Woman recalls ‘shaking’ as partner proposed using drone display

Woman recalls ‘shaking’ as partner proposed using drone display
Megan Greenwood got a huge surprise when boyfriend Rhys Whelan proposed with a personalised drones message during the Fireworks Championships in North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)
PA Wire/PA Images - Danny Lawson

A woman has recalled “shaking” the moment her partner proposed to her by popping the question with a drone display.

Megan Greenwood, 27, got a huge surprise when Rhys Whelan, 30, produced his own personalised message during the Fireworks Championships at Newby Hall, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, on Saturday evening.

The display, set to the couple’s favourite song, 6 Words by Wretch 32, saw the drones form several love-themed images in the sky, including champagne bottles and love hearts, before spelling the words “Marry me” and “Megan”.

Fireworks Championships 2023Drones spelled out the word ‘Megan’ (Danny Lawson/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Danny Lawson

The couple, from Eccleshill in Bradford, have been together for more than nine years and shared the moment with friends and family.

Describing her immediate reaction to the display, Ms Greenwood told the PA news agency: “I don’t know what my face looked like, but I know I definitely started shaking.”

She said her husband-to-be “couldn’t have done anything more perfect”, and that the unorthodox proposal “definitely beat anything that I could imagine”.

Nevertheless, there was still an opportunity to include the more traditional method.

Fireworks Championships 2023Rhys Whelan made a more traditional proposal to girlfriend Megan Greenwood after drones spelled out the words ‘Marry me’ (Danny Lawson/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Danny Lawson

Ms Greenwood said: “It said ‘Marry me’ in the sky and he pushed me forward slightly, then he turned me around and he was on one knee.”

Mr Whelan “put two and two together” and found inspiration for the gesture after the pair previously attended the championships and he was impressed by their own drone show.

Of his emotions before the big moment, he said: “I was absolutely terrified.

“It had been six months in the making, so all the planning and preparation all of a sudden came down to five minutes worth of display.

“I tried to time it the best I could but I think because of the nerves I was a bit premature going down on one knee, but it had the desired effect in the end.”

Fireworks Championships 2023Rhys Whelan and Megan Greenwood share a kiss following his surprise proposal during the Fireworks Championships (Danny Lawson/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Danny Lawson

Mr Whelan said he “tried my utmost to be as sneaky as I possibly could” to keep the proposal a surprise.

That included secret meetings with the show organisers and speaking to Ms Greenwood’s father on Friday.

Ms Greenwood said: “We’ve talked about it (getting married) but only in a joking sense. I’d always make jokes that he needs to put a ring on it, and my mum and friends would all do the same.

“He always said it’s the 21st century so I have to propose to him, but I’m too stubborn for that!”

Fireworks Championships 2023Rhys Whelan said being able to share the memory with family and friends was ‘amazing’ (Danny Lawson/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Danny Lawson

Mr Whelan said being able to share the memory with many of their relatives in person was “amazing”, while Ms Greenwood said her closest friends “just lost it” after seeing the display.

Mr Whelan added: “Her mother’s favourite animal is a butterfly, so when I saw on their website that they did a ‘butterfly in the sky’ I thought that would be a nice touch.”

Both said they have not yet thought about possible wedding plans, but Mr Whelan refused to rule out the use of drones again on the big day, saying: “We’ll see – you never know.”

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