Sunday, 8 November 2015

Our Engagement Story

George and I have been together for almost four years now. Technically this October marks when we first started 'seeing each other' four years ago. It started with a cheeky lie on his part that he was an experienced Banjo player and so I challenged him to bring his Banjo over to Falmouth where I was at art school for a Folk Jam. I lugged my Accordion on the bus and carried it around Uni all day and waited for his bus from under an autumn tree on Falmouth Moor (just a street, not a real moor guys) and soon figured out after a few minutes of 'jamming', that he couldn't do much more than play deliverance and strum the chords :P It's okay, I was still pretty impressed because he knew the lyrics to my favourite Laura Marling songs and he was really good at folk dancing and after a few Monday nights of ceilidh together at the pub, I realised that this boy was the damn coolest thing in this world - I mean, I kinda already knew that when I first met him but you know. It just confirmed my suspicions :) 

Over four years of each others company, we chatted many times about staying together forever and he always joked about how he wanted to be proposed to. I was like "Aww hell no! I am a lady and it is MY RIGHT to be asked, thank you very much". He dug his heels in and stubbornly joked that I'd be waiting the rest of my life for a ring and I said that so would he. Lucky on my part, he believed me. George is a strange human bean - he is simultaneously traditional and utterly on a different wave length to the rest of humanity. We often joke with his family and friends that he likes to be treated like a 'princess' which has earned him his much hated pet name - Princess :P
Example: "Yes, okay Princess, I'll run you a bubble bath
It's normally responded to with a scolding look. 
So this summer, I had been mulling over the idea of getting engaged. I've always wanted a 'longish' engagement - plenty of time to plan, save money and get things organised as I hate stress and flapping so any way of avoiding the whole wedding process being a massive upheaval - the better. Our families started asking the questions of "So when are you going to get engaged?" and after talking with his Stepmum and looking at male rings on Etsy, then running the idea by some friends, I found myself happily planning a proposal! 
I was surprised by how excited I got - it was something I had never really thought about in my life because young me had always presumed that it would be the guy who proposed. My life was never really founded on tradition, since neither of my parents were married and I was raised by my Dad and my Nan (My mother's Mum), it wasn't as if I had to do everything 'by the book' since that was all 'out the window' anyway. 

I ordered the ring on Etsy back at the end of the summer from a craftsman based in Falmouth that made jewellery inspired by nature. His family helped me pick out something he'd like (otherwise if left to my own choices, he'd end up with something that a fairy might wear and not a regular man). We settled on a beautiful silver and copper band that would remind him of home (copper = mining) with a rough finish. When it arrived, I couldn't stop looking at it and had to hide it in my sock drawer in the hopes George wouldn't go rummaging there. 
I decided that instead of a 'speech', I'd write a story. Last year, we went to Paris to visit his brother who was living there and in a little French cafe, we both wrote a mini love story about the sun and the moon and how they fell in love and created the eclipse as a way to see each other. Inspired by this story, I decided to write the ending in the form of a proposal. I drafted elements of our relationship (how we met, references to songs we love) into the story and ended it with the Moon wanted to create a 'dusk' so that she may see the sun each evening as he sets and she rises. She asks Saturn to make a ring for the moon, similar to his own and Saturn obliges (at this point I'd whip out the ring). 
I'd try and practice this story, I even read it to Alex to see what she thought and I couldn't ever get to the end without breaking down in tears. I knew it was going to be tricky getting it out in the big moment. 

So on the day we arrived in Edinburgh, I was so wound up and nervous I knew I had to ask him on the first night else I'd be all in knots all weekend. I had decided that the place was to be 'Arthurs Seat' in Holyrood Park because we love Edinburgh, it's history and the outdoors and what better place than an ancient, extinct Volcano? Besides, we adore this little french film called 'La mecanique du coeur' which takes place in Edinburgh and the witch lives on Arthur's seat. We have a lot of love for this place. 
After settling in and grabbing some food, I suggested we went to Holyrood park for the adventure and to watch the sun set. The sky was moody and dark and beautiful and it was a strangely warm afternoon. He whinged and complained all the way and asked in a huffy "Why was I so insistent on climbing Arthurs seat today? Couldn't we do it another day?". He came anyway and huffed and puffed like a little frustrated kettle all the way up the hill. We stopped by St.Anthony's chapel - the ruins of a dark ages chapel and hummed  'Flamme a Lunette' by Dionysos together and had a pop at singing the words, but then some French people came over so we quickly stopped for fear of totally embarrassing ourselves. 
We caught our breath (for the hill is a biggun!) and carried on stopping here and there to admire the views and take photographs on Georges camera. 

Arthurs seat itself was filled with people even though it was getting dark and so we walked around the volcano to a quieter spot where we sat for a while and looked over at the crags and I tried to find the courage and 'feel in the moment'. It was bizarre, there was no 'real moment'. I felt like I was standing on a stage to a room full of ghosts but had to say something that I had no idea about. I didn't really know how to begin, so with a trembling hand, I pulled the little card inside which I had written the story and told George that I had written the next part of our Paris story and wanted to read it to him.
Snuggled together, overlooking the crags, I got the story out between sobs. He had no idea whatsoever where I was going with it (he is used to my over emotional states of tears and just thought "Oh god, Sarah's being silly again") but politely listened. When I pulled out the ring at the end, he stuttered and it was very tense and awkward. He said "I can't accept this" - but put it on anyway and wouldn't take it off. He kept stammering about how much he loved it but it got a bit emotional and we just hugged for ages. I felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff, ready to jump off with my heart completely in my mouth. We just hugged for ages and sobbed quietly and eventually became so cold, we started waking back down the hill towards the city. On the path, half way down I stopped him and we stared at each other for a while. I asked him "So what do you say?", he smiled at me with his beatific George smile that only George can do, and said "Yes".

We didn't take any photos afterwards, only leading up to the moment, which are the ones above - our journey up Arthurs seat. George said it was the perfect proposal and he loved it and I was relieved. I'm not normally very good in sensitive situations, I'm awkward and clumsy and talk too much. Afterwards it was strange, I wasn't sure if I should expect any change within the relationship (which I really didn't want, I'm not a fan of change!) but it was remarkable and how nothing had changed at all. It took a couple of days to get used to it and we were extremely nervous about putting it on Facebook, announcing it to the world. Naturally we let our closest friends and families know, but it all became easier once it was out in the open and now it's all back to normal. Life continues as it always did. I do feel even closer to George now, which I really didn't feel was possible and but we both knew we wanted to stay together always so I didn't feel any sense of fear about commitment. The only fear I did have was that by taking this next adult step in life, I was relinquishing some more of my childhood. My biggest fear is growing up inside - I can just about cope with external aging! But I can't bear the thought of losing my inner child. I am now just battling with the idea of taking this next adult step whilst remaining young inside.

We're going to leave it a good while before we get married. Partly, because we'd like to get more settled with a permanent residence and jobs, partly because we have almost no money and partly because we have friends who are getting married soon and it's their moment to be celebrated, loved and rejoice and we don't want to interfere with that in any way. We are very happy though, Samhuinn weekend was the perfect time of year for us to make this next step as we love the festival and of course it marks the beginnings of our relationship. George and I also chose my ring the other day and ordered it from Scotland where it is being made to order, but that is a surprise for next time! I am extremely excited for its arrival. I am in no way a diamonds sort of person, and it is not in anyway classical. It's a very 'Sarah' sort of ring - and my family and friends will know what I mean by that. George loved it which was validation for me that it wasn't too silly and the only clue that I'm going to give you, is that it's inspired by the ocean. of course it was going to be :) 



  1. Aaah this is SUCH a beautiful engagement story!! I love the idea of writing a little story, and I think it's wonderful that you decided to defy the conventions of society and propose, instead of waiting for the guy to do it. You two seem to have a beautiful relationship :) I'm so happy for you!!

    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings

  2. This is the most romantic thing ever! I have tears flowing like a sobbing whale! Congratulations wonderful and magical people! P.s. your photos look amazing! Xx

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  4. That's an absolutely wonderful engagement story. A great way to celebrate each other and something that sounds so you together as a couple. I love the thought that you put into his ring it makes it much more personal plus it's gorgeous.
    Beautiful pictures as well, I'm excited to see your ring now too. Huge congratulations to you both.

  5. Congratulations!! This is just the most beautiful engagement story. Everything about it just seems so perfect and personal. Such stunning photographs as well x

    P.S. I don't think anyone loses their inner child, not really :)

  6. Congratulations! Such a beautiful story. I love how creative you were with the whole thing and didn't just simply ask the question. The place also looks beautiful and like the perfect spot to get engaged! Wishing you all the best for your future as a married couple! :)

  7. Such a beautiful story Sarah. You are such a wordsmith, I felt your every emotion and anxiety, joy and understood where you came from.
    I totally understand that fear of losing the child within as you take the adult step. I felt like that too and I got married at 32! I still fear losing it but you have the choice and mind within. Many congratulations!!Xx

  8. What a beautiful story. Congratulations both of you!

  9. Gorgeous photos and a lovely story of your engagement. Congratulations!

    Claire // Technicolour Dreamer

  10. Congratulations!!!! Lots of love your way <3 <3 <3!!!!

  11. I read this last night in bed and was literally smiling all the way - congrats lots and lots to you both <3 what a lovely little way to propose, with a story, eeeep literally the epitome of cuteness and love! And definitely kudos to you being the first one to make the move ;) ALSO what a beautiful city that you've chosen to get engaged in... big fat aww right now!

    Cherie / sinonym

  12. Absolutely beautiful story- and the moon creating dusk to see the sun brought a tear to my eye :) George's ring is lovely and I really admire you for defying convention and doing it yourself; what a fab couple! And btw, I'd bet any money that your ring has a Narwhal on it! xxxx

  13. That's incredible that you were the one who proposed! And your story is so wonderful it made me tear up!!! xx


  14. Wow, what a lovely story and I'm so not in to wedding stuff at all, but you got me, tugged at my heart strings. Congratulations - you'll be happy for a lifetime, I'm sure. I'm hoping your ring has either got pearls in it or some kind of waves....

    SO I'm not one for marriage and although I'm so happy with my partner, we've agreed not to do the whole marriage thing, I think our money is best spent on outdoor trips and our rings are a sturdy pair of boots and a good coat!

    Lovely read! xxx


  15. Wow, what a lovely story and I'm so not in to wedding stuff at all, but you got me, tugged at my heart strings. Congratulations - you'll be happy for a lifetime, I'm sure. I'm hoping your ring has either got pearls in it or some kind of waves....

    SO I'm not one for marriage and although I'm so happy with my partner, we've agreed not to do the whole marriage thing, I think our money is best spent on outdoor trips and our rings are a sturdy pair of boots and a good coat!

    Lovely read! xxx

  16. Sarah I have to say your blog is probably my favourite little corner of the internet. It's so magical and beatiful. This is definitely a very non traditional engagement story but it's a beatiful one! Even though I have never met you I'm sending you all my love and best wishes for the future. Congratulations to both of you :)

    Deimante x


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