Big love gesture wins the prize

20:56, Feb 14 2012
Valentine's Day
LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Martin Brierly proposed to his girlfriend Keri Larsen with a message on a billboard hung up in Palmerston North as part of a Valentine's Day competition.

Proposing can be a daunting task for some men, but it was simple for a Pahiatua man who declared his love and popped the question on a city billboard.

Valentine's Day was extra special for Palmerston North's Keri Larsen.

Her boyfriend of five months, Martin Brierly proposed to her via a billboard hung up on the corner of Princess St and Broadway Ave.

Without any hesitation, she said "yes".

Miss Larsen was blindfolded and, in the rain, was taken to the corner where she was able to see the 6-metre by 3-metre billboard.

It read: "Nurse Larsen ... You take care of people every day at work. I'd love nothing more than to take care of you forever.


"Let's make this valentines day one to remember. Keri ... Will you marry me?"

Cliche or not, Mr Brierly said it had been "love at first sight" when he met his bride-to-be.

"We met through a friend of a friend," he said.

"We were talking via text for a while, then online, and then Keri decided to come to Pahiatua for a bit of a blind date."

He said the couple had spoken about marriage for a while, but he was still worried she might have had second thoughts.

"I had a feeling she would [say yes] but you can't be 100 per cent sure. Everything is so perfect.

"I've finally found my soulmate and my best friend. I've never felt like this before."

Mr Brierly won his billboard proposal as part of a radio show Valentine's Day competition, where people had to write a love message to their partner or admirer for everyone to see.

Miss Larsen was in shock when she saw the billboard.

"I had no idea what was going on," she said.

"I instantly said yes. I'm very, very happy."

The couple have already begun to make wedding plans, and plan for children in a few years' time.

Classic Hits radio host Richard Dryden said there had been 78 entries from people wanting to express their love messages to the rest of the city.

"They were really quite romantic," he said. "Like 'You've been my soulmate for blah blah years, I love you'.

"Another single guy had an entry that said `For a good time call me', but a proposal definitely took the cake. It was all very nice, romantic, mushy stuff."

Manawatu Standard