Farmers help contractor with hay bale marriage proposal

Farmers in West Sussex have helped their friend propose to his girlfriend using 60 large square bales and a drone.

Mark Howard-Smith arranged the bales and popped the question to his partner, Sarah Coles-Parry, by flying the drone over the message and handing her the controller and screen, as he went down on one knee.

Mr Howard-Smith does contracting work for the Batchelor family, who farm near Horsham. The farmers agreed to use white plastic wrap on the bales so the contractor could arrange them for the proposal on 30 May.

See also: Young farmer stages metal detector marriage proposal

“I am extremely grateful to the Batchelor family for all their help in making this possible.

“The weather was perfect on the day, with blue skies. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions.

“Once everything was in place, I came up with an excuse as to why I needed to take some photos at the farm with a drone and how it would be a good idea if she accompanied me,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

Mark Howard-Smith and Lucy with the hay bales

Mark Howard-Smith and Sarah © Mark Howard-Smith

The farm contractor, 36, has worked for the Batchelor family since leaving Harper Adams University in 2005, as well as running his own business.

The couple are planning for the big day to be in early 2022, with venues next year extremely busy due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many weddings to be postponed.

Mr Howard-Smith said Sarah, 29, was shocked and then ecstatic when he proposed.

“It took a while for it to sink in; there was a look of shock on her face and then she was over the moon. It is really exciting and we both can’t wait.”

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