It was a clear evening on a quiet, snow-covered street in Reykjavik when Michael Kent spontaneously went down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend Fiona Newlands.
Michael had been carrying around Fiona's grandmother's ring during the couple's holiday in Iceland last month, waiting for the perfect time to pop the question. He decided that moment, in the middle of the deserted, fairy-lit street, was perfect. Fiona said yes.
Unbeknown to the couple, the romantic scene was discreetly captured by amateur photographer Jessica Bowe, who was out looking at snow showers when she spotted the pair.
Her picture captures a rare and beautiful fairytale image of one of the most important moments of the couple's lives - and she was happy to share it with them.
Jessica approached Fiona and Michael to offer her congratulations and to see if they wanted her to email them the picture. In an Instagram post, she recalls how a grateful Michael's "hands were trembling" as he entered his email address into her phone.
Trembling so much, he misspelled his email address and never received the picture.
So, this was a special night. I was leaving Bravó after a few happy Friday beers and snapping some pics of the lovely falling snow, with Hallgrímskirkja church in view up Skólavörðustígur, on my usual way home when this couple got engaged on the spot. I gave them a moment and then asked if they would like to have this picture as a memento. The man's hands were trembling as he entered his email address on my phone, and I got some nice hugs of appreciation. Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time. #reykjavik #iceland #magicmoments #luckyshot #hallgrimskirkja #winter #snowfall #arcticromance #love #proposal #happyaccidents #reykjavikloves #nordicvisitor #gvpics #ig_iceland
A photo posted by JR Bowe (@jrbowe) on
Michael, who is from Edinburgh, realised his error and took his own blurry photo of the street, Skólavörðustígur, where he proposed.
The 28-year-old began a seemingly hopeless search for the “random woman” who took the precious picture, asking the internet for help and posting his own snap of the street on Facebook and Twitter.
"The thing is, it still would have been an amazing moment without the picture, but the fact we knew the picture existed made it feel almost devastating that we didn't have it," he tells Today.com.
Meanwhile Jessica, an American based in Iceland, shared the snap on her Instagram feed.
Soon, a sharp-eyed Twitter user made a connection:
“My intention in the first place was to capture the falling snow in the midst of the twinkling holiday lights,” Jessica tells RVK Grapevine. “Then these two people walked into the street and I thought it would look lovely to have some silhouettes in the frame.
“So I managed to catch a shot right before [Michael] went down on bended knee and then of course the moment it happened.
“It took a few seconds to sink in that I’d just witnessed the biggest moment of their lives.”
After tracking down the picture of his snow-strewn proposal and his future wife's jubilant reaction, the groom-to-be proclaimed: “I f**king love the internet.”
Shortly before their flight back to the UK, Michael and Fiona, 34, met up with their accidental snapper for a brief reunion: