Amid the smiles and photographs of this week’s graduation ceremonies, one couple had another reason to celebrate.
Contemporary theatre and performance graduate Richard Kennedy used the special day to propose to his partner, on the balcony of Preston’s iconic Harris Museum.
Richard, 21, popped the question to his boyfriend Kieran Haggitt, in a specially-planned proposal in front of the pair’s family and friends.
Kieran, also 21, immediately said yes, and the special moment was captured on camera in a first for the Harris balcony.
Richard said he and Kieran, who both live in Plungington, had been a couple for about two-and-a-half years.
He said: “For me, I wasn’t too fussed about engagement and marriage, but then meeting Kieran, I just felt it was the right thing to do.
“It’s more of just a promise.
“He’s still got another year at university, so I promised I’ll be there for him and he will be there for me.
“We are still students at the moment, so obviously the marriage isn’t going to be any time soon.
“We want to get a house before we even think about it, but it’s like a promise, it’s like sealing it, it’s the next stage in our relationship.”
Richard said he had started thinking about proposing about three or four months ago, and planned to ask him with the help of his friends and family.
He said: “In the morning we did the graduation ceremony and then when we came out I had to make up an excuse to get him to the Harris, so I said we were going for a big group picture.
“Then one of his friends came and took him on the balcony at the very top of the stairs.
“There was music playing and he got flowers given to him, and I came up the stairs after everyone was there and all our family.
“I said all the soppy stuff and then all our friends had party poppers. He started to cry - it was all happy tears.
“My worry was making sure the ring fit, but it fit perfectly.”
Kieran, who is a student, also of contemporary theatre and performance at the University of Central Lancashire, said he had wondered if a proposal was imminent, after noticing “hushed conversations”.
But he said he thought it may happen at a family meal yesterday, and had “no idea” it would be after the ceremony.
He said: “It was like a blur. I was completely swept up in the moment. It’s still not sunk in.”