Former Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff said it was “the biggest surprise of my life” when partner Ben Cohen got down on one knee during a holiday in the Maldives.
The couple met when they were partnered up on the 11th series of Strictly in 2013 and share daughter Mila together.
The romantic proposal came in the middle of their 16-day holiday, where they were taken on a boat trip to a neighbouring island before Rihanoff discovered a lantern-lit heart and “Will you marry me?” written in the sand.
The Russian dancer, 45, told Hello magazine: “Although we’d talked before about getting married one day, I hadn’t the slightest idea that Ben was planning this.
“My first reaction was wow. It was absolutely surreal and I couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I’m usually very perceptive but I didn’t have a clue Ben had been planning this. How he managed to keep it a secret was amazing.”
Former professional rugby player Cohen said: “I wanted us to go further forward together and taking a holiday in such a beautiful place felt like the perfect moment to do that.
“Setting the scene had to be really special and with the help of members of staff at the resort, we achieved that.
“It was truly incredible and blew me away.”
The couple, who run the Soo Yoga wellbeing and fitness centre in Northampton, said they are looking forward to celebrating their engagement with family and friends.
“After eight years with Ben, our love is stronger than ever,” Rihanoff said.
Cohen added: “Every love story has its honeymoon period but that eventually goes.
“Love has different meanings and for me, that’s a relationship with a partner who’s been through difficult times with me and together we move forward.
“She’s the person I want in my life forever.”
In 2016, the couple welcomed daughter Milena, shortening the Slavic name to Mila, at Northampton General Hospital on June 24.
Cohen previously said it was a gruelling 19-and-a-half hour labour, which took longer than expected because the umbilical cord was wrapped about the baby’s neck.