To propose to his fiancée Melissa Bernard, Sean Vasquez got down on one knee, gave her a single red rose and a diamond ring and then bought her a new mobile phone.
He had accidentally ruined her phone while trying to disable it so no one could call to tell her they had seen his advertisement proposing to her in the Caymanian Compass on Friday before she had seen it.
Ms Bernard, 26, saw the romantic proposal in the paper and moments later, Mr. Vasquez arrived at her office with the rose and the ring. Watched by her colleagues, he read her a poem and asked her to marry him and she accepted.
‘I had to make sure she read it Friday morning and that no one told her the evening before when the paper came out. I disabled her phone on Wednesday night,’ he said.
‘I was wondering what was going on with my phone,’ said Ms Bernard. ‘It kept saying ‘invalid battery”.
Mr. Vasquez, 29, who is an analyst at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, had bent back a bar that keeps the phone battery in place, but when he tried to bend it back, it broke off.
The pair, who have known each other for five years, but who have been going out together for two and a half years, are considering a December wedding.
They met after Mr. Vasquez asked a friend to introduce him to Ms Bernard.
‘I first noticed him leaving the Tower Building, but we didn’t speak that day. About a month later, I got a call from a friend saying this guy wanted to talk to me,’ Ms Bernard said.
Their first date involved him taking her for a driving lesson so she could learn how to drive a standard car.
‘I messed up the gear box. It was embarrassing, but of course, he found it funny,’ she said.
The proposal in the paper was not a spur of the moment action – Mr. Vasquez spent two months composing the 32-line love letter, which ended ‘Will you marry me?’.
It included: ‘In your heart, I’ve found hope, and more happiness than I thought could be, you are the love of my life, girl of my dreams, your love completes me.’
When she came to work on Friday, one of her colleagues at the Ministry of Communications told her she needed to read the paper.
‘When I came to work, my accounts manager said there was an article in the paper about the minister. I thought it must be something really bad, so when I read the paper and saw it had nothing to do with the minister, it was about me, I was both relieved and surprised.’
Speaking on Monday, after the couple had the weekend to show of the diamond ring to friends and relatives, Mr. Vasquez said: ‘She’s really good for me and good to me. She has allowed me to come into my own. I am a lot healthier emotionally and spiritually because of her.’
Mr. Vasquez is not the only one in the relationship who can use the newspaper to express feelings – today Ms Bernard took out her own advertisement to respond to his proposal.
The couple’s next foray into the romantic written word will be for their wedding vows.