This article was originally published on Popular Everything and has been republished to The Tea Chat with permission.
One man went above and beyond in his unique proposal idea. Edi Okoro devised the perfect way to make girlfriend Cally Read’s proposal special, by asking for her hand in marriage every day for a month without her knowing! At Popular Everything, we follow Edi’s unique proposal which made this couple’s engagement story one of a kind!
Edi documented a whole month of “secret proposing” while she was none the wiser, taking daily pictures of him and his girlfriend in which she is completely clueless to the engagement ring. Take a look at Edi’s series of lucky escapes in which he manages not to get caught… just about!
He Wants YOU!
Retired athlete Edi Okoro decided to propose to his girlfriend of ten years this year but had a lot of uncertainty about when the right time would be. 30 years old and from Hereford, UK, he had built a loving and supportive relationship with Cally Read that he wanted to put in writing!
Having been a track and field athlete – a sport that incorporates running, jumping, and throwing skills – he’s no stranger to working hard for his achievements. Once he decided how he would go about proposing to Cally, he was determined to collect a series of photos where she is none the wiser to the engagement ring.
It Takes One To Know One
Cally herself also had a career as an athlete. Now 28 years old and a graduate of the University of Birmingham, she was a professional athlete in her own right, having competed for the Euro Trials and British Championships as a member of Birchfield Harriers, the UK-based premier athletics club.
With a shared sporting background, Edi and Cally’s bond only deepened as their friendship turned in to their most significant romantic relationship. They dated throughout their university experience, studying and training together and most impressively, not getting sick of each other’s company.
They Knew They Wanted to Be Together
The happy couple has even hit another milestone in their relationship back in 2017 when they bought and moved into their first home together. Living in London, for the last couple of years the couple has had the perfect space for their gaming and movie-watching. But the time had come for another big step…
Pictured together on the day they moved in, Cally was quick to dispel the notion that they wore matching outfits for the occasion, confirming that it was “#notplanned!” I guess when two people are as made for each other as Edi and Cally, you’re going to have to accept that you’ll have similar preferences.
Edi Doesn’t Plan!
Tired of waiting for the perfect moment, Edi decided to just start proposing, even if it wasn’t to her face. He spoke about the thought process that led him to his original idea: “Those who have gone through this (and those who will soon find out) you want to propose in a way that speaks to you as a person and couple.”
He continues: “Some plan a flash mob, a fancy meal, or even arrange a marry me sign. I couldn’t do this because ‘Edi doesn’t plan.’ I’m a spontaneous improviser!” He believed his spur-of-the-moment attitude was the reason why he wouldn’t be able to pull off any of the traditionally romantic marriage proposals.
Having to Think Outside the Box
The way Edi saw it, he needed to be unconventional to throw Cally off the trail. His spontaneity “made it even more of a challenge because Cally knows this, and the moment I planned a holiday or meal she would have clocked on to what I was about to do,” he admitted.
So then Edi took to just carrying the ring with him just in case the right time came about. “I took the ring with me everywhere hoping the ‘moment’ would arise in line with my spontaneous style. But it became apparent to him that this plan of action wasn’t working well enough…
A Light Bulb Moment
Reflecting on his “a-ha” moment, Edi remembered that “after a month or so of waiting for the right moment, I was sitting on the sofa admiring ‘my precious,’ [he admits he had become strongly attached to ring after all his time with it] Cally almost caught me staring at the ring, and it hit me!”
This was the moment the idea struck him: “All these missed opportunities mixed in with the thought – Cally doesn’t know I have the ring! I should just start documenting these moments!” And so his unprecedented proposal idea was born. He would try to get the three of them – himself, Cally, and the ring – in as many photos as possible.
His Plan Was Not to Plan
Edi proceeded to take a string of hilarious photo’s where his “precious” engagement ring would photobomb the two of them! Once he had the idea, it “escalated quickly into trying to get as many photos of Cally with the ring without her knowing! Yes, she had no idea what I was doing in these photos!”
But there was a method to his madness: “The idea was to take as many photos, in more daring scenarios, until I found the perfect moment to propose, or until I got caught, at which point I would propose.” In a somewhat muddled thought-process, Edi planned to propose in an unplanned fashion.
Always on His Mind
Over the space of approximately a month, Edi would take his secretive snaps anywhere he could get the chance. Opportunities arose outside of their home just as frequently as inside, as proven here where Edi pushes his luck to achieve that perfect photo.
In any of the moments, Edi captured he could have been caught red-handed. But presumably that was part of the romance – if she was to catch him, it would in itself have made for an interesting engagement story. As it turns out, Edi was skilfully sneaky despite what we might have presumed.
We Wonder What the Tourists Thought
He really became inventive with his photos, as we can see below. Here Cally stares through the lens of some long-distance binoculars, expecting a beautiful view of the landscape – but something tells us she wasn’t too impressed. The couple love traveling together and, whenever they were off on an adventure during this period, Edi was sure to bring along the ever-important ring.
As you can see, the two weren’t alone which begs the question, what did the people around them think was going on? Perhaps Edi was wise enough to press his finger to his lips and signal that no one should spoil the surprise. Then again, he’s spontaneous Edi – maybe he would have just gone with it.
Edi Ups His Game
This move was particularly risky. Edi made the daring move to actually put the engagement ring in the palm of Cally’s hand. Although she was sleeping at the time, it’s still a brave move! Little does she know that her marriage proposal is, quite literally, under her nose.
While it might not be the kind of photo anyone really wants out on the internet – mouth open, make up free and deep in her night’s sleep – we doubt that Cally was given much of a chance when Edi uploaded this photo to facebook. Still, we’re glad we’re able to witness Edi’s photobomb accomplishments.
He Starts to Get Quite Confident…
Wow, this one’s close. Edi placed the ring in the jewelry dish on her desk. He says he left it there for two days, in which Cally said nothing about it, and he managed to get away with it. A jewelry dish is meant for daily accessorizing, so we’re really surprised she looked over this one!
Looking out how conspicuously the ring was placed, it actually invites more questions about Cally; how did she miss this one? If there’s one thing she can take away from Edi’s proposal (other than a fiance, of course) it’s that she should pay attention to her surroundings more.
Excitement Is Really Building for One Man
In one particular video, he flaunts the ring with her back turned while an occupied Cally stands in front of a sink brushing her teeth in the bathroom. As we can see, excitement is building for Edi as he backs away from the bathroom just so she doesn’t catch the commotion behind her when he celebrates.
We love the intimate nature of these photos and videos, giving us a glimpse into their very real and very playful relationship. Although, we couldn’t be blamed for questioning whether or not Edi is going a bit crazy keeping the secret to himself.
Watch Your Back
In this adorable snap, Cally and Edi are in bed having just woken up from their night’s sleep. While Cally proceeds to check her phone, Edi proceeds to place her engagement ring right on her back. If you ask us, he was trying to get caught at this point as this photobomb is just asking for it.
Still, Cally was as unaware as ever – and at this point frankly, we’re not surprised. We’re even starting to think that she was the perfect victim for Edi’s prank as he’s given her a lot of chances to catch him out… and he succeeds to continue doing so in even more scenarios.
She Looks Right at It!
In this shot, Edi is filming her first thing in the morning; she is still in bed while he is at the foot of the frame looking over her, the ring box in hand. It gets even more suspenseful as he begins talking to her. He really was playing with fire at this point. There’s no way she’s not going to see it right?
Wrong! In fact, Cally not only answers back to him but lifts her head to look at Edi, still missing the ring entirely. It’s possible she thought she was still dreaming if she suddenly saw an engagement ring in her boyfriend’s hand, but from what we know of Cally she probably just wasn’t paying attention.
Persevering Through Rain or Shine
Here Edi managed to snap a photo of his beloved in the typically drizzly British weather just after dropping her off for her bike ride. He still sneaks the engagement ring, in a moment that would blow everything up if she would only turn around for one last look at him!
More than anything, photos like this prove that he had the proposal on his mind all the time. It appears he really did always have the bulky ring box on him regardless of the situation. It’s actually quite impressive that he managed to hide it all the time they were together.
The Proposal That Could Have Been
Here Edi risks being found out during a shopping trip. We think this one is particularly brave because if she catches him at this moment he would have to propose then and there in the bike shop. The people around him would surely be scratching their heads as to why he would choose this odd location.
As Cally attends to the store cashier and pays for their purchase, Edi takes this opportunity to steal another photo. Surely if he was carrying that around in his jeans pocket she would have noticed? Come to think of it, it’s Cally we’re talking about – she wouldn’t have ever caught on!
Just One More Minute!
Clearly, Edi was feeling particularly brave at this store, as he even flips on the selfie camera mode and gets in the photo himself! He’s obviously aware what he’s doing is risky, and that he takes quite the chance for the opportunity to add to his photo library.
Edi should count his blessings that he didn’t end up getting caught at this moment. After snapping the photos he wanted, he put the ring away and continued on their shopping trip as if nothing had happened. Now it was time to up his photobomb surroundings.
Vacation for Three
Ah, she’s on her phone again… another perfect photo opportunity! This time with a beautiful sea view… Despite it almost being in Cally’s right-side vision, she still didn’t discover Edi’s big secret! Judging by the grin on his face Edi is pleased about this one.
Despite their beautiful natural surroundings, both of them are on their phones. Standing in front of a sea view and opting to engage with your smartphone, it was probably meant to be a satirical commentary about social media and its impact on living in the present, right? One can hope.
And One For Luck!
That wasn’t the end to their holiday snaps with the engagement ring, which started to turn in to a third wheel at this point. While Cally (who clearly plays the mature role in this relationship) attends to a tourist map to figure out their next move, Edi flips his camera onto selfie mode and takes another point-and-shoot!
Maybe he thought this vacation would turn out to be the perfect moment to finally propose? If the frequency of his photos are anything to go by, Edi definitely doesn’t seem too concerned about being caught anymore… Just turn around Cally!
The Perfect Moment That Never Was
Could this moment alone together on the beach have been more perfect for Cally to catch him with the ring in his hand? And a phone in his other – which would have required some more explaining. But, typical of Cally, she wasn’t paying enough attention!
Despite the perfect surroundings – and possibly even Edi’s willingness to get caught – this was not the moment that he proposed. It wasn’t even on this vacation! Somehow, Edi didn’t find the right moment during the entire romantic holiday?
One More Rock on the Beach
There’s nothing like enjoying an overcast beach day, lying under the clouds with your beloved and taking a nap in the sea breeze… But for some, it lacks just a little bit of risk! For Edi, he seized the perfect unsuspecting moment to open up the ring box and lay its contents bare.
Little did Cally know that if she just turned her towards Edi, she would catch a glimpse of the future that awaits her. Despite Edi’s chance-taking, Cally’s lack of awareness prevailed and this perfect beach moment didn’t turn out to be the moment he asked for her hand in marriage.
Freewheeling His Photo Opportunities
Here, Edi really pushes his luck. When Cally returned home from a bike ride, he whips out the ring box as she carries her bike up the stairs. We guess he was relying on her exercise fatigue and concentration in adequately lifting the heavy bicycle.
Typically of Cally, she was none the wiser and Edi managed to get away with his photobomb once more… but we have to hand it to Edi, holding the ring in front of her while her attention is focused on a physical task at hand is an ingenious way to secretly snap Cally with her to-be engagement ring!
Edi’s Little Secret
Edi had a fun few weeks of keeping the engagement ring his little secret, but the right moment was about to present itself. Frankly, we’re impressed he managed to make it as long as he did and as noticeable as he did without getting caught. If they’re not expecting anything, we guess it’s not that hard!
Here Edi chances it once more, this time wearing the ring before snapping a quick selfie. We actually have a theory – Edi had gotten so attached to the ring at this point that he found it hard to part ways with it. Afterall in this photo, he’s even put it on himself…
Thank Goodness She Said Yes
Finally, the right moment did present itself for the happy couple and Edi proposed… And as you can tell, Cally said yes! It would have been a pretty awkward photo album if she didn’t. To add to it, he managed not to get caught during a photobombing session. Impressive work, Edi!
He’s yet to reveal the story of how he did end up asking Cally for her hand in marriage, teasing us with a simple “stay tuned.” Even in this moment of bliss, he didn’t tell her about his photo project for over a month, waiting several further weeks to reveal it to her! He teased that in this photo with his “you know nothing Cally Read” smile.
Cally Finds out!
Somehow, Edi manages to keep things from Cally for extended periods – we don’t know how he resists for so long! He waited until they had gathered all their family and closest friends, before turning on the projector and opening up a PowerPoint presentation. An unsuspecting Cally had no idea about the lead up to her proposal and was surprised not least of all for hiding his photo project for all the weeks since becoming engaged.
And so, Edi explained to their loved ones how the idea came to him before he presented his slideshow: “Basically I had no idea how I was gonna propose to Cal. I was like what am I gonna do – maybe I could take pictures to document the whole experience?”
Edi’s Quite the Showman
Once Edi started revealing the photos one by one, Cally’s shock turned into hysterics and the whole room was beside themselves. Edi proved to be quite a dynamic showman, giving a funny and energetic performance as he relayed those weeks: “Basically, any opportunity I had I started taking photos!”
With each photo, he told Cally and the room the context in which the photo was taken. But he was quick to explain himself in the beach picture where he isn’t wearing a top: “Don’t watch my belly – I was out of season!” He finished on the words, “So that’s my presentation of basically how I proposed to Cal!” before giving her a great big hug. But it’s not exactly true, as he conveniently left out how he actually proposed to her in the end…
Back in the Day
Edi’s presentation also included photos that were not part of his photobombing project. Pictured below are Cally and Edi at the early stages of their relationship, when they were barely even adults! They’ve come a long way since they were only 18 and 20 years old, as they were in the image to the left.
When Cally was still a teenager, she asserted that she “used to change my hair all the time,” and even dabbled in hair modeling. It’s evident as she looks completely different at that age! The photo on the right is when they went sledding in Chasewater, where Cally recalls she “couldn’t feel her toes.” It’s clear for all to see, they’ve always made an adorable couple!
How Far They’ve Come
The happy couple really did grow up with each other! As these images show just how far they’ve they’ve come together. No longer teenagers, these two scrub up nicely for a formal occasion – it might just be the only time Edi is smiling or goofing around in front of the camera. But ever the poser, he’s definitely pulling some sort of model-pose…
And a look at where they’ve come today – engaged, having bought an apartment together! On the right, they are pictured on moving day in 2017, standing in their spacious new kitchen, in matching outfits that they supposedly didn’t plan for. Living in a new build with the love of your life – we can think of worse situations to find ourselves in!
She’ll Never Live It Down
Ever the joker, Edi still has a laugh at Cally’s expense even after the proposal! He posted this image on social media, along with the caption: “Cally, Specsavers must have heard about our proposal story and sent this in the post #ShouldHaveWentToSpecsavers.” Referencing the fact that she didn’t see the ring even when it was hiding in plain sight, we think he has a point.
He didn’t stop there – in a video he took of her pretending to be famous in front of paparazzi mannequins, he wrote, “Cally’s poor eyesight [is] causing her problems again… she thought it was the real paparazzi. It’s not that deep!” Something tells us she won’t be able to get away from eyesight jokes for a while yet.
Since Edi popped the question, the happy twosome has been busy living the good life. Here they are on a lake in north Italy together, holidaying on a speed boat. Life really is good right now for the young couple.
Posting the image on Facebook, Cally celebrated that their weekend had finally started and that she and Edi were in fact, exploring for their wedding. What exactly they were shopping in Italy for remains to be seen, whether it’s for a honeymoon or for the actual wedding itself.
Despite vacationing in the beautiful Lombardy village, the two took time out to go adventuring. They have a history of traveling together and it looks like married life isn’t going to hold them back on this passion. Here, the gorgeous couple wanders through the neighborhoods of Bellagio, Lago di Como.
Apart from Italy, the to-be-weds have traveled in Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, France, Wales, the Lake District – and that’s only in the last two years! They’ve caught the travel bug, and are lucky to have also found their perfect travel partner in each other.
Mama Read Approves!
Edi was smart to get himself in Cally’s mom’s good books. A close-knit family, Cally has a close relationship with her mom and her sister – which is why they joined them on their “wedding exploration” to Mezzegra and Lake Como this summer. In this photo, Edi quips, “When you would rather take a photo with Cally’s mom.”
Despite Edi’s teasing, mom Karen has clearly given her seal of approval to their relationship, going so far as to help with wedding planning. They also celebrated mama Read’s 60th birthday while in Italy, and we can’t think of a better reason to jet off with your family.
At Least Edi’s There to Cheer You Up
Coming back from vacation to the responsibilities and day-to-day mundane tasks of daily life is hard for anyone, and Cally’s no exception. After her heavenly retreat in Europe with the people closest and dearest to her, she sulked for a little while after. After all, the UK’s weather doesn’t compare.
Edi was quick to tease Cally, however, captioning this image of them riding a bus: “When the holiday blues start setting in… not for me tho I don’t get blues.” Way to rub it in, Edi! To be fair, we wouldn’t expect anything less from such a prankster fiance.
A Growing Family?
Rather cryptically, the two posted this image on their new Facebook page “Cally & Edi” – a place they created to share their story and post any updates about the two of them. This image of them in a car with a pooch was posted at the beginning of October with the words, “When it’s selfie time and you wanna get involved.” This Bedlington Terrier is adorable, but we’re yet to found out who their owner is!
While it’s not clear if they’ve adopted the pup, it does raise the question: will they be adding members to their home anytime soon? They’ve kept quiet about what their future has in store so far, and its likely a thought for after they get the wedding out of the way. Still, we’re looking forward to updating you on how Edi proposed once they reveal it. Watch this space!
It appears that our Edi and Cally have started something of a trend! Meet Colton Vaters, the Canadian who loved Edi’s idea so much he felt inspired to apply the photobombing concept to his proposal story. Similarly to Edi, he had no clue how to pop the question: “I bought the ring about 5 months or so ago knowing that I wanted to propose, but I had no idea how I was going to do it.”
Pictured by a lake with girlfriend Danielle Campbell, he holds the ring in his left hand, literally going behind her back! In what she expected to just be a cute couples photoshoot, she has no idea that he was about to propose. He had the photographer in on his true intentions for the day, and he wanted her reaction caught on camera!
A Proposal 5 Months in the Making
Explaining himself further, Colton said that “all changed when I [had] seen a post about how someone else proposed. He took secret photos of his now fiance with the ring and her in the same photo in more and more daring scenarios. This to me sounded like a lot of fun.”
He wanted to make his proposal interesting, having already carried the engagement ring around with him for months! “I started taking the ring with me everywhere I went and taking as many photos as I could without her noticing. I also left the ring in various spots throughout the house for different periods of time.” he asserts.
Going Behind Her Back
Look behind you, Danielle! Yes, Colton was also a risk-taker, placing the ring on her back while she was wide awake! Thankfully for him, she was none the wiser: “I really hoped she wouldn’t notice the ring, or me taking the pictures because if she did, I would’ve proposed then and there.”
He continued to explain that it wouldn’t have been ideal should she have found him out, as he, “wanted to do it during a photoshoot we had scheduled to catch it all live time.” Nonetheless, Colton rose to the challenge of finding funny scenarios to place the ring near her.
There’s Never a Wrong Time for a Photo
In this intimate portrait of their life at home, Colton creeps up on his girlfriend with the ring in hand. He captioned this image: “She’s painting her toenail for anyone wondering,” just to clarify what she’s doing on the toilet seat! That didn’t stop people assuming otherwise…
One commenter admitted “I thought she was clipping her nails into the trash,” which appeared to be an assumption quite a few others shared. While plenty of social media trolls had jokes to suggest otherwise, rest-assured she was simply engaging in some nail art!
An Engagement Project That Comes Highly Recommended
Colton, like Edi, took the engagement ring everywhere with him. He never knew when a photo opportunity would arise and wanted to be sure to get some good ones. In the end, he had amassed a collection of over 30 photos of the ring and his unsuspecting girlfriend, before creating his perfect moment.
“It all went to plan and I would highly recommend this to anyone planning on asking the big question in the future,” he assured people on social media. He continued, “It was a cool way to make the proposal fun, and take the stress away.” We’re certainly happy he shared his funny photos with us, and wish both gorgeous couples the very best!