Today we have *The Groom’s Take: Views, Valleys & Very Happy Couples*.
Last week we heard the charming story of Dave and Ruth in *A View, A Valley and A Very Happy Couple* from Ruth’s perspective, today we hear it from Dave. He gives us a wonderfully honest insight into all aspects of the proposal.
* Planning the Proposal: Dave explained that Ruth is not a lover of surprises and therefore he didn’t want to do something that was showy or public.
“The proposal was always on my mind. I was always looking for an opportunity and I was conscious of other people getting engaged and not wanting it to be a reaction to other proposals.”
* Ring Style: Ruth had looked at some engagement rings online and they had visited a few ring shops too, so he had a good idea of what style she wanted. Ruth wanted something ‘special’ and ‘different’, so they focused their search on antique engagement rings.
* Choosing the Ring: Dave and Ruth went engagement ring shopping together and then selected the ring as a pair.
Dave added, “The ring is so important that I wanted Ruth to have a say and be able to choose her ring. The gentleman at the jewellers was friendly, helpful and thought it was so great that we were not even engaged yet. The jeweller stated that it was quite unusual and that he could have some fun every time I bent down to tie my shoelace!”
They visited a number of shops together, including Grey’s Antiques, just off Bond Street in London. In the first shop – John Joseph, Ruth found ‘the’ ring and she loved it because it was so unusual. She did go to other shops to try others to compare but Dave made the final decision.
“I knew which was right for her. The first ring was so unusual and was in keeping with the ones she had seen online. She had a glow about her and couldn’t stop looking at it.”
* Buying the Engagement Ring: Dave said, “I wish I had gone and bought a cheap ring to propose with and then we could have gone and chosen the actual ring together, as in some respects I was deprived of a surprise for Ruth”.
* Spilling the Proposal: Dave had not spoken to anyone about the proposal, other than Ruth’s parents whom he sought permission from over Christmas whilst Ruth was out. They made Dave feel very comfortable, and Ruth’s dad even joked, “Why would you want to?!”
Dave added, “Ruth is very pro-feminism and she had said that she did not want me just to ask her dad, as her mum was just involved with her upbringing”.
* Nerves about Ruth finding the ring: Dave kept the engagement ring in a box in a pouch and kept moving it to different locations around the house so that Ruth would not find it.
Dave stated, “I kept it for a while on the bookshelf in plain sight and she didn’t find it. If she didn’t know where it was, she wouldn’t notice when it was gone and therefore wouldn’t know about the proposal.”
* Choosing the Proposal Location: Dave and Ruth had already discussed that the proposal would not happen in Norway, so as to not take away from Ruth’s birthday celebrations but whilst they were on the magical Norwegian cruise, Dave wished he had brought the ring with him. Dave felt this was a ‘missed opportunity’ and he therefore wanted to make the proposal ‘personal’ and ‘special’.
* Transporting the Ring: Dave transported the ring along with the camera and Ipad in their camera bag, so that Ruth would not suspect anything. Excellent work Dave!
* Popping the Question nerves: Dave had been nervous and thinking about the proposal a lot, as it is ‘Such a big thing’ but he realised, “I could not wait any longer, I just had to do it”.
Dave commented that he was not nervous about Ruth saying ‘Yes’, “I knew Ruth would say yes and she was kind and didn’t make me wait.”
He also stated, “There is a lot of pressure on the rest of us guys having to do something unique when you hear the stories of these big romantic gestures. No-one puts the pressure on you, you put the pressure on yourself to live up to what she deserves.”
* The Proposal: The first weekend after the Norwegian cruise, Dave suggested a walk. The Chiltern Valley Winery was therefore the perfect location. As one of their favourite places to go for a stroll and with the seating overlooking the valley named as ‘Our Bench’.
Dave added, “It was a clear and crisp day. We went for our walk and stopped at ‘Our Bench’ which is a beautiful spot overlooking Hambledon valley”.
Dave and Ruth are huge nature enthusiasts and this lovely stretch was filled with pheasant, deer and bird. It even had red kites flying over the valley. Dave described it as “A perfect pristine little place” and the natural elements were “Very us”
Dave had made a video, which he played on the Ipad:
“The video comprised of photos of us and all of the places we had been together…our memories. As the video played, I got down on one knee and after the video finished, I explained that this was the next step and presented her with the ring. It was so personal, private and lovely”
Dave had thought about all of the little details so carefully, as his video was also accompanied by music. The first track was ‘This Is Us’ by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris. Dave had selected this song, as the lyrics were so meaningful, “The lyrics reflect the motion of flicking through a photo album” and the perfect accompaniment to the video. The second track was sang by the lead singer of Sigor Ros, whom they had seen at the End of the Road Festival in previous years.
* Describe the proposal: “It’s hard to describe something so momentous in three words…This is us.”
* When she said yes: “There was lots of hugging, photos and catching breath.”
* Celebration: They visited the Chiltern Valley Winery store and bought some bubbles. They were so dry mouthed that they bought a drink straightaway to quench their thirst…a refreshing cucumber water. They drove back via Maidenhead to Dave’s parents to tell them the happy news in person. Dave was delighted that he could tell his sister, who lives in the USA, in person as she was visiting.
Dave stated, “My mum had asked at Christmas whether Ruth would prefer to be called my girlfriend or partner. So on arrival to my parents house, I said, ‘We have been thinking about the question and we have decided that Ruth would like to be called fiancee!’ The ladies whooped, screamed and then cried. My dad came in and stated, ‘What is all the noise about?’ and on hearing the news opened the ‘standby Champagne’.
Dave and Ruth then ventured back to their own house to open up their Chiltern Valley sparkling wine before making several phone calls to the chief bridesmaid, best man and other close friends to tell them the news! They then skyped Ruth’s brother in Japan and one of Dave’s closest friends in Spain. They had originally planned to tell a few more friends in person but they could not contain their excitement.
The weekend after the proposal, they visited Ruth’s parents in the Isle of Wight and were able to celebrate with them. They had also attended a friend’s naval ball on HMS Illustrious. They made this into a lovely night away and visited Hinton Ampner, a lovely National Trust property in Hampshire,
“It was a beautiful day in beautiful gardens. It was really nice being just the two of us and we got some great shots of Ruth’s engagement ring”
* Reaction to the Engagement: All of Dave and Ruth’s family and friends were so happy to hear the wonderful news.
Dave said, “It was really nice hearing people say that I had done well. Lots of people sent cards and popped round to say ‘Congratulations’. We arranged an engagement party at Cornucopia in Windsor to get both sets of our friends together. We thought it was important to do this, so that they were able to recognise each other at the hen and stag parties”.
* Advice for Proposing:
* “Forget about the whole competition with other people. Don’t worry about how other people are proposing, that’s not what is important.”
* “When you know it’s right, it’s right!”
*Sparkle Pearls and Lace* loves Dave’s insight into the proposal and the careful thought that he put into it. The small touches such as the photo collage and carefully selected songs were utterly charming and will provide Dave and Ruth with many happy memories for life. Its lovely that Dave put so much effort into ring shopping with Ruth and the result was spectacular. Huge thanks to them both for sharing their lovely story and a particular thanks to Dave for his fantastic insight into proposing. *Sparkle Pearls and Lace* knows that their wedding will be beautiful.