It makes sense to go back to the start for my next post in my A Topp Wedding series, which is really to tell you a bit more about our engagement!
Visiting Vienna, Austria for a quick weekend trip
After 6 years together, it’s been a LONG time coming. While I had been ready for a number of years to say “I Do”, it wasn’t something high up on Jase’s priority list. In fact, it didn’t make the list at all. If I am completely honest, not being engaged was a huge source of tension as I grappled with constantly being asked “so when do you think you will get engaged?” (Answer: I don’t freakin KNOW, ask HIM, not ME!), and other insecurities. As I watched friend after friend get engaged, and then married – the emotions got more intense. It was hard to explain how I felt, but I know Jase TRIED to understand – even though he wasn’t ready, which I also TRIED to understand. For other girls out there who are nodding their heads to this – know that you aren’t alone. There are some fabulous articles on A Practical Wedding about being pre-engaged which really helped me through these complex feelings and emotions.
Croatia – the place where we didn’t get engaged
Anyway – moving on to the more positive side of things – somewhere along the way in 2013 Jase decided he WAS ready. I had high hopes for a proposal on our trip to Croatia in early September (sailing, sea and sunsets! Celebrations with my family!) but he’s a dark horse and didn’t want to do what I expected (typical male huh?). Apparently he had a ring in his pocket to propose after I crossed the finish line at Royal Parks Half Marathon (October), but then decided against it (I’m quite glad – I was uber sweaty and not so attractive at that time!). We had three trips planned in December – to Vienna, Iceland and Morocco, and so my fingers were crossed that he would get his shit together for ONE of those places!
We had an early morning Saturday flight to Vienna (never a good idea, you always feel like you’ve been slapped in the face with a phone book) and Jase was particularly maudlin and grumpy. Over lunch he talked about “when we eventually move home, life will be O-V-E-R” which was rather depressing. We had an afternoon nap and when he woke up he was hungry and silent and broody. I suspected nothing, instead thinking “poor guy just needs food and sleep”. We headed out to various Christmas markets – with me trying to jolly up his mood with offers of bratwurst and mulled wine.
We had finished at Maria Theresien-Platz market and were walking towards the gorgeous Rathaus Market – one of the largest Christmas markets in front of the city hall. The Rathaus was lit up brilliantly, and there were amazing lanterns strung up in the trees. We stopped for plenty of photos, before Jase had the idea to try and take a selfie with the Rathaus in the background. He wanted a space with no one else around, so made me climb over some park benches to get under a tree which had red hearts hanging from it. I was pretty sure we weren’t meant to be there (the ground was covered in electrical leads – hence the park benches being lined up to section the area off) so was ready for a quick selfie and then to dash out of there.
Jase held out the camera (longer arm = better selfie) and I grinned and waited. And waited. And then looked at him in confusion as he fumbled in his pocket and pulled out a ring box. He blurted out “will you marry me” and I said nothing, so he attemped a sort of lunge-squat and repeated himself (he’s 6”4, so dropping a knee takes a while) before I squeaked out a “yeaasssss”. I then looked at the camera (that he was still holding out – secretly video’ing) in confusion, wondering if he’d taken the selfie yet!
We had a few moments of “woah, this is kinda cool” together before looking around to see if anyone had spotted us, and climbing back over the park benches. We were both freezing so we hurried to get some mulled cider to celebrate and warm ourselves up with – I was full of warm fuzzies on the inside and couldn’t stop grinning like a loon.
Ahem – bling shot!
As we sat and sipped our ciders and looked at the lights and all the happy people around, we decided to keep our engagement to ourselves for the weekend and enjoy having a wee secret. I really REALLY wanted to yell it from the rooftops, but there was something special about having that time to keep it between the two of us. It sounds uber soppy, but it felt like we were in our own little love-bubble! The magic of the Christmas Markets was just perfect, I floated around them on a total high and delighted in choosing a special handpainted Christmas bauble of the Rathaus for my collection.
We returned to London the next day, and on Monday morning we got up early and skyped with both our families to share the news. Everyone was over the moon and excited for us, and it was nice to feel so much love radiating from everyone. We emailed our wider families and friends to share the news personally, but held off from announcing it on social media for a week. I wanted to have traditional engagement notices placed in the newspapers back home, and then used pictures of the papers to share online. A little bit of the traditional with new media I guess.
Over the next few days we greatly enjoyed the warm fuzzies (and the never ending stream of bubbles!) and settled into the next stage of our relationship – WEDDING PLANNING!
Your turn – share your engagement story in the comments below! Or tell me your ideal location for a proposal?