The Proposal. It’s what you’ve always dreamt about as a young girl. It’s what you think about when Valentine’s Day, your birthday, your anniversary, Christmas (or any other day of the week!) arrives. It’s that secret Pinterest board you add items to every week. It’s the thing you drop weekly hints about, much to the exasperation of your other half!
Well, my proposal finally happened and I thought it would be a nice opener to these “Confessions of a Bride-to-be.”
I have been with my other half for almost five years now and for the past two years, I have been dropping, not so subtle, hints:
“Ooooo wouldn’t these be lovely wedding shoes?”
“Look at that pool. We HAVE to go there on our honeymoon!”
“Fancy that! A jewellers! Let’s just be silly and pick out an engagement ring!”
I ended up being told that every time I mentioned the P, the E or the W word, the proposal would be pushed back another month…that soon shut me up.
Craig (my other half) and I, have always spoken about what kind of wedding celebration we would like and we have even spoken about the proposal before. I had always told him that I would like it to be a very low key event, perhaps on a dog walk with our black Labrador, Austin. Craig agreed. He isn’t the type of guy to plan a huge romantic gesture or to get down on one knee in front of an audience. I had always imagined it to be very chilled out.
Which is why, when he let slip, much to his frustration, that he had booked us a surprise holiday to New York and Washington, my mind didn’t even consider that this could be “The Proposal.” A lot of my friends and family did though, “Do you think he’s going to do it?”, “I BET you come back with a diamond!!” and lots of various emoji texts were sent my way! I kept telling them, “No, that is definitely not Craig’s style. We’ve just always wanted to see NYC in the snow. Nope. He definitely won’t propose.”
We got to the airport and our flight had been cancelled, due to the vast amounts of snow at JFK airport. Our rescheduled flight wasn’t for another eight hours. Craig is normally such a laid back guy and I could sense tension coming from him. I later found out he was worried we wouldn’t get there in time to make our scheduled, early morning, train journey to Washington DC. This was where he had planned, and told my Dad, brother, his family, his friends, our neighbours – pretty much anyone who would listen, that he was going to propose. I still didn’t twig and just assumed he was a little annoyed that we were going to miss an afternoon to explore.
At the airport, he bought himself a rather fancy watch that he had been looking at online for ages. Thinking he was in a money spending mood, I quickly whisked him away to the Mulberry shop. I mean, I was not going to waste an opportunity like that! Craig is very good at saving and rarely spends money. I cooed and ahhh’ed over the beautiful bags but to no avail. Ah well, I had given it a go! It was his money anyway and I was just trying my luck. Little did I know that he had actually already bought me a cheeky present in the form of a ring and that this watch was his engagement gift to himself.
At midnight, as opposed to the scheduled mid-afternoon, we found ourselves in NYC. We took ourselves straight to Times Square which was covered in a thick layer of snow and looked absolutely incredible in all the colourful lights. We each got a slice of gooey, cheesy pizza and then headed straight to bed for our early morning wake up call.
At 6 am, our alarm went off and we made our way to Penn Station to catch our train. I follow PostSecret, a project where people post their secrets anonymously to a guy called Frank, who then posts a handful of the secrets, each week, online. A selection of these secrets were being shown in the Post Museum in Washington DC and so I really wanted to go and have a look at it. Whilst we were there, I wiped away tears at some of the secrets, related to others and laughed at some of the more jovial ones. They had a DVD playing of a speech Frank had given at a University and me and Craig stood to watch it. One of the secrets he showed was about a proposal. I got all weepy and looked at Craig and said “Oh, that is so romantic! That is so sweet, Craig!” all the while, he had MY engagement ring, wrapped up in an origami crane (we’ll come back to that later), in his coat pocket…aaaaaa.
Our next stop was the Washington Monument. Craig and I had been two years prior, at that time in the sweltering heat, and had fallen in love with the feel and the view from it. We sat down and over looked the famous Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial at the other end of The Mall. Craig seemed nervous. Again, this isn’t normally how he behaved and I was slightly confused. He was also smirking constantly, which seemed a bit strange!! To try to relax him a bit, I thought I’d lighten the mood so I laid back on the backless bench we were sitting on and looked at the Monument upside down. I should probably put in here that I am quite an oddball and so this isn’t as peculiar as it sounds!! Craig didn’t lay back with me, he clearly had other things on his mind, but I commented how it looked like the Monument was moving and swaying in the wind, due to the clouds moving around it. Craig didn’t respond to my observations and, instead, started to say “I love it here, Emma. This is one of my favourite places in the world….,” at which point a group of people walked over to the monument. They were trying to fit it in a photo. I shouted over to them “Hey! If you lay back like this you can get a good picture, plus it looks like it’s moving!!!” They proceeded to lay down on the bench too and we all (except Craig…ooops!) laughed about cool it was….I told you I’m an oddball!! I stood up and said to Craig, “Right, shall we get going then?” at which he looked a bit shell shocked and just nodded his head. This was his first attempt at proposing and I had ruined it by being silly with strangers! Doh!
We walked towards the White House and Craig made a suggestion that perhaps we could go back to the Washington Monument on the way back to the train station so that we could see it at night time with all the lights on it. This sounded perfect to me.
We carried on with our day: walking to Georgetown, having a tour of The Capitol building, having yummy food and just exploring in general, before we made our way back to the Lincoln Memorial (which is at the other end of the Reflecting Pool and looks on to the Washington Monument). This is, if you have seen Forrest Gump, where Jenny and Forrest are reunited and where she runs through the pool to see him. It’s all very cute. As we walked along the pool, towards the Monument, the sun was setting and we were quoting Forrest Gump to each other. Craig kept getting that smirk back on his face and, it was at this point, that I started to suspect something. “Are my friends, right? Is he going to propose up here? No. He wouldn’t! I’ve been in his backpack today – he hasn’t got a ring! Oooo maybe we’ll buy one tomorrow! Don’t be daft. He isn’t going to propose…but that smirk says otherwise….” I kept looking at my boyfriend with a huge smile and a knowing glint in his eye and began to get butterflies. We got to the memorial, this time he didn’t lead us to the “lay down” bench (I wonder why?!) but sat us on a wall, away from anyone else, to overlook the sun going down on the pool. Again, he began…“I love it here, Emma. This is one of my favourite places in the world….,” at which point I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh. He has clearly rehearsed that line because he’s just used it again. This is it!!!!” He carried on, “I actually brought something with me from home,” as he pulled out an origami crane from his coat pocket. This was something a lady had made for me last time we were there. I had started up a conversation with her, she was on a business trip from Japan, and at the end of it she wanted to give me an origami crane to say thank you for speaking to her and for us to remember her with. I had stuck it in our scrapbook, which I make for each of our holidays, so wondered why he had ripped it out! He then carried on, “I actually also brought something else with me.” It was then that he pulled a gorgeous diamond ring from the middle of the crane and said “Emma, I was wondering if, perhaps, you could be my Jenny and I could be your Forrest?” It was perfect. Of course, I said yes and we both sat there grinning for several minutes, whilst looking at the beautiful view.
Like I said, it was perfect. It was low-key yet extravagant and unexpected. There was no going down on one knee, there was no soppy monologue or even the words – “Will you marry me?” (I hope that’s what he meant!!! Awkward!). It was perfect for us. I hope to tell you about our wedding plans in the next few months. Again, we are planning a very low-key celebration to fit with our personalities and it still isn’t as smooth sailing as we’d hoped! More on that another week…!
To see the video of our weekend away and of the proposal: CLICK HERE