A Gary Barlow tribute act gave his girlfriend a New Year’s Eve to remember after dropping down on one knee for a tear-jerking proposal.
Dan Maines, 32, popped the question mid-show to Vicki Gaiger, 25, after serenading her with Take That hit A Million Love Songs in front of a crowd of 150 people.
A video of the proposal has already attracted almost 20,000 views online and shows Dan walking off the stage while gigging in Wales, and towards Vicki just minutes before midnight.
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Dan gets down on one knee as Vicki looks visibly shocked
Dan, a member of Take That tribute act Rule the World, sings to his girlfriend before pulling a ring from his pocket and asking her to marry him.
Vicki – who says yes before bursting into tears – said she had no idea the proposal was coming, and actually thought Dan was trying to make up for an earlier argument.
“We’d had a little set-to on the way to Wales from Herne Bay as Dan got us lost, so I thought he was just trying to apologise!” she said.[embedded content]
Video: Gary Barlow tribute act Dan Maines pops the question
“I had no idea what was happening when he proposed. I was already pretty overwhelmed by the dedication with the song, so it was definitely a shock!”
It was at a Rule the World gig in March last year when the couple first set eyes on each other, swapping numbers after Dan performed at the Kings Hall in Herne Bay.
Vicki said: “The next day I found out he lived 328 miles away in Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire.
A stunned Vicki hugs Dan after the proposal
“It wasn’t ideal, but it didn’t stop us. We chatted and facetimed each other for a few weeks, then Dan came down for a ‘date weekend’ and hasn’t left since!”
The couple now live in Glen Avenue, Herne Bay, with Vicki’s mum Dawn, who was one of many people in on the surprise.
“I had no idea what was happening when he proposed. I was already pretty overwhelmed…” – Vicki Gaiger
Vicki, who works at the Oyster Bed restaurant in Chestfield, said: “Dan asked my dad permission to marry me, to which he replied ‘you might want to go back to sleep and rethink’, which was nice of him.”
Dan, who sang to Gary Barlow on the Graham Norton Show, says it was only a matter of time before he popped the question – but he still had the jitters.
He said: “I knew the moment I met Vicki that I would marry her, it was just a case of picking the right time.
“We wanted to be living together for a year before we got engaged but I felt it would have been less of a surprise if I waited the full 12 months, and I felt there was nothing more perfect than having the chance to see in the new year with the woman I love as my fiancée.
“I first decided that was the right time in August. I’d been working away a lot and honestly felt like a part of me was missing – that part of me was Vicki and I decided that I had to marry her.
“I’ve been gigging for 10 years and performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, but I have to say that I have never come close to feeling as nervous as I did on New Year’s Eve.
The happy couple, Vicki and Dan
“I’m a very lucky man and very proud and privileged to call Vicki my fiancée.”
The couple – who jetted off to the Canary Islands this week to celebrate their engagement – hope the real Gary Barlow may even take to the stage at their own wedding.
Vicki said: “Everyone’s tweeting him to get him to sing at our wedding.
“He has said he will sing this year at three weddings, but we want to wait until next summer, so who knows.”