12 September 2015

Our Engagement Story - as told by Paul!


Hello internet! I’m Paul, Holly’s fiancĂ©. I’m doing a little guest post on her blog, telling our engagement story from my point of view.

Last September, Holly and I went to Orlando, to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. Shortly after we came back to Leeds, we were looking in jewellery store windows whilst out shopping. After we had been going out a significant amount of time, Holly started showing me rings in windows of jewellers and getting me to pick out the one I think she’d like most for fun. I’d pretty much got it down to an art. It had to be a single stone, no bigger than 0.3 carat, round cut diamond, with a thin platinum or silver band. She wanted a straight band, no tapers. Anyway, last September, we were looking in windows and I picked out what I thought she would like. Another ring caught her eye though, a three stoned ring, with square cut diamonds, on a platinum band with a tapered edge. Completely the opposite of what she’d liked until this point! But her words were that it was the prettiest ring she’d ever seen (and we’d seen a LOT at this point!) so once I’d dropped her off at work, I doubled back and put the deposit on it down.

My next step was to work out how and when to pop the question. We’re both quite big Disney fans, hence our trip to Orlando and Disney World, and we’ve both commented on how happy Disney parks make you feel. But I couldn’t jet us both back to Orlando so soon without making her suspicious so I decided on Disneyland Paris. I told her to book a week off work, but refused to tell her where we were going. About 8 weeks prior to flying, I met with her Dad to ask for his blessing, which he gave!

As the holiday began, I like to think Holly was impressed. I’d booked us in a first class train carriage from Leeds to Manchester Airport, and we were well looked after by the Air France staff on the flight over. After a minor hiccup at Charles de Gaulle Airport with our private transfer (the guy didn’t arrive to pick us up till about half an hour to an hour after we landed), we settled into our hotel room quite nicely and had a wander around Disney Village for food.

Then, the big day came. Safe to say I was nervous, even more than when I met her Dad. I spent the morning before we set off running through what I was going to say to her. After talking to some of our friends, I had decided not to plan out some huge speech, but not to wing it either. I had a few things I wanted to mention about when we first started going out, and the adventures we’d had, along with how much I love her and couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her. Anyway, I kept running through that, and there were times, such as in the bathroom the morning of, where she overheard me muttering to myself and asked me what I was saying. Somehow, I don’t think she believed me when I said ‘nothing!’ I’ll be honest, the trip to Disneyland from the hotel was a blur, I remember none of it. I just remember getting into the park, seeing the castle and smiling. There’s something about being in a Disney park that makes you instantly happy.

As we approached the castle, I was looking out for someone to take a picture of the two of us. When we were in Orlando, there were about a dozen Disney photographers ready to take your photo. In Paris, there were none. So I started looking for a tourist who wouldn’t mind taking photos of us for a bit longer than normal.

As I was looking, a young Spanish couple approached us asking us to take a photo of them, and in return they would take one of us. I couldn’t propose in front of another couple! What was the happiest day of my life, could cause that couple arguments about why they aren’t engaged yet. It probably wouldn’t, or they could already be engaged or married or not even wanting to get married, but I wasn’t thinking about that! After they took a lovely photo of us, Holly wanted to move on. I knew I wanted to propose in front of the castle and didn’t want to wait, but I needed to psyche myself up again after I had chickened out in front of the couple. Holly, getting a bit annoyed at me delaying moving on as I wanted to find another photographer, decided she wanted to eat, so we walked back to the entrance. Holly was fed, and I wasn’t hungry.

We went back to the castle and just hung around again. I spotted many families and couples, but didn’t want to pull them away from their day. Finally, I spotted a couple of Irish girls and asked them to take a photo of us. They happily obliged, so I got Holly to wait in front of the castle, whilst I explained to one of them “how to use the camera”. The girl unfortunately wasn’t listening properly as I explained in hush whispers that I was going to propose so had to repeat myself a few times. She eventually heard me and got excited for us. I asked her just to keep taking pictures through it all and walked back to Holly.

I reached Holly, and faced her… The Irish Girl came running up to me, she forgot which button to press to take the photos! I showed her how to use the camera again and then she went back to her position and I turned to face Holly once more.

I reached into my bag to get the ring, remembering the words I wanted to say, and looked at Holly as I got on one knee. I managed to blurt out “Holly, I love you, will you marry me?” No big speech, no throwbacks to the start of our relationship, I’d forgotten everything I had thought of saying. But in doing so, I kept it short, sweet and to the exact words she needed to hear. She said yes (thankfully) and we both began hugging, kissing and crying.

We thanked the lovely Irish girls for our photos and started to take some photos ourselves with the ring and the castle. We then tried to get hold of our parents. Holly’s mum: no answer. Holly’s dad: no answer. My mum: no answer. We managed to get through to my Dad though, who wished us congratulations and then tried my Mum again, who was at work at the time and started cheering!


 As we went to move on, Holly asked for tissues. All that meticulous planning and I forgot tissues! And no matter how many people I said “Papier! Papier pour le nez!” to, no one understood I wanted tissues or “papers for your nose”. Holly nipped to the bathroom to find some and we moved on to a ride. Just before we got in the queue, Holly’s dad rang. 3 out of 4 down!

It was another 2 or 3 hours before we heard back from Holly’s mum. Holly spent that time between rides, grilling me about how long I had been planning it, what her dad had said, who knew before we came, etc. The phonecall with her mum was short and sweet as she started to cry! A quick message to our siblings and we made it Facebook official. Holly’s oldest sister sent me a lovely message about how happy I’ve made Holly which meant a lot. We didn’t know until later but Holly’s brother didn’t see his message like we thought and didn’t know until he’d seen it on Facebook!

We spent a lovely first day engaged enjoying Disneyland in the sun, it was roasting! Then we ended the day watching Disneyland’s fireworks show, which made our special day just that little bit more magic.

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