Put A Ring On It: Engagement stories from our real couples

21st December 2018 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas everyone!

We’ll be popping in quite a bit over the next two holiday weeks to bring you some fresh wedding inspo – we wouldn’t leave you hanging, would we? – but as we wind down for the big day itself (and shake the food hangover in the days immediately afterwards) we thought what better way to end 2018 than with a round-up of some of our very favourite proposal stories from our recently featured real wedding couples here on the blog.

These wonderfully romantic tales have been known to make us laugh, cry and even feeling a little bit jel (particularly those that include a surprise trip overseas!) but above all we feel blessed that we get to hear about so many couples’ special moments that prompted the planning of their big day.

As expected, a fair few of the proposals in our round-up did take place at Christmas and so we feel a surge of new readers coming our way with sparkly rings on their fingers as they set out on their paths to become official members of the #IDoClub. It also seems fitting that we bring you this post one year from the day that our Features Editor Rachel got engaged, after her beau Andy got down on one knee in a rainy Manchester and popped the question.

Whether on home ground or overseas, we totally love all the engagement stories that we are sharing today – and we think you will too! From the meticulously thought-out, award-worthy proposals to the love-drunk, spontaneous down-on-one-knee surprises – let’s hear it for the other halves out there who made these wishes come true.

Tissues at the ready.

Lucky in love. A stylish city wedding at Great John Street Hotel in Manchester – Hayley & Ryan

Hayley says

: Just before Christmas, on 20th December 2016, our baby boy was born two weeks early. He was born in the middle of the night, so Ryan had to leave shortly after he was born. Before returning the next day, Ryan had secretly headed to Manchester Christmas markets to buy some personalised Christmas decorations for our first Christmas as a family of three. He wrapped them in a beautiful box and presented it to me on the maternity ward saying he had a gift for me. I was putting off opening the gift as I was a little pre-occupied with the baby, but he insisted I open it. The decorations were perfect, I had taken them out of the box to admire them properly and hidden underneath was a wooden heart-shaped decoration which said: “Will you marry me”. I was so surprised – it was just the best feeling ever, it was the most special wonderful time made even better! I cried the happiest tears behind the hospital curtain and said yes, it was definitely a December to remember.

Greatest adventure. Caroline Castigliano for a summer’s wedding at Hooton Pagnell Hall – Rosina & Liam

Rosina says

: We were spending a few days in Lake Garda, Italy, and on New Year’s Eve, we went out for a meal to a local restaurant. Then, at around 11.30pm we went to a quiet beach to watch the fireworks from Malcesine Castle. Liam had brought a blanket, music speaker and prosecco for us to enjoy bringing in the New Year. When midnight struck, we watched the fireworks for a couple of minutes. We were happily taking it all in, then Liam got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was over the moon, we sat in the darkness for a bit taking it all in, then went back to our hotel and had panettone, which is meant to bring good luck.

Bloomin’ beautiful: Roses & gyp for a rustic wedding at The Oak Tree of Peover – Sophie & Sam

Sophie says

: On 29th May 2016, Sam and I went up to Lake Windermere for a weekend away over the Bank Holiday. During the day we went to Go Ape before heading over to my auntie’s cottage in Bowness. Around 7pm there was a knock at the door, Sam asked me to go answer the door…only to find my chocolate Labrador, Jenson, dressed in a top hat and dickie bow with a bone around his neck saying: “mummy will you marry daddy?”. With my sister trying to hide behind a plant pot and her boyfriend hiding behind a wall filming the entire thing, Sam eventually made his way out the bathroom, got down on one knee and put the ring on my finger.

Romance in full bloom. An elegant wedding at Donington Park Farm House – Wahyish & Yagnesh

Wahyish says

: We got engaged at the end of March 2018. I was definitely surprised and not expecting it at all. I was coming back from work and walked into a room filled with fairy lights, rose petals and candles with Yagnesh standing at the end of a rose petal trail. He popped the question and, of course, I said yes! He then gave me a rose with a surprise note saying he was whisking me away to Vienna.

Ain’t no mountain high enough. Martina Liana for a stylish wedding at The Normans, North Yorkshire – Dani & Andy

Dani says

: We got engaged on top of a mountain whilst working on our ski season. Andy had carried the ring around in his backpack for nearly a month waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment. The moment he chose was us having a cheese and ham baguette at the top of a black ski run. It was completely unexpected – afterwards we celebrated and took photos, but we still had to ski down. My legs were like jelly and my goggles had steamed up from crying, so we had to stop half way down the piste in a café, we only had enough money on us for an Orangina and a strawberry tart to share. We popped open the champagne and celebrated in style later that night though!

Be our guest. Alan Hannah for a Disney themed wedding in North Yorkshire – Ashlie & Lee

Ashlie says

: Lee surprised me with a proposal at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando! We had dinner at Cinderella’s Castle where the firework and projections on the castle are held. We watched the firework display whilst eating our dessert. With a fifteen-minute window between the fireworks and the projections on the castle, unknown to me Lee had arranged for us to go right in front of the castle which isn’t usually accessible.

We went to the front of the castle and as we were taking a few selfies a Disney representative came over and offered to take our photo. As we posed, Lee had his hand on my back and it just felt a bit fidgety, so I turned to look at him and there he was on one knee. It was the most magical proposal and, of course, I said yes!

Pink peonies. Caroline Castigliano for a pretty pastel wedding at Arley Hall, Cheshire – Jade & Jay

Jade says

: We got engaged during a surprise trip away. I’d come home from work one evening when Jay told me to pack my case! I had no idea where we were going until we got to the airport when the lady at the check in desk confirmed it was Rome! I was so excited! We met when I was only 18 and he knew I’d always wanted to go. Jay said that keeping the ring from me was harder than he had anticipated and ended up proposing on the first night after a beautiful meal on the hotel balcony over-looking the city. I had phoned my whole family before I even gave him a proper answer!

Happily ever after: Justin Alexander for a fairy tale wedding at Eaves Hall – Chelsea & Ian

Chelsea says

: We got engaged on Christmas Eve in 2015. I still lived at home at the time. We were watching Christmas films in our festive PJs and sipping prosecco when Ian said he had an early Christmas present for me. He presented me with a little box that said “10 reasons why I love you” on the front. Inside there were ten cards each saying something different, such as “you’re beautiful”, “you make me smile”, etc. The last card said, “Will you marry me?” I looked up and he was down on one knee with the most beautiful engagement ring.

Georgian glamour: Amanda Wyatt for an elegant wedding at Iscoyd Park – Rachael & Luke

Rachael says

: We got engaged while in Iceland. I had planned a trip there to celebrate Luke’s 30th birthday. Being a geographer, it was a place he had always wanted to go, and I was pleased with myself that I could make it happen. Therefore, being proposed to on the trip was the last thing I expected. On the third day of our trip, we spent the day visiting geysers, hot springs and lava fields. On our way back to the hotel, Luke suggested we visit one last waterfall. I was pretty exhausted, but Luke was insistent. The waterfall, Skógafoss, was breath-taking. Luke set up his camera on the tripod and suggested we jump in front of the waterfall in order to catch it on camera. I didn’t realise he was actually filming and, after we both jumped, he got down on one knee. Hilariously, it didn’t quite go to plan and Luke fell backwards almost into a running stream. As I tried to pull him up, he would not get off his knee. Being a joker, I thought he was pulling a prank, until I saw the ring. He asked me to marry him and, after saying yes, the rest was a bit of a blur. It was the best feeling ever. On our return leg of the journey, he had created a CD full of my favourite songs and those that meant so much to us both. We drove back feeling on top of the world.

Festival chic. Justin Alexander for a tipi wedding in Lancashire – Emily & Richard

Emily says

: We were on a two-week holiday in Mexico in 2016, when Richard proposed. I decided I’d love for us to get a professional photo shoot done of the two of us and so we booked a shoot for 15th June at around 4pm. We went to the beach to meet the photographer and had a couple of pictures together. I was then having a picture by myself and to my surprise Richard walked in front of the camera, got down on one knee and proposed. The photographer had no idea it was coming either – we then carried on with the shoot and got some beautiful pictures. We had an album made so all our family and friends could see the special moment.

Glam romance: Ronald Joyce for a classic wedding at 30 James Street, Liverpool – Katie & Tom

Katie says

: We got engaged on 14th March 2014 in London. We went away for the weekend for my birthday and Tom booked out the Trafalgar St James hotel rooftop bar just for us. With incredible views over city centre London he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. The staff then brought us champagne, macarons and strawberries. We then had a meal in the oldest restaurant in the city, Rules, and finished the evening with a trip to the theatre to watch Les Misérables. The perfect day!

Vintage elegance. A picture-perfect wedding at Denton Hall, North Yorkshire – Lucie & Harry

Lucie says

: We got engaged in October 2016, in Venice, at the Cipriani Hotel. I’d always wanted to take the speedboat to the hotel and have a snoop around! Harry surprised me by taking me there for what I thought was a cocktail, which then turned into a surprise dinner, followed by a proposal on a moonlit bench in the beautiful, and aptly named, Casanova Gardens. I couldn’t stop crying, and the elaborate surprise continued when it turned out we were actually staying there in a beautiful suite overlooking the iconic swimming pool. My whole family were all waiting in Harry’s Bar on Venice mainland all evening to hear whether he’d popped the question. They got the boat over for breakfast the next day – it was just amazing, and I was unpicking the elaborate web of lies they’d all told me, for weeks afterwards!

Relaxed romance: Blush & navy for a wedding weekend at Silverholme Manor – Tom & Zoe

Zoe says

: We got engaged on 12th February 2017. Tom had taken me to Berlin to celebrate my birthday; we had a great few days away, drinking lots of German beer and touring the city. When we came back, we went up to our flat and outside the door Tom said he had one more surprise for me. I thought it was going to be something for my birthday like some flowers or a little present, so when he made me put on a blindfold, I thought he was just playing up the surprise. We went into the flat and he left me waiting in the hallway for a couple of minutes before finally telling me I could come into the lounge. I walked in and the room was full of balloons and on the balloon strings were little pictures of us. I initially thought they were for my birthday until I saw a ring in the box on the table, along with a collage of all the anniversary and birthday cards we had given each other over the years. Tom got down on one knee and it was the biggest surprise of my life. Tom has always been disappointed as I am really good at guessing what my presents are, but I had no idea about this one – which was amazing! (How did the balloons get there? His mum and dad had come round earlier that day and done the whole thing: got my favourite flowers and put prosecco and strawberries in the fridge!)

Cool & chic: A vintage-inspired wedding at Holmes Mill – Lauren & Nick

Lauren says

: We got engaged on Christmas morning 2015. We grow a lot of our own food in our garden, and whilst preparing dinner we went outside to pick some carrots. Nick kept suggesting a specific one, but I didn’t think it looked any good. He eventually convinced me to pick it and there was a piece of string attached to the carrot. At the end of the string was a bag; in the bag was an engagement ring! It was his maternal grandmother’s ring and it still had the original receipt from 1910!

Love in bloom. Martina Liana for an enchanting wedding at The Alnwick Garden – Jade & James

Jade says

: We got engaged on 27th November 2016. James is quite into his photography and had told me he had arranged access to the roof terrace of The Vermont Hotel to take photos of Newcastle. We turned up at The Vermont and were taken upstairs and left on the terrace alone. I noticed music was playing in the background but didn’t take any notice as James was taking photos, our song came on (Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud) which I thought was a bit strange. James then asked me to look at the Tyne Bridge; his family were holding a banner over the bridge asking me to marry him! He got down on one knee and popped the question, to which I said yes of course! Afterwards we had some champagne and pictures taken. When we went downstairs and into the lounge, I was then surprised by my parents, who had travelled up from Sheffield without me knowing! We all went for lunch together and had some celebratory drinks!

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