

But on the way home, the couple stopped off to pick up some sarnies from M&S in Lancaster, when Lydia spotted some pollen on her shoulder - from the flowers her beau had bought her, The Mirror reports.

As she brushed it off, the vintage diamond flew into the air and the pair watched in horror as it fell several storeys.

Luckily, a guardian angel was watching over the pair in the form of a car park attendant - who rushed to their aid and managed to fish out the ring with a pole and some sellotape.

“I’m only just able to start laughing about it,” said Lydia.

“It really put a dampener on everything, as we had been on such a high. My biggest advice to newly engaged couples now is not to wear a ring if it’s too big.”

Lydia and Henry's story might not be as uncommon as it sounds - with research from wedding website Hitched suggesting one in five couples wish they could change their engagement story.

Despite the hiccup, Lydia, 26, can't wait to marry Henry, who she says is the love of her life.

The lovebirds met on a dating app six years ago and said she was attracted to his "genuine" qualities - and, of course, the fact he was a firefighter.

She had her suspicions that she might return from the Lake District trip with a ring on her finger.

Lydia said: “The day before Henry proposed, we'd gone on a boat trip on Lake Windermere and I thought he might have done it then.

“When he suggested the next day we went for a hike - something we do a lot of - it didn't occur to me he'd propose.

“We went up a mountain and started taking some pictures, because we were overlooking beautiful Buttermere Lake.

“He got me to walk out a little bit and then when I turned around he was down on one knee.”

She wasn't leaving too much to chance though, and had sent Henry examples of the type of ring she'd like in the months before he popped the question.

“I kept air dropping pictures of this one ring a few months before he asked me to marry him,” she said.

“I didn’t expect him to cotton on, so I was thrilled. It’s an antique ring with an oval central stone and a smaller oval one either side of it.

“It was a little big for me, but I started wearing it right away.”

But when her dream ring flew off her hand just days after receiving it, things quickly spiralled into a nightmare.

“It all seemed to happen in slow motion,” said Lydia, "I screamed, ‘My ring!’

“I just went into panic mode and ran off to try and figure out how to get down to that level.

“Then Henry called across to me and he was on his stomach looking down onto this kind of canopy gutter and said, ‘I can see it.’

“We had no idea how to reach it, though.”

Henry's firefighting experience combined with the savvy of the car park attendant meant the pair were able to devise a plan to retrieve the ring.

“The car park man called his boss, then went down to a window parallel to the ring,” said Lydia.

“He actually had to go into someone’s office to open it, but he managed to swing it open further.

“He was going to try sticking a magnet to a stick, but my ring is platinum and when I googled it, I discovered that it's not magnetic.

“We were worried he was going to push it into the gutter further, but he used tape sticky side up on a pole to get it back.

“It was a pretty tense moment, but he got it back and we were so grateful.”

Lydia said she "couldn't watch" as the attendant rooted around in the gutter, and worried the ring would be lost forever.

"It was so stressful, but luckily he rescued it in the end."

After the near-miss, Lydia was too terrified to put the ring back on and put it back in its box for two weeks until she had time to have it resized.

Now wearing the perfectly-fitted ring all the time Lydia is planning her wedding ceremony to Henry on 29 June 2022.

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