By Luke Kenton
This is the incredible moment a girl embarks on a ‘Competition Prize’ trip to Venice, but is left stunned when it turns out to be an elaborate ruse for her boyfriend to propose spectacularly.
Flying to Venice under the pretence that her best-friend has won a photography competition for an all-expenses paid trip, Gwen Doherty is none-the-wiser that it’s all part of a cunning plan hatched by her boyfriend, Joshua.
Walking up the steps of the Hotel Metropole believing she’s about to assist friend Alicia on a photoshoot, Gwen is left stunned when she hears her original song, ‘Divine Romance,’ begin to play and turns to see her boyfriend of two years standing before her.
Jumping up and down with excitement, Gwen is left stunned when Joshua confesses that every aspect of the trip had been staged by her friends and him for one very special reason.
And as Josh gets down on one knee brandishing a lavish engagement ring – with the centre-stone coming from Gwen’s great, great grandmother – Gwen is left gobsmacked.
She said: “I was in absolute shock; I just couldn’t understand why he was in Italy.
“I only found out three weeks before that Alicia had ‘won’ a competition, and Josh said he wasn’t able to get time off work at such short notice.
“Little did I know that he had booked every flight, train ticket and two hotels, after over a year of planning.
“I just couldn’t believe what was happening.”
For both Gwen and Joshua, the gesture of proposing on a balcony in Venice holds far more significance than just romantic idealism.
In 2010, on the balcony of her high-rise condo, Gwen dangled over the edge ready to take her own life.
But after an apparent act of divine intervention, Gwen made an active choice to live – soon after, she met Joshua.
So, on the day of the ‘Festival of Redeemer’, Josh chose to ask Gwen to choose to live again, this time with him, on a balcony in Venice.
Gwen said: “After the worst night of my life back in Colorado, I was ready to end it all.
“But I chose to live that night and now on another balcony, Joshua asked me to choose to live again, this time with him on a life filled with love and adventure.
“I can’t believe how lucky am I to have someone who would put this much time and effort into such a wonderful gesture.
“Joshua saved, sold his car, and even picked up side-jobs to help pay for his proposal dream.
“I’m so excited for our future together – we planned to get married at the end of the year on a beach in the Caribbean.
“Then we plan to sell everything we own and go travelling around Asia and Europe.
“We want to inspire others to dare to dream and choose to live life to the full.”