The Proposal: How It HappenedPosted: July 11, 2011
The 9th of July 2011 was the best day of my life. Stacey Tonks agreed to marry me. Here’s the full story.
My story begins 9 weeks ago when I asked Stacey’s parents if I could marry their daughter. To my complete and utter delight they said yes! Two days later I was back in Southampton buying the ring. Stacey’s trip to America allowed me to do both these things in complete secret…she didn’t have a clue! Buying the ring was easy as we had already been looking at different styles and had both agreed the specifics of what it had to be like.
After Stacey returned from America she kept asking if I had bought a ring yet (this wasn’t unusual as I had said during New Years Eve celebrations that I wanted to propose that year…and no, I wasn’t drunk at the time.) Anyway it was so difficult to pretend I hadn’t bought one, and it was obviously just as difficult for Stacey’s parents and brother to keep everything a secret. But I’m so pleased they did.
Next up, my jet setting girlfriend was off to France for a week. This gave me and my parents the perfect opportunity to drive to Wakehurst Place (where mine and Stacey’s first date had been almost three years ago) to spy out the area. We found the perfect spot for a picnic. But that was not all. When Stacey did her gap year in America, one of her friends had got engaged and unbeknown to this girl, her boyfriend’s friend was a few hundred meters away snapping pictures of the moment. When Stacey showed me the picture of the proposal taken from a distance I think her exact words were “this is the most romantic thing ever!!”. I knew I had to do something similar! Hence my parents being there and us organising a place for them to hide and take photos!
So for the three weeks after that, all I had to do was organise transport there, try not to panic and keep my mouth shut! I’m forever indebted to the Berry family for letting me borrow their car. The day before the proposal I was at Thorpe Park with Stacey and her friends for an early birthday celebration. (Stacey turned 20 the day after I proposed). I had the cheek to play Stacey a song that day called ‘Marry You’ by Eric Clapton and BB King. I asked her if she liked it. She said “No, I don’t like it. I don’t want to marry you!” It’s a good job I knew she was joking, or I would have freaked!
The Saturday morning came. I had very little sleep the night before. I went to pick up the car and drove into town to buy flowers and coffee to turn up with. As I walked to the cash-point and got my wallet out, I realised I had left my bank card at home!! Disaster number one. I quickly prayed that would be the first and last mistake of the day. Thankfully it was a minor error and I still managed to turn up to Stacey’s with some pink lilies and Starbucks White Mochas on time.
I normally cycle to Stacey’s so needless to say she was pretty surprised at how I’d managed to turn up with a massive bunch of flowers and two coffees! As we set out on our walk (apparently just going for a stroll along the seafront), I said “hmm I don’t feel like walking” and proceeded to get into the car. I hurriedly explained we just had it for the day and I hadn’t bought one! “I wanted to take you somewhere nice for your birthday” was the only excuse needed. She suspected nothing. We drove up Beachy Head – one of our favourite spots and I told her we should go to Wakehurst Place for the day. At this point Stacey was still convinced I would wait until September to propose!
We had to arrive at Wakehust Place for exactly 1pm. My parents and their friends who happened to be visiting from the US had gone ahead to set everything up. Knowing all this, I had to take two deliberate wrong turns so we didn’t arrive there too early! I was also visibly concerned when it started to rain. As we walked into the gift shop, it was still raining. We bought our tickets, it was still raining. I went to the toilet (where I did the final checks on the ring and very nearly dropped it down the toilet). Still raining. As we walked outside, it was perfectly sunny. A short walk later and I was leading Stacey towards a picnic basket. She was convinced it was someone else’s. It wasn’t until I sat down and said “let’s have lunch” that she realised the picnic was for us and a proposal was probably around the corner!
What with me being beyond nervous, and Stacey getting more and more excited we barely ate anything. I only waited ten minutes after sitting down to pop the question. There was a speech and everything, but she can’t remember any of that because she was overwhelmed with excitement at the time. While all this was going on, my parents and their friends were taking pictures. Stacey had never met my parent’s friends so they were able to get really close and take some amazing pictures, without Stacey realising what was going on!
I ended the speech with saying “do you want your birthday present early?” I knelt down on one knee got the ring out and said “Stacey Tonks, will you marry me?” She screamed “YES!!!!” and gave me a massive hug. A wave of relief rushed over me and I suddenly realised the ring was already on her finger! Didn’t waste a second. Just before popping the question I had taken the outer packaging off the bottle of Bucks Fizz, but not popped the cork. The moment Stacey said “yes” the bottle popped itself! Quite amazing.
It really was the perfect day.
And we got the perfect picture….
***still want more juicy details?*** Check out Stacey’s blog here