Blind dating game leads to ‘awkward’ marriage proposal
JASON Beard went to a blind date competition a year ago for a "challenge and a laugh or two".
He hasn't been able to wipe the smile off his face since.
The Tugun engineer will this weekend marry the bachelorette he selected that night at the Pacific Surf Life Saving Club.
Mr Beard, of Tugun, and schoolteacher Kerryn Devine scored a free salsa-dancing date for connecting at the Couch Outloud Love Match blind dating game and outcome an "awkward but perfect" wedding proposal.
"Meeting Kerryn Devine has been the fairytale I have been looking for years," said Mr Beard, 43.
"It was the right place and the right time.
"Something wonderful came from that night in Palm Beach. I just know we will grow old together."
The dating show involved Gold Coasters applying online to be a bachelor or one of three bachelorettes.
Couch Outloud director Michelle Drumbell said finalists were selected based on their "authenticity and possible compatibility".
Mr Beard said "from behind a screen I blindly asked questions, which included their opinion of an ideal first date and thoughts on public displays of affection".
He said he chose Kerryn because he "liked her answers and she seemed really genuine".
"We went on the date and the rest is history."
Seven months into the relationship, Mr Beard proposed to the 39-year-old schoolteacher from Merrimac.
Ms Devine described the proposal as "awkward but perfect".
"We went to Mount Warning but it was busy," she said.
"I had a feeling he wanted to propose as he was determined to get to the top for sunrise.
"I could tell he was nervous and we were not going to make it.
"As plan B we got in the car and drove to the Byron Bay lighthouse.
"We sat on a bench, drank tea, saw the sunrise, he said some lovely words, and I said a big 'yes'."
The soon-be-husband and wife are not new to the world of marriage - both divorcees who did not think they would find love again.
Ms Devine, who has been divorced for 10 years, said after trying online dating she was "happy to be single" for the rest of her life.
Her fiance, father of one and divorced since 2006, shared the same sentiment.
"Jason and I have talked about it and we agree that we were at the right point in our lives and were not expecting it," Ms Devine said. "But we have added to each others life and definitely worth the risk.
"It was so unexpected and if we met online I would not have picked him. Now I have found him and thanks to Couch Outloud I never ever want to let him go."