Laurence Elston proposes to girlfriend Sara Rae with Leeds Castle flyby

A Kent builder surprised his girlfriend of six years by proposing to her in the middle of a Christmas market, with a plane circling overhead.

Laurence Elston met Sara Rae when he was working on her nan’s house in 2010.

“I fell in love straight away,” he said. Sara agreed, saying it was love at first sight.

Laurence Elston proposed to girlfriend Sara Rae by arranging for a plane to fly over Leeds Castle. Picture: Andy Jones
Laurence Elston proposed to girlfriend Sara Rae by arranging for a plane to fly over Leeds Castle. Picture: Andy Jones

The pair already had a child each from previous relationships. Laurence has a 13-year-old daughter, Ella, and Sara has an 11-year-old son, Tom.

Together they have three-year-old Max, who Laurence describes as “the best part of the relationship so far.”

Laurence finally asked Sara to be the first Mrs Elston on Sunday at the Leeds Castle Christmas Market.

There were carol singers, lights, a huge tree and a historic landmark, but the 38-year-old wanted to make things extra special, so he arranged for a plane to fly past, trailing a massive banner.

The aircraft was supplied by Air Ads, of Margate.

The banner in the air. Picture: Andy Jones
The banner in the air. Picture: Andy Jones

The idea came from seeing a similar proposal years before.

“I was at the Isle of Wight Festival and I saw someone do it. It’s always stuck in my head,” he said.

Despite poor weather during the week, the sun came out to allow the pilot to take off from Rochester Airport and fly the banner, reading: “Sara: I love you will you marry me”.

Thankfully after months of planning, she said yes.

The couple who live in Fairfield Road, Borough Green, are set to be married in 2018.

Sara Rae shows off her ring
Sara Rae shows off her ring
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