Love? All the signs were there

23:18, Jan 09 2014
Ben Cook’s unique way of proposing to Christine McNaughton
READ ME: Ben Cook’s unique way of proposing to Christine McNaughton ended in a ‘‘yes’’ from the happy bride to be.

A clever marriage proposal is a sign of the times for reluctant romantic Ben Cook.

When his new fiancee Christine McNaughton turned into her Halswell street yesterday, she saw a series of signs had been put up.

The first had her name printed on it.

Ben Cook's man kneeling sign
ON ONE KNEE: Ben Cook had this sign specially made for his proposal.

The second read: "Caution: decision time ahead" with a silhouette of a man kneeling.

The third read: "Will you marry me?"

As McNaughton turned into her driveway, Cook was beside a sign asking her to marry him while their two young children, Imogen and Isaac, watched.

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Ben Cook
SPECIAL MESSAGE: Christine McNaughton was blown away by the proposal.

Cook kneeled down with a ring as McNaughton got out of the car with tears flowing and a massive grin on her face. "I knelt down and I didn't say anything - she just said, ‘Of course I will'," he said.

The pair, both 35, met about eight years ago when they were neighbours.

Cook said they became "best friends" quickly, but both were seeing other people.

When McNaughton's boyfriend broke up with her, Cook was there with flowers, chocolate and ice-cream to cheer her up.

Several months later both were single and fronted up to what they knew all along - they were in love.

Cook, who works as a roadmarker for Fulton Hogan, planned to propose last month.

His "plan A" of a trip to the West Coast had to be cancelled because of McNaughton's work commitments, so he came up with the idea of the road signs.

When the signs were finished on Wednesday they were hidden in bushes near their house, before being set up yesterday.

The Press