IT STARTED as an elaborate proposal.
But now, Oxford Castle says its “buskers’ quarter” on Saturday was so successful it wants to have one every month.
Francisco Jesus, 25, startled crowds at the afternoon fair when he joined a seemingly-impromptu dance crew performing to Bruno Mars’ Marry Me, before asking for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage.
But what his fiancé Ana Cruz, 26, didn’t know was that the buskers they were there to see were organised for her benefit.
The stunt was four months in the making and involved nearly 50 dancers, musicians, jugglers and bubble-makers.
Oliver Cooper shows off his juggling skills
It was orchestrated by wedding planner Georgina Webb.
Miss Webb, 36, from Tavistock Avenue, Didcot, said: “It was amazing. Everything went according to plan, the team were amazing and pulled out all the stops.
“It was a huge team effort, so we’re glad she said ‘yes’ “This was the first proposal I have done and it was a big one.
“We had to keep it all secret so we didn’t ruin the surprise.”
She said flash mob proposals like this were becoming more popular.
Mr Jesus originally approached Chris Smith, of Oxford Media Factory, with the idea of filming a flash mob.
Mr Smith said he loved the idea but couldn’t organise it on his own, so he contacted Miss Webb for some help.
Miss Smith said: “The happy couple love watching buskers in Oxford so we decided the best way to draw crowds in for the proposal was to have this buskers event. We did all of that just for the proposal.”
A spokesman for Oxford Castle Quarter said the company was now looking at holding a buskers fair on the first Saturday of every month.
Juggler Oliver Cooper, from Reading, said it was the first time he had ever helped make the atmosphere for a proposal.
Mr Cooper, 18, said: “It was all very lovely.”
Francisco Jesus and his fiance Ana Cruz
The couple, both from Portugal, met in 2005 when they were working at a children’s camp in the country, before settling in Oxford.
After the proposal they were presented with a glass of Champagne each from staff at the nearby hotel Malmaison.