The Proposal

Before I go off in a frisson of excitement about dresses, cakes and wedding venues I feel I should really fill you in on the details of the proposal.

The question I most frequently got asked when imparting the news of our engagement was: “Did you know it was on the cards?”

The answer? Yes and no…


  • My Mum and Dad came to visit end of January. Mum and I buggered off shopping for the day leaving the men to chat and eat lunch. A good time to ask my Dad if ever there was one…
  • Vince was resolutely determined to go away for Valentine’s weekend despite the fact that he did his leg in and was on crutches (tore a calf muscle). Also the weather was snowy and a bit scary. I was nervous about driving but he was determined we’d get there no matter what. He is usually a little more sympathetic if I say I’m concerned about driving in the ice and snow…
  • In the heat of the moment in an argument, V implied he’d been doing some planning for our future. It was the briefest of comments in the briefest of moments but it suddenly hit me that actually he might be contemplating it more than he’d let on…

Evidence to the contrary:

  • Conversations we’d had in the run up to Valentine’s Day had basically gone something along the lines of:
    “So, erm, when do you imagine we might get married? Like, I dunno, erm, I don’t want a time or a date or anything, I just wondered if you’d given it any thought…”
    “We need to sort the kitchen out first, that’s going to cost a lot and we can’t even think about budgeting for a wedding until after that’s done.”
    In retrospect, what a ridiculous question for me to ask.

With him being so resolute about our need to do the kitchen first before we contemplated anything else in our lives I was fairly certain it wasn’t going to happen, although I couldn’t help but torment myself wondering about it…

So, we left for Down Hall Country House Hotel on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. The hotel was gorgeous, we had a fabulous meal Sunday night at the hotel and we spent Monday wandering round Bishop’s Stortford. In the evening we had the most delicious battered haloumi and chips I’d ever tasted after which we returned to the (hooooj) hotel room to watch Puss In Boots (as you do). V had mentioned he would like to go for a walk at midnight to look at the stars (the Milky Way was supposed to be visible from earth) and despite the fact that we were both tired (and his leg was killing him after walking round Bishop’s Stortford) he still seemed keen so at just after midnight we took a snowy wander in the grounds. I was a little perturbed that he insisted he didn’t need his crutches but he’s never been one to listen to sensible advice so off we went.

Vince was disappointed that there was too much cloud cover to really see anything in the sky but we kept on walking until we reached some trees where we stopped for a cuddle. It was at this point (after the cuddle) he got down on one knee, got out the ring in its box and said “Will you do me the honour of spending the rest of your life with me as my wife?” The rest is a teary blur, but I do remember feeling like I had no air in my lungs for a moment and I managed to say “Oh my God! Yes!” After this he took off my glove and put the ring on my finger. It felt utterly bizarre as obviously I’ve never worn a ring on that finger in my life, and as engagement rings aren’t the flimsiest of things it felt huge and substantial on my finger. We hugged again, I was in a complete daze, and we took a (slow) walk back to our room where I could have a proper look at the ring…

The rest, as they say, is history.

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