“I was terrified” – the moment Josh proposed to Scarlett at Tolpuddle

Engagement kissJosh Connolly admitted he was terrified when he proposed to his girlfriend from Tolpuddle’s open mic.

Josh, who works on a golf course in Rickmansworth, sprang the surprise proposal on Scarlett Grodentz in front of hundreds of festival-goers on the Saturday afternoon.

He came to the mic outside the beer tent with his guitar and announced to the crowd – including an unsuspecting Scarlett: “I’m here for one reason, and one reason only. My girlfriend is standing over there and I told her, if I was ever going to propose to her, I would do it in the most embarrassing way possible.”

Scarlett pic
Scarlett realises what’s just happened

As Scarlett realised what was happening, Josh started strumming the opening chords to High Flying Birds’ If I Had A Gun, with the lyrics:

If I had a gun, I’d shoot a hole into the sun

And love would burn this city down for you

If I had the time I’d stop the world and make you mine

And every day would stay the same with you.

Josh beckoned Scarlett down to the front and, after he finished singing, pulled an engagement ring out of his pocket, dropped to one knee and popped the question.

The cheering crowd was unable to hear Scarlett’s reply, but the couple, who live in Welwyn Garden City, started kissing, so presumed all was well.

Festival-goers applause the happy couple
Festival-goers applause the happy couple

Josh told union-news.co.uk: “I was planning to propose for a couple of months and wanted to do it where I could really embarrass Scarlett. When I asked the question, though, I was shitting myself, but when she said ‘Yes’ it was the best feeling ever.”

Despite all of the couple’s friends being in on the secret, Scarlett had no idea what was about to happen.

She said: “Josh promised to embarrass me, but I thought was just being stupid. Then, when I saw him on stage I knew what he was doing. I can’t believe nobody said anything about it to me.

“When he started singing I was just so proud of him, I could never do something like that and he’s not the type of person who likes to be the centre of attention, but I’m so happy he did do it like that because I think we will remember it forever.

“Of course I wasn’t going to turn him down, but when he told my mum what he was planning she said, ‘Scarlett will do one of two things –  either burst into tears or run away’, but luckily I stuck around. She was right about the tears though!”

The couple enjoyed the rest of the festival, with happy punters congratulating them throughout the weekend.

“We were really touched by the amount of people coming up to us and congratulating us, but also telling us how glad there were to be there for it,” said Scarlett. “We’re both really grateful to John Reed on the Open Mic for allowing Josh to ask because it could have gone horribly wrong!”

Organisers believe it is the first proposal at the festival, although Gary and Lyn Kilroy were married there in 2015.

Scarlett and family appear on the Tolpuddle promotional literature
Scarlett and family appear on the Tolpuddle promotional literature

Scarlett is a bit of a fixture at the festival, coming for ten years, with her family featuring on the promotion literature, while this was Josh’s second time. It will be one neither will forget in a hurry.

You can watch a video of the proposal here.

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