A SINGER at Cork Pride got the surprise of a lifetime after her bandmate got down on one knee to propose live on stage.
Jennifer Bowler was playing with her music group Sparkle at the Party at the Port event when her girlfriend Caroline Bailey popped the question.
She spoke of how their other bandmates were moved to tears at the touching display. The drive-in event was also attended by Caroline's daughter Ellie, who was called to the stage to be part of their special moment.
The nine-year-old was being looked after by friends of the couple as she watched the show unfold from their vehicle.
The pair had been going out for four years prior to the proposal and even appeared on Ireland’s Got Talent together after a successful audition back in 2019. Jennifer, who lives with her fiance in Castlemartyr, described the happy moment and said:
"When Ellie was brought to the stage she was bawling. We were all crying. Caroline is such a quiet person when it comes to our relationship that I never thought that she would do something so far out of her comfort zone. Marriage never seemed to be her thing but I had always considered us to be basically married anyway. I always joked about what our day would be like if we did decide to get married. However, it's very hard to believe that this is actually happening now. The experience has been so surreal. I was speechless for about four hours after she proposed. I'm still in shock today."
Jen is looking forward to the future.
"We are both over the moon as this has been such a long time coming. When we first met we were both in separate bands and I really wanted to sing with her because she had such an amazing voice. I can't imagine what it's going to be like to plan a wedding. We're not sure when or where it will happen but it's going to be a proper celebration. It might have even be a two-day celebration."
She extended her gratitude to those behind the proposal.
"It had been arranged by everyone on the Pride Committee. Everyone made such an effort. "
The singer said her partner couldn't have picked a better location for the proposal.
"Pride is very special to me," she said. "Just like some people like Christmas and others like Halloween the highlight of my year is pride. It was great that this was where the proposal happened. I'm really glad now that Pride got to go ahead given that they had to plan it under such tough conditions. Everything was planned to a tee. Caroline got me a band because she knew that I wouldn't be into a girly ring. She got everything just right."
The band performed their new song 'long way home" at the festival which Jennifer co-wrote with musician Aoife Abushaqra.
The track was released last July and is available to stream on a number of musical platforms. Caroline and Jennifer had also performed a number of online shows to raise money for charity while on lockdown during the pandemic.