Apparently, the Christmas holidays are the most popular time of the year to pop the question. I haven’t found that to be true with the couples I have written and performed ceremonies for, but what the heck. I’m still going to share some lovely proposal stories with you.
In my job as a wedding celebrant, I always ask the couple how the proposal went down and usually I get rewarded with some amazing, funny or just downright romantic stories! As this is a pivotal point in the relationship, I usually like to include some of the details in the ceremony. Or if it was particularly spectacular, I sometimes get them to re-enact it. Like Ash and Olly. Olly had written a fab proposal poem and set it to the tune ‘O sole mio’ and even got to execute it perfectly on a gondola in Venice just as they rounded a corner into the bright sunshine (although that might just have been Ash’s smile) We couldn’t get the gondola and a canal, but we were by the sea, so Olly went down on one knee and gave us a repeat performance to a standing ovation. Luckily Ash still said yes!
I think that the style of the proposal says so much about the couple and the tone of their relationship. It’s a true litmus test of how well they know and understand each other. Like when Steve proposed to Julia with a motorbike instead of an engagement ring, with ‘will you marry me’ number plates. Knowing that Julia wasn’t a fan of jewellery, but was a huge fan of owning a new bike, showed that he completely understood her and respected her lifestyle choices and taste, that he was prepared to give her something she would truly value even though it meant breaking tradition.
Often the best proposal stories are the ones that didn’t go exactly to plan, but actually turned out to be even more perfect because of it. Chris had planned his proposal to Kelly for their trip to Amsterdam. Their afternoon nap over ran into the evening, losing their dinner reservation, a disagreement about what time of day was the right time of day to go to the ice bar put another spanner in the works and when a great romantic moment on skinny bridge presented itself, neither of them had any battery on their phone to take pictures. But that was ok because an Estonian couple happened to be passing by with fully charged phones and happily allowed them to take selfies to their heart’s content. Not ok was the exchange of email addresses which got lost in translation so that none of the photos were ever received!
And then there was the proposal which was just so awful and badly timed, that I let them have another go with the words and tone that they wished had been employed the first time around.
But one of my favourite proposal stories has to be D and L. For me, it just bodes so well for a partnership of love and teamwork. Plus it’s incredibly romantic!
“I proposed when we went to Greece for summer holidays a couple of years ago. I purchased the ring from a friend jewel setter in Athens and was planning to pop the question at a romantic place in one of our island destinations. I didn’t have a plan as such but was confident an opportunity would present itself, which it did on the island of Amorgos. There was a castle in Chora and I found out no one could go there unless they had the old door keys. These were to be found in a café near the castle where I had to go and ask for them. It is fortunate L doesn’t speak Greek, so didn’t really know what was about to go down! Unfortunately, the key lock proved to be an extremely difficult one and after 10 minutes of frantically trying to open the door of the castle, I was about to give up and try something different another day. As I was thinking what to do next I offered L the keys and asked her to try it one more time. Naturally, she gently turned the keys counterclockwise and after a loud click, the door finally opened! ‘This is it’ I thought to myself, it obviously takes two to tango and I realized more than ever that she is the one to walk with and unlock all the closed doors we might find in our journey together!”
I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to propose, there is only a right answer. Whether it’s elaborately planned and executed like a military operation or spontaneous and ring-less, as long as it’s from the heart that’s what counts.
If you have a wonderful proposal story, I’d love to hear it! And if you are doing the proposing, get in touch and let’s get writing that wedding ceremony!
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. the gorgeous engagement ring is from the super talented Linda at Ilion design. Check out their bespoke jewellery over at www.iliondesign.com And you can meet her next week in an interview and hear about the creative process for making pieces of bespoke jewellery – especially wedding and engagement rings!