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Groom’s column: I dreamed a dream

Entertainer, magician and groom-to-be Chris Cox pulls off the most nerve-wracking trick of his life

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“I’m going to ask her to marry me,” 
I tell my friend Matt. “Surely you already know if she’ll say yes?” he replies. I instantly groan. Being a mind-reader who can’t read minds means I’ve heard this joke before, but the pit of fear in my stomach grows. What if she doesn’t?

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It’s 6pm as we land in Cancun and little does she know, but the beautiful lady next to me will soon become my fiancée… I should point out that lady is Helen; we’ve been together for 2 ½ years – it’s not just some stranger I became besotted with on the flight. Fighting jet lag we settle at the stunning Le Blanc Hotel & Spa, where a butler appears asking if he can unpack for us. “GOD NO!” I shout, quickly adding a “thank you”. The ring is hiding in the case and I don’t want Helen to have any idea about what I’ve got planned. Only my parents, her Dad (I’d asked his permission the week before), the hotel and the guys at Skype (who sold me a load of credit for calls home) have any idea.

To make it perfect I’d organised everything with Le Blanc before I left. A private dinner over a lagoon, a photographer and a violinist to play Les Misérables as I asked the question (not On My Own, obvs.) She was supposed to find the ring in a chocolate orb at dessert but when the morning of the proposal came and I nearly vomited with nerves, I switched the dessert to the second course, knowing I couldn’t eat anything till the deed was done.

As an entertainer I’ve performed in front of thousands, but the nerves that flowed through me as I got down on one knee were something else. I looked into her eyes and said what I wanted. She cried, I cried, she said yes, we kissed and felt happiness like never before. She was really surprised and had no idea I was going to ask. In one huge romantic gesture I’d made up for all those times I wasn’t romantic enough.

We had two weeks left in Mexico, looking online for an engagement ring (I proposed with a fashion one) and living in a bubble of happiness. We returned home, wrapped up warm and went to Hatton Garden. Two shops in and I’d already been quoted three times the price for a ring that was identical to one we’d seen online. We were all ready to shop via the interweb before we popped into family-run and friendly Davril. After looking at a few rings they soon had a sense of us and came out with a piece designed in-house. Les Mis came on the shop speakers. I saw Helen’s face and knew this was the one for the girl who was my one. The ring, like the holiday, like the proposal, like my fiancée, was perfect. The only problem now is trying to organise a wedding to match.

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For Chris’ 2013 tour dates, go to magiccox.com.