Hayley Toone proposes to partner Tony Sloan in the city centre’s famous Grosvenor Hotel
See the moment caught on camera – does he say YES?
Happy couple serenaded with a medley of their favourite Beatles anthems from Chester-based choir ‘A Handbag of Harmonies’
Dream proposal made possible by CH1ChesterBID after Hayley won £750 to create her perfect moment in Chester – dubbed “The Original City of Love”
Chester was the backdrop for a romantic Leap Day marriage proposal earlier today as 36-year-old Hayley Toone surprised her partner Tony Sloan by popping the question in the city centre’s busy Grosvenor Hotel.
Hayley surprised Tony with the proposal – whilst being serenaded by a choir singing Beatles songs – after she won a competition to make her perfect Leap Day proposal come true, organised by the city’s Business Improvement District, CH1ChesterBID.
Meticulously planned with CH1ChesterBID, Hayley arranged for the couple, who live in Long Eaton in Derbyshire, to visit Chester for the day. Unbeknown to Tony as they sat down for afternoon tea in the Grosvenor Hotel, Hayley had organised for Chester’s all-female choir, ‘A Handbag of Harmonies’ to sing a collection of the couples’ favourite Beatles tunes in the hotel restaurant.
Towards the end of the symphony, the 30-strong choir flipped over their song sheets to reveal the words ‘Will You Marry Me, Tony?’. Through tears and a chorus of clapping from hotel guests, Tony said ‘yes’, prompting the choir to launch into a celebratory song.
Following her proposal Hayley said: “It’s been a perfect day and I’m so happy Tony said ‘yes’! We’ve been together for almost three years and I always knew he wanted to get married but, even though I love him dearly, I’d always talked him out of proposing to me!
“A friend of mine reminded me that it was a Leap Year this year and suggested I should follow the old tradition and propose to Tony on February 29th instead. So when I saw the CH1ChesterBID competition to win the perfect proposal, I thought I just had to go for it!”
Hayley decided to take the plunge after spotting a competition with CH1ChesterBID to win £750 to create a perfect Leap Day proposal in Chester.
“Tony is from Cheshire originally and his family all live in or around Chester, so I knew this would be the perfect place to pop the question”, added Hayley. “He is a chef and he actually used to work at The Grosvenor Hotel. I’m a nurse so we rarely get time off together to visit the city or see his family, particularly as our weekends off are very rare. Luckily today fell on a Monday – our day off – and behind the scenes I’ve been working with the CH1ChesterBID team to create mine and Tony’s perfect day.”
Hayley put the prize money to good use, arranging an overnight stay at the Grosvenor Hotel with spa treatments for the couple and a personal shopping experience in Hugo Boss in the city centre.
A secret dinner was also arranged at Chester’s Chez Jules restaurant – one of Tony’s favourites – in the evening, where the couple’s friends and family were waiting with champagne on ice to celebrate the good news.
Speaking after the proposal, 45-year-old Tony said: “I had absolutely no idea Hayley would do this! I can’t believe how much effort she’s put into the proposal and I couldn’t be happier.”
Julie Charlton, CH1ChesterBID’s Marketing Manager, added: “We’re over the moon to see Hayley’s dream proposal brought to life in Chester, a place many people consider to be The Original City of Love. We’ve secretly orchestrated all of the details behind Tony’s back, working with Hayley and a number of businesses throughout the city centre and we’re thrilled that everything went to plan…. but most importantly, that he said ‘yes’! We’d like to wish Hayley and Tony a very happy life together.”