NHS Shetland - Survey - March 2021

Helena says yes to Brian’s cinematic proposal

The happy couple: Brian Spence and Helena Kovacevic after the film screening that turned into a wedding proposal. Photo courtesy of Shetland Arts.

IT WAS AN unexpectedly romantic evening in Screen 2 at Mareel on Saturday night – not because of the film, but because Cullivoe man Brian Spence decided to propose to his girlfriend, Helena Kovacevic.

The proposal (she accepted) was made in the company of a group of his friends, along with other unsuspecting members of the Lerwick audience.

Filmmaker Brian had made a special “trailer” in advance of the proposal. Once the adverts and regular trailers had finished, the audience – in particular Helena – were amazed to see his “Yellywood Films” logo on the big screen, followed by a three minute history of the couple’s relationship.

Brian met Helen in Croatia in 2010. A series of images showing the couple in various European cities, and in Shetland, followed, with their favourite song providing the soundtrack.

When that ended, Brian proposed to Helena. Thankfully she said yes, the audience cheered, and Shetland Arts staff came in with flowers and a glass of champagne for everyone in the auditorium.

Brian had been planning the special occasion for months, and with the help of staff at Mareel was able to give Helena and all his specially invited friends the surprise of their lives.

He was relieved everything went smoothly on the night: “It’s been a bit of a blur, to be honest! I’m not normally one for public displays like this, but thought it was worth it to surprise Helena, and the friends we had in attendance.”

Brian admitted it “probably would have been” the worst feeling in the world had Helena said no, in such public circumstances, but thankfully his gamble paid off.

He added: “I can’t thank all the staff at Mareel enough for their help with planning this, and for keeping everything top secret.”

Kathy Hubbard of Shetland Arts said the organisation had been thrilled to join in with Brian’s plans.

“We were only too happy to do what we could to make it happen,” she said.

“Brian made the film, the staff here at Mareel transformed it into a format that could be shown on the screen, and the technicians slotted it into the regular programme.

“It was fantastic – nobody except Brian and the staff had any idea it was going to happen, and everyone was thrilled – especially Helena. It was a wonderful moment.”

After the flowers, bubbly and excitement, the audience settled down for the scheduled showing of 1989 film National Lampoon’s Xmas Vacation.