A SURPRISE marriage proposal at the National Wallace Monument worked like a charm for a Forth Valley couple.

On Friday, April 9, Garry McAllister got down on one knee to pop the big question, exactly a year after he got together with Laura Neil.

It was an elaborate set up – involving Stirling acoustic guitarist and vocalist Robbie Hutton as well as a film and photography crew who captured the moment on camera.

The couple met last year just as the Covid-19 pandemic began with Garry and Laura spending the lockdown months together.

Speaking of the moment he asked Laura's hand in marriage Garry, 31, said: “It was really-really great.

“I kidded on to her that we were going for a meal, that I managed to hire somebody to put a table up outside the monument.”

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

Both were nervous as they scaled the hill; Garry for obvious reasons while Laura wondered what an anniversary meal in front of hillwalkers and strangers would look like.

They were clearly overdressed for what was a beautiful afternoon stroll for many others.

Garry had arranged for singer Robbie to welcome them atop the hill and also enlisted the help of Austin Mitchell at We Are One Wedding Films to ensure the moment was captured on camera for years to come.

He was even set up with a microphone hidden is his jacket to record audio.

Garry said: “It was nerve-wrecking trying to press 'record' on that, I'm telling my missus to walk in front of me and she kept turning around as I tried to press the record button – I was a nervous wreck.”

Once atop the hill, Laura became aware of the presence of the film crew and realised there was no table in sight.

But the surprise had already been set up.

Garry said: “That's when the singer popped out, she got a bit of a fright!”

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

Laura, 32, said yes with hillwalkers applauding the pair.

She said: “It was absolutely awesome, it was definitely surprising.

“To have a guy burst out with a guitar next to me in front of all these people was very overwhelming.”

Garry and Laura have no wedding plans yet as they hope to wait out the end of restrictions, but having put rings on fingers in the shadow of the Hero of Scotland, they are hoping to organise a right Scottish one.

Austin, who filmed the surprise proposal, explained the weather was stunning on the day.

He added: “I think because people have spent the last year in the house they are trying to do something a wee bit different.”

It was the first time the wedding photo- and videographer was asked to capture a proposal.

Austin said: “I think it probably will be something that will become more popular, especially now with social media.”

He jokingly added: “The difficult thing is trying to blend in with the other people who are up there and try not to look suspicious!”

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: