An Auckland man's proposal video puts all the others to shame - six weeks of meticulous planning culminated in an impossible-to-refuse proposal for his completely oblivious girlfriend.
Michael Koloi organised for Nora Aati to be at the Mangere Bridge in South Auckland, on the pretence she was taking part in a short film.
"A while ago she told me vaguely that if she was proposed to she’d like it to be filmed, so I remembered that when I was planning how to propose to her.
"But the only way to make it seem natural was the idea of the short film that she was going to be involved in."
The couple both studied drama at UNITEC, so, as Koloi pointed out, "it wouldn't raise any alarm bells to get a call saying she had a role in a short film".
In deciding how to propose, Koloi said he consulted a lot of friends who were married, and who had proposed in private.
"I think a lot of Pacific Island men don't really do stuff like this, and Kiwis are sort of the same
"My other mates, they all proposed to their partners in their living room or their bedroom - so it was that private.
"And there’s nothing wrong with that at all, because every couple is different - but I just thought I wanted to do something a little bit out there."
Koloi had already asked Aati’s parents for permission, sneaking off to their house when he told her he was buying a Christmas tree. Using a borrowed tarpaulin from his sister’s husband, Koloi made a huge banner to hang from the Mangere Bridge which read 'NORA WILL U BE MINE 4EVA Proverbs 31'.
"I just came up with the idea of hanging it off the bridge and matching it in with the short film and using the binoculars and writing the scene," he said.
Proverbs 31 refers to a passage of the Bible that echoes the line Aati's "character" in the film was saying: "She is worth far more than rubies."
The banner was visible through the binoculars Aati was using as part of her "role" in the short film. Upon sighting the banner, Aati asked "What’s going on?… I'm nervous, it’s making me nervous".
It didn't take long for her to realise out what was going on - or for the tissues to be needed for all of us - as Koloi appeared on the hill behind her with his children and a big group of friends and family members.
"We got her best friend in from Wellington who she hasn’t seen in a while, her brothers and sisters, and my family as well.
"It was a mission trying to organise everyone and also trying to get the film crew and stuff for free - I called in a lot of favours amongst my film friends to have it shot and done. The proposal went off without a hitch, with Koloi even checking 'Are you sure?' when Aati said yes.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO - WHICH IS TOTALLY WORTH IT FOR A HAPPY CRY - HERE:
The couple were surprised at the level of attention the video had received, having just posted it on Facebook for friends and family to see.
"I literally thought the most views it would get would be around four or five hundred but then she called me this morning and said it was up around 26,000.
"I hadn’t set out to make it a big thing or anything - I just wanted to shoot the videos so we could hold onto it.
"I just thought I'd film a bit of each step, then put it together later. But we still didn't think so many people would be into it, it’s been a bit crazy."
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