Lots of people have been asking about how Maxwell proposed and seeing as we’ve officially been engaged 3 and a bit weeks now… (ahh where’d that time go!?) I thought it would be fun to share with you our engagement story…
I should probably point out that Maxwell had been under a ‘little’ pressure for a while now and pretty much everyone we know has asked when we’re getting engaged, but I know my man and he’s not one to be rushed….
Whilst I knew that his far off thoughts were on us ending up engaged, I had no idea when he’d want to officially start the journey and I 100% knew that if I kept asking, he’d just keep putting it back (haha) So I was happy to let others ask on my behalf and secretly ponder maybe he’ll do it then, or there….
I had considered it an option that something may happen over Christmas and New Year as I was convinced he’d do it on a special date (he’s that kind of guy) but still when the moment came I was taken utterly by surprise…
I should probably give you a bit of back story first…. Since very early on in our relationship I knew Maxwell was the one, we went on our first non-date in March, officially became an item in July and in November we said I love you… From very early on we’ve casually mentioned the idea of getting married and much to everyone’s amusement we had already decided on a few wedding details way before a ring was purchased….
For our first ever Valentines day we got a last-minute bargain stay in a cute little 5* hotel in Christchurch… The day after we headed to Corfe Castle and explored the nearby town of Swanage. Whilst strolling around we stumbled across the worlds tiniest jewellers. Georgian Gems is the smallest shop imaginable… Literally just 2 windows and enough space inside for 2 friendly customers (about 7 sq ft according to the website)
Unfortunately the shop was closed when we were there so instead we window shopped a while and I quizzed Maxwell on what kind of ring he’d get me if we were ever to get engaged (…A girls gotta suss these things out don’t ya know)
Fast forward 3 years and 9 months and unbeknown to me Maxwell had decided that the time had come… He told me in the surreal moments after he’d proposed that he’d returned to that very shop as it was the first place we’d discussed getting married and therefore was the only place he would have purchased my ring.
Luckily for me Georgian Gems stocks mainly vintage rings. It had always been my wish for a vintage ring… I loved the romance of a second or third hand ring… I like to imagine who wore it before me, what their love story was, and did it bring a tear to another woman before me!?
I didn’t envy Maxwell the task of choosing my ring. I’m quite particular about my jewellery and wear chunky stones and an eclectic mix on a day-to-day basis, so whilst I knew I was drawn to art deco rings and definitely didn’t want a traditional diamond… I still don’t know how I would have chosen the perfect ring.
Luckily for me I didn’t need to worry, Maxwell selected a ring so perfect for me, I couldn’t have chosen better myself. The ring it’s self is silver, of German origin and is from circa 1910.
Not one to do things by halves he also carved and inlaid a wooden panel in the hidden recess in the back of the ring with our initials burnished in (reclaimed from his old wooden boat – his second love I should point out). I adore this addition as if you look closely you can see the wood through the intricate floral design and this will always remind me of my carpenter fiancé.
For the festive break we flew to Orlando for a special family holiday courtesy of my future in-laws. On the Monday before we departed he asked my dad for his daughter’s hand and of course Pappa Lo agreed… I was completely oblivious at the time and presumed the big hug goodbye was just because we were going on holiday… I obviously missed the sneaky wink to my man over my shoulder!
The ring was then entrusted to Maxwell’s sister for safe passage to America. He wisely thought it was safer travelling with a lady amongst her jewellery and as chances would have it his hand luggage was searched during security…
The plan to keep it hidden with Bethan again proved sensible when on our first morning I unpacked both our bags whilst Maxwell dozed in bed.
At some point over the next couple of days the ring made its way from Bethan to Maxwell’s shoe where it lay hidden only being nearly discovered once! haha
When one afternoon Maxwell spotted the chosen hidey hole of a shoe had been moved he panicked that I discovered his secret.. No… I’d just been measuring them up against a pair of flip-flops I brought as part of our christmas eve walmart challenge! I presumed the thing rolling round inside just a hidden supply of dollars, so none the wiser I chucked the shoe back on shelf and forgot about it. (I’d make a rubbish spy)
Christmas day came around and knowing it was one of my favourite days I think he decided at that point that today was the day… You can read about our Christmas day in more detail here, but basically after a relaxed morning at home we donned our fancier clothes and headed to the Magic Kingdom…
We watched the Christmas Day fireworks, rode the carousel and then around 11pm, whilst we were split up from Bethan and the kids we decided to queue up and meet Mickey.
The queue was long and I even mentioned at one point if it really worth it… Luckily Maxwell convinced me it was… Just before midnight we were welcomed into a little room and met Mickey. After some hugs and a strange bit of hitch hiking posing for the photographer the assistant suggested some ‘nice photos’. We did the cheesy grinning thing then Maxwell calmly asked for a favour… He asked if they minded if he got a photo of “his girlfriend” and Mickey together on his old film camera. As Mickey and I smiled for the camera… Maxwell then suddenly changed his mind, and said “actually…” putting his camera aside, pulled a ring box from his pocket and for someone with as bad knees and he, dropped quite smoothly to one knee…
I should point out that this all happened so quickly. Maxwell’s nerves and the surrealness of it all… A gasp from the assistant and Maxwell opening the box made it all real and I burst into tears. As the man I loved looked up at me with the biggest grin on his face and asked me if I’d marry him my eye was caught by the most beautiful ring nestled into a beautiful mustard vintage ring box. Through my tears he didn’t hear my first yes, so as he (not quite so smoothly) got up from his knee he asked again, I said “yes” again, “of course”, and engulfed my now fiancé in the biggest bear hug imaginable.
As shaky hands attempted to get the rather small vintage ring onto my not so small modern finger, tears were wiped, smiles widened and with the photographer and his assistant snapping away and congratulating us we got a few more happy photos of the moment. (including a hysterical one of Mickey peering over our shoulders trying to get a glimpse of the ring)
When we left the room both of us were shaking and it didn’t feel real… there was a lot of kisses and hugs and with happy red eyes we rejoined the real world and joined another queue to see the professional photos. We later showed these to Maxwell’s family to tell them the good news and as we left a huge ring surrounded the moon, a sign we took as a good thing.
And there you have it. Our (somewhat magical) engagement story… Boy did good and it’s quite possibly the best Christmas present I ever got. Not in a million years how I imagined Maxwell proposing but that just added to the occasion and I never thought it possible, but I think I love Christmas even more now.
We had to get the ring resized so only family and a few special friends received word of our exciting news… Until the ring was back on my finger it didn’t really feel real. A few days later after we collected the now perfect ring, Maxwell put it back on the finger of his fiancé and we were ready to announce it to everyone else…
We weren’t sure how best to do it and decided that a beautiful photo of us and the ring would be best. With the camera set on self timer mode and an empty house we took 11 photos one after the other and of those 11 photos there was one we both loved… Maxwell being all gentlemanly whilst I grinned like a (just engaged) loon in the background. I adore it and know I always will…
NB. We were told after the proposal happened that Disney Characters are not allowed in proposal photos… Luckily for us they were feeling the Christmas spirit and allowed us our special photographic evidence… Thank you Disney!