Being a woman of sound mind and impeccable taste, Jessica Starkey loves Yorkshire Tea.
None of that weak, lily-livered stuff they serve elsewhere. A proper brew. And six to eight cups of it a day.
So when her partner Neal Seccombe decided to pop the question, he knew what he had to do. Propose through the medium of tea.
Neal got in touch with the Yorkshire Tea team all the way back in May 2016 to see if they could help. They were on to it – and produced a specially made box with the words ‘Marry Me’ in the place of the iconic brand’s name.
Then all he had to do was find the right setting to do the deed.
Neal and Jessica met on a training day for Newcastle College, where they both work as lecturers.
At the very beginning of their relationship they stayed in York’s Grand Hotel & Spa. So Neal whisked her back to the luxury hotel for his crucial moment.
Before heading out for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Neal asked Jess if she’d like a cup of tea. Unlike the big question of the night, he already knew what her answer would be.
Jess said yes to the tea. And that was when Neal presented her with the personalised box which had the ring nestled inside.
And fortunately she said yes a second time.
Neal was going to propose in December but decided to hold on till just after Valentine’s Day to make sure everything was perfect.
So, when I began thinking about how I could pop the question, and make the moment as special as possible, it seemed like a no-brainer to collaborate with her favourite tea brand.
I was delighted when they agreed to get involved and I really appreciate the help. I actually think Jess is more excited about the box than the ring!
Jess was stunned. “I had absolutely no idea Neal was going to propose, I was in total shock, but luckily we had chance to calm down with a brew afterwards.”
Both the tea people and the hotel were delighted with the outcome. Yorkshire Tea brand manager Laura Burton said “we were thrilled to be able to help Neal with his very thoughtful and ‘proper’ proposal”.
And the Grand’s general manager Maria Florou said the hotel was all about romance, and so “we hope to welcome them back to celebrate their big day here with us”.