LIFESTYLE

Skydiving Enthusiast Proposes To His Girlfriend At 12,500ft - What Could Possibly Go Wrong...?

07/07/2014 15:26 BST | Updated 07/07/2014 15:59 BST

We all love a good (or sometimes bad) wedding proposal story, and this one is just fabulous.

A skydiving enthusiast decided to pop the question to his girlfriend at 12,500ft - but blundered by dropping the ring.

Firefighter Brandon Strohbehn and partner Nicole, who live in Oceanside, California, USA, made the jump at Skydive San Diego.

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Nicole had no idea what was coming as the pair leapt from the plane in what is referred to as a "Mr. Bill" exit - with Nicole holding on to Brandon's harness as he opened his parachute.

On the way down Brandon, who works for Orange County Fire Authority in Southern California, produced a ring.

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But disaster appeared to strike when it slipped from his grasp and plummeted through the air.

Luckily though, it was all just part of his dastardly plan.

The dropped ring was only a fake, with the real wedding band waiting for Nicole down on the ground, as friends and family - secretly smuggled into the site by Brandon's brother - cheered them on.

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Brandon said: "The original plan was to do it out of a hot air balloon. I had a bunch of friends helping with the coordination and helping to keep Nicole from knowing what was going on.

"We actually had planned it as a going away jump for a friend that was heading to North Dakota - it was the perfect cover, Nicole had no idea.

"The balloon jump got canceled multiple times due to weather so I was fed up. I wasn't gonna let another weather hold keep me from asking her to marry me.

"So, two months after the original planned balloon jump, we had a 'birthday boogie' for Nicole’s birthday at Skydive San Diego.

"Our plan was to jump the whole weekend and camp down there. So I decided this would be the perfect time to make this happen. Maybe even a good birthday present. So we came up with the Mr. Bill plan.

"I got a fake ring, knowing that I was going to drop it on our Mr. Bill high pull at 12,500ft. Then I called all her family and coordinated - with the help of her brother-in-law and my brother - them to come down on the day I was going to propose.."

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Brandon added: "We even had a special staging area in one of the classrooms that my brother would escort them to so Nicole wouldn't see any of her family there and get suspicious. Then, once we got on the plane that was taking us up for our proposal jump, my brother had all of her family and my family come out and wait for us to land.

"She was super surprised and couldn't believe all her family was there. In the end, it ended up being a great thing that the balloon jumps were canceled because it gave us a chance to have all of our family there to celebrate with us for this epic day."

The couple now have 224 skydives each under their belts, although they almost failed to get together in the first place.

Friends insisted that the pair were a perfect match, but they resisted all attempts to be set up on a blind date.

Brandon added: "Neither of us wanted to be set up on a blind date, so when we first met at a country bar just by chance, I think we both wanted to make sure that it was clear we were not interested in what our friends were trying to force us into.

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"But, as it turns out, we were both attracted to each other but didn't want to admit it yet. It didn't take too long after for us to start "running into each other" more often.

"Our first unofficial first date was snowboarding up at Big Bear - a local mountain in San Bernardino. We were just going "as friends", so it was by no means a "real" date, but we both knew what it was. Not too long after, we started officially dating."

The pair have now been together for 18 months, and have got no plans to give up their high-altitude hobby any time soon.