When you’re in a long-term relationship that’s going great, marriage is something that’s always on the horizon. Most couples reach a point where they talk about it, without actually committing and that’s precisely what happened to Emily and me. We were in love, we felt great together, and both of us couldn’t imagine life without the other, so marriage was the natural step forward. I wanted to give her a fairytale story though. If things were silently agreed upon that didn’t have to mean romanticism was gone, so I planned everything myself without having her in the loop.

The Ring

I asked for her father’s blessing without telling her (I’m old fashioned like that) and then the search for the perfect ring started. I vividly remembered her telling me about this gorgeous ring she saw at some point. Something with leaves and a particular style imprinted on the metal itself. I was so happy I knew what she liked, that meant all I had to do was to find it, and I could be sure she’d adore her engagement ring. Easier said than done though, since a full two months worth of searches online and at every single jewelry store in our area proved futile, no ring matching her description was to be found. I knew it was somewhere close though and I couldn’t get my mind off it. Choosing another ring seemed to be the wrong move, so I decided to risk it a bit and ask Emily to show me the ring. It would prompt her to be onto my plan of proposing, but I had a trick up my sleeve.

She gladly agreed and took me to see the ring. When she enthusiastically held it up and showed it to me, I got why my searches were futile… it was nothing like she described it to be. I love how bubble-headed she can sometimes be and seeing her holding that ring, so happy, radiating, I was completely sure she was the one.

We ordered the ring, but I got the shop to tell us that it will be between 6 to 8 weeks until the ring would be delivered, although it would take only half of that time. The element of surprise was back on the table!
A few weeks later, ring in hand, I was ready to focus on the next phase, finding the perfect setting.

Popping the question

The following weekend we already had plans to go visit my best friend who lives in a different town, so I said: “this is it!”. I knew that sometime during this weekend getaway I was to pop the question.

We reached Phil late Friday evening, and we had a relaxing evening with him and his wife Noemi over dominoes and some cider. The mood was great, and the vibe was mellow. Not so much Saturday morning when the weather turned on us, and it was raining cats and dogs.

Since we were still full of positive energy from the night before we decided not to let that dampen our spirits, so we headed out to Cardiff to have a look around. No more than an hour later, the weather turned again, as if contaminated by our high spirits. The sun came out, and we had a lovely trip. A lovely lunch, a visit to the Cardiff Castle, something one could swear is built after a Harry Potter book, and then we went for a walk in a nearby park called Cooper’s Field. Emily had mentioned it since she’d been there before and loved it.

My mind was set to ask her to marry me right here in this park. All I had to do now was to find a way to surprise her and I got a little helping hand from my friend Phil. They joined us on our stroll, Phil, Noemi and their new-born baby boy Max so when Emily asked if she can carry Max for a while, the idea came to me! I looked around for the biggest tree I could spot, and when I saw a big one, I told her “how about you go round the tree clockwise, I’ll go the other way, and when we meet I’ll surprise Max, we’ll make him laugh a little.” She loved the idea, so we came up to the tree, and she started to go round it. I stayed put, got the ring out of my coat and got down on one knee.

On account of my emotions, it seemed to me that I waited in that position for an eternity, to the point where I started to question myself just how big was this tree, really?! Finally, she came round, and her surprise was obvious. She couldn’t believe it, she kept asking me if I was serious and nervously saying that “but I expected you to scare off Max, not to propose. Oh Wow, oh wow…” She was so cute, and by her reaction, I felt her emotions were genuine. I loved it.

She said a full, YES, and we kissed and hugged for a while.

For a few days, we kept the engagement between ourselves and our families so that we could enjoy some privacy while we accepted this new reality we were in. One week later we announced our engagement on social media to an outpour of positive wishes.

Thanks for reading

Mike