AFTER nine years with her boyfriend Sean, Ann-Marie Proudfoot didn't imagine that he'd ever be able to surprise her. But that's what happened when Ann-Marie woke on Christmas morning 2003 to find that Sean had set her a treasure hunt which ended with him on bended knee.
"I thought it would happen in the spring, because that's when the jeweller said the ring would be ready, so I never imagined that Sean would be able to surprise me.
"I'm a real Christmas person so he knew I'd love to get engaged then. He even got the jeweller to lie to me about how long it would take to make my ring so I wouldn't be expecting a proposal, I am still so impressed he managed to pull that off.
"I went into the kitchen on Christmas morning and found my first clue. That led to the next and I ended up going all around the house, including the attic, trying to find each clue.
"When I eventually got to the sitting room my last clue was under the tree and when I turned around Sean was behind me with the ring. I was in my dressing gown with greasy hair so he must really love me to want me looking like that!"
While most couples spend the day of their engagement together, Ann-Marie and Sean stuck to their original plan of splitting up to see their respective parents.
"I spent the day being shuttled around to all my aunties and I suppose it added a lot of excitement to the day."
The couple are looking forward to this Christmas as it will be their first with nine-month-old daughter India.