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Flashmob marriage proposal in Retford Morrisons supermarket

By Retford Times  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

  • Dancers from De Burnays start the flashmob

  • Lawrence and Julie celebrate their engagement

  • Lawrence gets down on one knee in front of shocked Julie

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Shoppers at a supermarket watched in amazement as a flashmob marriage proposal brought customers of all ages to their feet.

The cafe at Morrison's in Retford was abuzz as youngsters from the De Burnays School of Dance performed a routine to accompany Lawrence Partridge's proposal to canteen worker Julie Shannon.

Other diners soon joined in as a shocked Julie, who was serving on the till, watched her husband-to-be get down on one knee to the tune of Bruno Mars's 'Marry You'.

Lawrence, 49, had even dressed as Richard Gere's character from An Officer and a Gentlemen - 46-year-old Julie's favourite film.

The stunt had involved months of meticulous planning and rehearsing - but on Saturday at 12pm it went off without a hitch.

Julie at first thought the flashmob was a charity effort - until Lawrence emerged from the crowd in his hired naval uniform.

Although the couple, who have been together for two years and live in Retford, had previously discussed marriage, Julie had not been expecting such a public proposal.

"It was a bit embarrassing! The kids had all been sat there a while so at first I thought it was for charity, I thought...really? In here? But then I saw Lawrence - I can't believe everyone kept it secret!"

The pair met when Julie was partying in Flares in Doncaster, where Lawrence was DJing a 70s set.

As Lawrence is from Scunthorpe, their first meeting in Retford was in a decidedly unromantic spot.

"Since she works at Morrison's, we first met up at the recycling bin in the car park!

"We've talked about commitment already, and I wanted to dress up as one of her favourite film characters. I originally thought of Tom Cruise but couldn't find a costume!" said Lawrence, who had been secretly plotting the proposal since September.

The couple, who each have two children from previous relationships, now hope to tie the knot in 2015 at Disneyworld in Florida.

Lawrence, a school caretaker, was delighted with the co-operation from those who helped make the moment a success.

"The store were great, they had no problems with it. I approached De Burnays for the dancers and they were really up for it - I had to go down to the dance school to rehearse, which was awkward as I had to tell Julie I was doing some Christmas shopping!" he said.

"This is the first time we've done anything like this - we were so excited and we just threw it together. All the girls' families got involved today and lots of strangers too - everyone just went with the flow. The atmosphere was brilliant", added dance school owner Wendy de Burnay.

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