Los Angeles – Secretly, he collected newspaper clippings offering vital clues to what he hoped would give him the opportunity to surprise his fiancée with a wedding befitting his perfect match.
Despite already having proposed informally, groom-to-be Basil Adams could not even pay for an engagement ring, let alone a costly wedding for his love, 23-year-old René Fisher.
But when the 37-year-old from Inglewood spotted a “Win a Wedding” competition, he set to work.
“At the moment I’m financially unstable, and when I saw the competition I thought this is it, I must enter,” said Adams, who works as a wheelchair handler at LAX Airport.
Hoping to surprise his fiancée should he win a wedding to the value of more than $50,000, Adams kept his entry secret.
He collected the clues every day for two weeks; they were the puzzle pieces which formed a perfect picture of a restaurant in Santa Monica.
When he received a call a week ago asking the couple to make themselves available for an interview by a panel of judges, which included two representatives from Independent Newspapers and two from a wedding venue, Adams had no choice but to reveal his intended surprise.
When he told Fisher they were finalists, she hardly believed him, and was slightly upset she’d have to take a day off work.
”I thought he was being silly,” she said, holding the couple’s 6-month-old son Reo in her bedroom at home in Inglewood.
The couple met on Tinder, and she recalls being surprised when he “rocked up on a red scooter” when they finally met.
”I was so at ease with her because usually I’m so nervous when I speak to pretty women,” Adams said.
“I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.”
Even without an engagement ring, Fisher said she wanted to become “Mrs Adams”.
On Tuesday, close to realising their dream, the couple faced another hurdle. They caught the bus to the studio and, as they began walking the rain came.
Ever the gentleman, Adams took off his jacket and held it over Fisher’s head as they made the dash up the hill.
The couple were among three finalists selected from more than 500 entries, and after the interview were selected as the final winners.
“I was speechless and even shed a tear,” an elated Adams said.
“It didn’t sink in at that moment… it’s a very nice prize,” said Fisher.
Unable to contain his excitement, Adams said he could not wait for the big day to arrive.
“As long as I just get to put a ring on her finger, I’ll be the happiest man alive.”