Rikki’s NY proposal was ‘best kept secret of the year’

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The fact that Denny couple Rikki Horn and Melanie Walker are going to be married was never a secret, and the big day will be in 2019.

But while the pair, both 27, have been partners for 10 years, Rikki came up with an amazing long-distance wheeze to ensure the actual proposal was really special.

He knew that Melanie and her friend Cheryl were heading for a pre-Christmas girls’ shopping-and-fun trip to New York, and decided to plan an elaborate transatlantic surprise.

How would it be, he wondered, if he were to magically appear in front of Melanie in the middle of New York?

It would be a complete surprise, and make Christmas-time 2017 one to remember forever.

Stealthily, he planned the trip to coincide with Melanie’s five days’ holiday - and as she had booked many months in advance he had been keeping his subterfuge under wraps since March.

It was a cunning scheme which demanded very careful timing, but could only have been achieved with Cheryl’s help along every step of the way.

“I planned the whole thing with Cheryl, and we used Snapchat so our messages wouldn’t be recorded”, said Rikki.

“Even so the plan nearly hit a snag when it looked like Melanie and Cheryl weren’t going to be where I hoped they would be”.

Unknown to Melanie, Rikki had arrived in New York, and aimed to stage his ultimate demonstration of devotion in the Rockefeller Center - underneath the largest Christmas tree in the world.

It all went brilliantly to plan, despite the earlier threat of a hitch, and - going down on one knee - Rikki duly asked Melanie if she would be his wife.

The romantic gesture wowed passing NY shoppers, who are not easily impressed, and gave Rikki and Melanie a magic moment they’ll remember all their lives.

But while the girls enjoyed a week of fun in New York Melanie’s Prince Charming had a tough assignment - although he stresses it was well worth the effort.

“I think I was in New York just over 24 hours”, he said.

“I was completely exhausted by it all, and when we 
arrived at a stop-over in 
Ireland on the way back I 
actually booked a place where I could get some sleep during the five hours we were there.”

But he doesn’t regret any of it for a minute.

“Apart from the proposal I didn’t want to get in the way of the holiday Melanie had been planning with Cheryl for all that time, so off I went back home,” he said.

Back in Scotland the 
couple enjoyed a traditional family Christmas and Hogmanay.

But, says Rikki, the look of “extreme shock” on Melanie’s face when he popped up at the Rockefeller Center is one he will cherish.

Luckily she answered the question he had travelled all that way to ask in the affirmative, and wedding plans will be laid in due course.

Exactly how and where that will all happen will be decided in good time.

But the pictures from that whirlwind romantic interlude in the Big Apple will surely be among the favourites in the Horn family’s photo album.