When Tess Montgomery arrived at a luxury hotel on the island of Favigana near Sicily, the Swedish-born model assumed she was there to participate in a fashion shoot. Actually, her love-struck boyfriend — former rugby star Garth Chamberlain — had set up the elaborate ruse to create the perfect venue for an unforgettable marriage proposal.
Chamberlain secretly traveled to the same hotel just ahead of Montgomery to set up hidden cameras that would document the surprise proposal. The resulting 5:47 video, which included more than 60 time-lapse clips and 100 still photographs recounting the jet-setting couple’s three-year courtship, has become an instant YouTube sensation with more than 453,000 views.
Originally from Zimbabwe and now living in London, Chamberlain worked with Montgomery’s modeling agency, MOT Models, to fake a booking that would have his girlfriend heading to one of the most scenic and romantic places on Earth — the Cas’almare Hotel in Favigana.
When Montgomery arrived on the hotel’s gorgeous terrace she expected to meet with a photographer and his crew but, instead, a hotel staffer handed her an iPad. With boyfriend Chamberlain hiding just out of site, the iPad played a video that explained in an elaborately edited montage why she is really in Italy.
In the video, Chamberlain returns to the London pub where he saw his love for the very first time. He also includes a segment where he travels to Sweden to ask Montgomery’s father, Holger, for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
As the video concludes, Chamberlain comes out of his hiding spot and joins Montgomery on the terrace. He gets down on one knee, pulls out a ring box containing a princess-cut diamond solitaire and proposes to his delighted and overwhelmed girlfriend. Of course, she says, “Yes.” A wedding is planned for New Year’s Eve 2014 in Zimbabwe.
On her blog, Montgomery commented, “I was stunned – Garth made the most romantic proposal in the world and I am one very lucky lady.”
Chamberlain revealed to MailOnline.com how he was able to beat Montgomery to the island destination so he could do the setup: “We managed to get her over to Italy after a little stopover flight, so I could get there before her and set everything up.”
An edited version of the epic proposal is titled “What Really Happened in Italy.” The viral video is below.