A BOYFRIEND’S bid to surprise his partner with a wedding proposal in Japan was almost scuppered by airport security.
Chris Harkin wanted to produce an engagement ring for girlfriend Claire Marriott under a cherry blossom tree in Kyoto.
But as the couple went through security at Glasgow Airport, Chris’s bag was selected for a spot check.
The quick-thinking 26-year-old avoided disaster by persuading Claire to make a last-minute visit to Duty Free.
The ploy worked and the couple, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, are now planning a big wedding in Perthshire in 2017.
Chris spent months organising the couple’s trip, including secretly buying a classic gold and diamond engagement ring.
The territory sales manager said: “One of Claire’s big dreams was to see the cherry blossoms in season in Japan, so I thought it would be the perfect place to propose.
“On the day of our trip it was a bit of a palava, as when we got to the airport we discovered that there had been a big power shortage and our flight was cancelled.
“We managed to get a flight sorted for the next day but I had to re-book a lot of our accommodation as we were travelling around Japan.”
Little did Chris know his problems had only just begun.
He said: “As we made our way through security, the buzzer went off and staff came over to carry out a random search of my bag where I had hidden the ring.
“I quickly pointed Claire in the direction of Duty Free and told her I would catch her up.
“I was worried she would see the ring as I had planned it for some time and I didn’t want it ruined before I even got off the ground.
“Thankfully, the guy who searched my bag was nice and quickly did his job so I could catch up with Claire.”
Despite the unexpected complications, the proposal remained a secret until Chris popped the question by a river, surrounded by a valley of cherry blossom trees.
Thankfully, Claire, said yes.
“I think she was a little bit shocked as she didn’t expect it,” Chris said.
“She cried, but thankfully it was a happy ending. It was the perfect setting and Claire is definitely worth it.”
The couple, who met while they were both students at the University of Glasgow six years ago, are now looking forward to tying the knot at The Byre at Inchyra in Perthshire in 2017.
Chris added: “Everyone is really happy for us as I think they’ve wanted us to get married for years.”