On Saturday, my incredible boyfriend asked me to marry him! It was my favourite day so far and he did an impeccable job of surprising me, not just with the proposal, but with the celebrations that took place afterwards.
In light of the fact that I am a wedding co-ordinator, I thought it would be fun to blog about the planning process and all that it entails. I hope that as I put our wedding together, it will help you to plan yours! Of course, the best way to start is to share our amazing proposal story. Out of all the proposal stories I know, ours is my favourite!
For me, our story began on Tuesday last week. Glen casually mentioned that our friends Justin and Amy would like to hangout. Since we hadn’t seen them in a few weeks, I was super keen and immediately agreed. Glen suggested Saturday, because “Justin was free” and we set the date. We went back and forth, trying to decide what time we should have the picnic, partly because I forgot I had arranged some meetings with other brides. Eventually we settled on Saturday at 9am for a breakfast picnic at Cosy Bay, a beautiful private beach.
On Friday afternoon, Glen and I went shopping for our picnic food and we picked out all our favourite things. Again, this was very casual and I didn’t suspect anything. Justin had also SMSed me to ask for directions to the venue, which threw me off completely.
On Saturday morning, we woke up, got ready and headed off to Cosy Bay for our picnic. As we were approaching, I was SMSing Justin to give him more specific information about what the entrance to the beach looked like. While SMSing, I didn’t see that Glen’s parents were standing in the parking lot. This was not going according to Glen’s plan, so he slowed down in the middle of the road and tried to throw me off by stopping on the side of the road. Luckily for him, I didn’t see his parents, so once they sped off, we parked in the parking lot and made our way down to the beach.
We arrived before Justin and Amy, as I expected, because Justin is usually late (sorry Justin, you know it’s true!) and decided to pick a spot. We walked towards a rock and Glen put the picnic basket down. As he did that, I turned to my left and saw a beautiful message and pink rose. The message was written in little Bananagrams tiles (which is a game we love to play together) and my favourite colour is pink, so I was pretty sure this was for me, but I wasn’t convinced. I spent what felt like a full minute staring as this beautiful message, wondering if I should be happy or if this was actually left for someone else. I turned around and Glen was down on one knee with a gorgeous ring in his hands. He said some amazing things to me about what I mean to him and then he said “Will you marry me?” to which I responded “YES!”
Glen then explained that the pink rose represents our first year together and that he has arranged a little game for me, knowing that I love games. He had arranged for four other pink roses to be hidden on the beach, each rose representing a year of our relationship. The game was for me to find the roses, and as I did that, we spent time reminiscing about the years we have spent together.
We took a few photos together and sat down on our picnic blanket. I was convinced that our proposal was now finished and that we would celebrate a bit and then go on with our day. Glen had decided to plan a whole lot more for me and it all began with us escaping the rain and going out for breakfast in Camp’s Bay. We arrived at the restaurant, which had a beautiful view of the beach, and were congratulated by the staff as we walked in (they knew about our engagement before I did!). On our table was a lovely vase with another pink rose in it. Glen explained that this rose represents the rest of our lives that we will spend together.
After breakfast, Glen took me to the place we like to go for walks. As we were driving there he explained that the route he was taking was the most beautiful one and that it was only surpassed by my beauty. How awesome! As we arrived at our spot, it was raining lightly so Glen gave me the option of waiting or going for a walk, so we decided to walk anyway and it was beautiful. His game of choice was Uno which we played on a bench near some Jasmine (which Glen loves).
Next, Glen drove me to one of our favourite picnic spots. He again explained that the route is beautiful but only surpassed by my beauty and that the spot itself holds many memories for us. We love Chapman’s Peak, because there is the most incredible view of the sea and the mountains so we had lunch looking at the view. Glen’s game of choice was Trumps, one of our favourite card games.
By this point, I was sure that our celebrations were over, but Glen had much more in store for me! On our way to our next location, Glen gave me a clue: “This next spot is where we hungout alone for the first time”. Noordhoek beach! We went for a long walk on the beach and chatted, just like we did almost five years ago. There is a spot on the beach that has a lot of rocks so Glen decided to play his version of “Hide and Seek”. He had a King of Hearts (representing him) and a Queen of Hearts (representing me), because he is a King and I’m his Queen, hearts represent love, and his surname is Hartmann (hehe). He hid these cards among the rocks and the game was for me to find them! I decided to change the game a bit so once I found the cards I hid them again so he could find them too!
After our long walk on the beach, we got back into the car and headed back towards Glen’s house to “freshen up” for the next activity. By now it was 4:30pm so we had to wear clothes that were a little nicer than the sandy, rainy ones we had on. So, we got changed, had a bit of hot chocolate, caught up on Facebook notifications (I think we broke Facebook) and then headed towards our next destination, this time supper was included. The clue I got was that this place is our “go to” place for celebrations. I immediately knew it was the V & A Waterfront! We arrived and wondered around a bit and played our next game: a game that we invented a couple of months ago while roadtripping around South Africa. We call it the “Friends” game and it entails knowing a lot about the TV show Friends and guessing things about the show. I love it and Glen has come to know so much about the show that the game is fun! After playing that while walking around together, we arrived at a restaurant and were greeted by his parents, my parents, and his sister and her husband. What a lovely surprise!
We had an amazing dinner at Balducci’s and we got to share our story with our family! Once we had finished our dessert, Glen looked at me and said “Ok, let’s go! I have another surprise”. With no idea what was happening or where we were going, we got into the car and headed in the direction of Glen’s next surprise. Towards the end of the journey he asked me to close my eyes. We arrived and once I opened my eyes I saw we were at Peddlars! We often go there to celebrate birthdays and other things with our friends so I was so excited to walk inside and see a group of our friends waiting for us!
Being a wedding co-ordinator and the one that naturally does the planning and admin things in our relationship, it was such a treat having someone plan an entire day of surprises and celebrations for me! My favourite thing about the day was that Glen proposed at the beginning of the day and then we celebrated as an engaged couple. He caught me off guard about 20 times throughout the day and it was such a special experience for both of us!
I keep looking at my ring and remembering that the man of my dreams took the time to plan a special day for me, he saved up his hard earned money to buy me the most beautiful piece of jewellery I will ever own, and he demonstrated his love for me by treating me like a princess!
I’m going to be blogging about the wedding planning process and sharing this part of the journey with you! Weddings are beautiful and often the planning can cause a lot of stress, so if you can learn anything by following what I do (be it learning from my mistakes or triumphs) that would be awesome!
Next week: Glen is going to share his side of the story. Spoiler alert: He bought the ring about two months before proposing and somehow kept it a secret. He put a lot of thought and effort into each aspect of the proposal, so you’ll want to hear about what he did and how I almost found out about the plan a few times.
Kelly Jane Mole is an on-the-day wedding co-ordinator that recently got engaged to the man of her dreams. She will be blogging about her wedding planning journey in the hopes that readers will learn something from her triumphs and mistakes. Follow the Illuminate My Event blog to see more!