A self-described “old romantic” who took his girlfriend on a mystery holiday to Barbados, where he shocked her with a surprise proposal followed by a fully organised “magical” wedding just three days later, said he did it to take the weight of planning off his wife’s shoulders.

Adam Blakey, 40, from Blackpool, whisked away his girlfriend of seven years, Victoria, 41, to the Caribbean island in April, convincing her the trip was to celebrate his 40th birthday when in reality he had organised a proposal and wedding without his wife’s knowledge.

The entrepreneur kicked off the surprises before their Barbados trip at Manchester Airport where he brought along Victoria’s parents, who had not left the country for more than 15 years, and continued the theme when he and Victoria shocked their close friends and family with their secret marriage when they arrived home.

Adam chose Barbados to honour Victoria’s Caribbean heritage and proposed to her while surrounded by roses placed in a heart shape on the beach outside their hotel, before marrying in the same location just days later.

At the airportAt the airport (Image: PA)

Adam, who was previously married, had planned to marry Victoria sooner but said finalising papers for his divorce took seven years, which was not helped by the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that he felt the need to take the weight of wedding planning off his partner’s shoulders as a thank-you for her patience.

Adam started planning the wedding in early January 2024, just a week after his divorce was finalised.

He said: “I always knew that I wanted to marry her, but the topic of marriage was a difficult conversation, and she was so patient about it.

On the beach after the proposalOn the beach after the proposal (Image: PA / Ryan Alleyne)

“I was trying to reassure her (the divorce) was lengthy due to problems in it, but she was so patient with the whole process that it made me love her even more.

“I did not want to be in a long, drawn (out) engagement for years and years where she’s going to wait for her dream wedding because she’s already waiting.

“I wanted to plan the whole wedding for her so that all she has to do is basically say yes, and then everything from there happens.”

Adam managed to keep his plans under wraps from Victoria as every year he organises a surprise holiday for them where his wife never knows the destination, and on this occasion, he also blindfolded her so he could bring her parents to the airport in secret.

“She thought she was going away in April for my 40th birthday,” he explained.

“I’m a bit of an old romantic so I always take her away, but she never knows where she’s going.

The sun halo during the weddingThe sun halo during the wedding (Image: PA)

“When we actually went away, she wasn’t surprised by the fact that she didn’t know because for seven years that’s all we’ve done, and we’ve travelled and done some crazy stuff.

“When we got to the airport she was blindfolded and she genuinely thought it was just part of the process. She didn’t think of anything like that.

“She took the blindfold off and she saw her mum and dad at the airport and she freaked out.”

Adam organised for his wife’s parents to join them in Barbados, which Victoria described as “the best surprise you could ever do in your whole life”.

“All of us were sitting there thinking, ‘just wait a couple of days’,” Adam said.

The couple's first danceThe couple's first dance (Image: PA)

Adam and Victoria enjoyed a day of swimming with sea turtles, seeing shipwrecks and riding a catamaran before Adam’s sea sickness and nerves set in leading up to the proposal on April 14 – the same day as his 40th birthday.

He got down on one knee at the beach surrounded by roses shaped like a heart, saying: “We were walking along, it was all lit up and all of the lights were positioned so that it really made the heart shape pop.

“All the candles were really romantic, the sea was just a perfect level – it wasn’t too close in, but you could hear it in the background.

“The steel drummers were playing on the side, so it sounded great and it was just absolutely perfect. It was like something from a film. It was magical.”

While the proposal may have taken Victoria by surprise, the fact Adam had already planned the wedding to take place days later prompted more shock.

“In the wedding proposal I said, ‘Look, I’ve been planning this whole thing for the last three months and our whole wedding day in two days’ time’ and then she just freaks out,” he said.

“But she’s in on the plan then.”

Originally, Adam wanted to marry his partner one day after the proposal, on April 15, but was advised by a local wedding dress shop he needed time to accommodate for Victoria’s alterations.

The couple instead married on the same beach in an intimate ceremony with Victoria’s parents and around 15 guests from the hotel, who heard about the surprise wedding and wanted to join, on April 17.

Adam said: “The craziest thing that happened over there, believe it or not, was on the day of the wedding.

"Her nan’s favourite song was Somewhere Over The Rainbow, so we had that playing on the steel drums as she was walking down the aisle.

“Barbados that day had a sun halo. They’ve never had one before. It’s a perfect rainbow around the sun, which was just crazy and that’s what she walked down the aisle to. It was just meant to be, obviously.

“It was just incredible, we all couldn’t believe it.”

Adam joked he had created a “surprise within a surprise” for the couple’s return, as he had organised a party with their close friends and family under the guise of it being his 40th birthday celebrations, before revealing their marriage.

He said: “I planned a big surprise 40th birthday for me. I got my parents and her parents involved to plan.

“Everyone was thinking they were coming to my 40th as well as Vic’s birthday, but then we walked in and surprised them with actually being married.

“It was like a surprise within a surprise within a surprise, which is just crazy.”

The couple, who have been together for seven years, met on Tinder, and Adam knew early on he wanted to marry Victoria.

He said: “She was my ‘Tinderella’, she always says.

“I knew I wanted to marry her from day one, genuinely. I was head over heels and it just worked. When you know, you know.”

Recognising she would not be able to witness the planning of her own wedding, Adam also filmed every stage of the process for her.

“Because she wasn’t involved in the planning stages, which she’s very thankful for because it’s so stressful, I wanted to record the whole thing for her so she could watch it back and see every step from me going to ask her mum and dad’s permission, to going into the ring shop, suits, and everything in between,” he said.

The couple have since shared their videos on TikTok, with one video about their parents’ reaction to the surprise earning nearly 40,000 views.

“If money was never an object, we’d love to gift someone else the gift of a secret wedding,” said Adam.