John Spooner and Elena Costa rounded off 2012 with a bang by getting engaged following a firework-themed proposal in the Town Gardens in Old Town on New Year’s Eve.

Just as it was getting dark, John, 40, convinced Elena, 33, to visit the park, where he set off a custom-designed 4ft by 2ft firework spelling out the word “Marry Me”, before making a formal proposal with a ring.

And New Year’s Eve is particularly important for the pair as they met on the same date two years ago in Leicester Square, London, after linking up through, the internet dating website.

John, who even asked the Adver along to photograph the grand gesture, said he could have taken Elena away for a romantic weekend, such as to Paris, but wanted to propose in a way which was surprising and which she would never forget.

He said: “If you go away for a romantic weekend, there’s normally signs and clues that give it away. But she had absolutely no idea. We were just getting ready to go out to a superheroes fancy dress party. “She had no idea, she was completely shocked. She did find it quite amazing. “I never do things by halves. If you are going to do something like that, it’s got to be funny and memorable.”