Now, proposals. It might seem a little odd to talk about this here as obviously, if you’re reading this there’s a fairly decent chance that you’re already engaged. Still, it seems there’s at least some demand for it given that at a recent event I had a chat with a nice chap who was getting married and when I asked him what sort of stuff he’d like to see us covering, proposals was one of the first things he suggested.
So I thought I’d start with the story of my own proposal to the lovely Anna. By the time we got engaged, Anna and I had been together for what you might call “quite some time” and by that stage it was pretty much agreed that we were going to get married and everyone though it was really only a matter of time (I think the party line was that we were going to wait till we’d both qualified in our professions).
My cousin and my sister had got married and it seemed like it was time we should be taking this a bit more seriously. We had a look in a few wedding magazines and a little wander down Bond Street to look at rings and got some sort of idea of what Anna might like. Yes, it was fairly expensive, but doable so it was just a matter of saving up. Matters slightly overtook us though and my mother called one day and said that, if I wanted, we could have her engagement ring. Now this was of course very nice of her but threw things off slightly. I mean, we’d spent a fair bit of time figuring out what Anna likes and what if she doesn’t like my mother’s ring. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t say “no” but there would be all that disappointment. And for that matter, what does my mother’s ring even look like? One of the reasons she was giving it to us is that it didn’t fit her anymore, so obviously she hadn’t worn it for a while and I’d completely forgotten what it looked like.
A few months passed as I waited for either a reason to go and visit my parents (they live a five and a half hour drive away), them to visit or one of my brothers to see them and then come to see me. All the while trying to remember what the ring looked like (don’t ask me why I didn’t just ask my mother). So, by the time one of my brothers brought it, I’d decided the ring looked something like this:
which I wasn’t sure about, but when it actually arrived it looked like this.
and I thought “this might just work”. And it turns out that what I was imagining was one of my grandmother’s rings.
Oh, and due to my need for approval and unease with subterfuge I may have told Anna at some point that I’d been offered my mother’s ring and she seemed to be OK with that. Not to make Anna seem like a bad person, but she can be particular about certain things. So when my brother came, she fairly easily determined that the ring had as well and apparently just “came across it” hidden by the electrical meter. She says she didn’t look in the box and she was nice enough to tell me so I could hide it again before curiosity got the better of her.
So really all there was left to do was ask her. I decided to book the week off after my birthday and do it then. It was early May and who knows, maybe the weather would be nice enough for us to do something outside.
Then Anna went and ruined it all by being ill for the entire week. Not only could we not really go out anywhere or do anything where I might propose, but it was impossible to plan any sort of surprise without her seeing something. Also, she knew I had the ring and had guessed that I’d taken the week off to propose, so was pretty much expecting something to happen.
In the end it happened in what you might call a fairly unremarkable way: in our living room with her favourite flowers and a bottle of nice champagne. It’s tempting to try and make it something more, I don’t know “special”, than it was, but it was special for us. I asked Anna to marry me and she said yes. There was crying and kissing and love and were both exceptionally happy.
Have we somehow missed out on something by having what you might generously call a slightly more “low key” proposal? I know you see people on the internet with their big public extravaganzas with their choirs and everything, but is this better? Are they happier having done this? Are you? We would really like to hear your stories, tips and ideas because you would not believe how stressful proposals can be and we need all the help we can get.