I wanted to do something unique: Gympie man's beautiful proposal
DESPITE being no stranger to a high-pressure situation, Gympie man Darren James admitted to feeling the heat when it came time to pop the question to his partner, Mary Cappetti.
Not just content on getting down on one knee, the lovestruck local had an elaborate plan, where everything had to go perfectly.
"It was an idea I'd been kicking around for some time now, it just one night hit me in the head,” he said.
"I thought that this might be the way to go.”
Taking out a full-page ad in last Saturday's Gympie Times, Darren sent a heartfelt poem to Mary, the woman he calls his soul mate.
With Darren and Mary both working night shifts in aged care, timing was of the essence.
"One of Mary's jobs in the area she works in is picking up the papers and handing them to residents,” he said.
"But on the night I'd planned to do it, one of Mary's co-workers decided to swap shifts with her.”
A quick solution was found, with one of her friends willingly giving up a shift so Mary could be there on the night.
"Well actually, I wasn't even reading the paper and one of the other girls there asked me if I wanted to read it,” she said.
"So I'm sitting, flipping through it and there it was - you really couldn't miss it, could you?
"I was shocked and amazed - I felt so special.”
When asked if he had always been a fan of such grand gestures, Darren shrugged.
"I'd never written a poem for a woman before in my life,” he said.
"When I started with it I had a bit of a mind-blank for a while, it came in bits and pieces.
"Maybe she just brings it out in me.”
Originally from Melbourne, Darren joked he moved to Gympie as part of a "mid-life crisis” but having met the love of his life he's changed his tune.
"I'm thinking now she's the reason I actually made the trip up in the first place,” he said.
Having known each other for a few years, they made the decision to move in together nine months ago.
Of course, being from Victoria means AFL reigns supreme, something Mary admits will take time to get used to.
"He's explained the rules to me a few times and I've got my club hat so we're on our way,” she said.
"I'm hoping to eventually get her along to a game,” Darren laughed.
As for when the happy couple will actually tie the knot, the date is uncertain.
"I'd like it to do it at the beginning of next year,” Darren said.
"Depends what the boss says.”