For someone who writes about weddings for a living, it seems odd that I get some sort of random stage-fright when anyone tries to bring up my own engagement/wedding.
I guess I’m not the gushy, undying love in public type. I would say “sorry, Brian”, but he’s not either. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are, but I’ve felt so awkward hyping up my own engagement story to people that I just reply “Malta” and “No, I didn’t know when it would happen, but we had spoken about it,” when people ask the standard engagement questions, finished by smiling and nodding as they look at my ring.
It’s like the engagement equivalent of someone being nice and complimenting your shoes and you quickly replying “oh, they were just £5 from Primark!” Why am I always so eager to play things down?!
The thing is, I loved our engagement. I love being engaged and – even though I had a bit of a anxiety-ridden time when we got back from Malta – I’m excited to plan a wedding with Brian, surrounded by those who mean the most to us.
I just don’t seem to very good at being the centre of attention with something so personal; I find it much easier to write it all down and share it that way instead, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.
I really want to share lots of wedding planning fun with you on the blog, so where better to start than the proposal?
WHERE WE GOT ENGAGED
Brian and I had decided to go to Malta when looking for holiday spots earlier this year. After Susie from Sincerely Yours, Susie recommended we go (she is a Malta holidaying pro!), we found some good flights and a gorgeous hotel (more on that here).
As I said above, I wasn’t sure when we’d get engaged. I thought it would be this year, but I also wanted to be surprised. After arriving on the Thursday and exploring Sliema and beyond on the Friday, Brian had planned our day on Saturday.
After a nice breakfast together at the hotel, we got the water taxi over to Valetta. Even this worked out well as we ended up the first on the boat so got the most amazing view of the city and harbour.
Taking a walk through the pretty streets of Valetta, Brian had a few places he said he’d read about any wanted to see. First up, we headed to the Lower Barrakka Gardens. As it was still early, it was lovely and quiet, with beautiful views out over the sea. It just felt such a special place and I’ll never forget how serene everything seemed that morning.
We then walked back to the main square, before stopping for a drink. Although we were planning on having lunch there too, it felt so busy and we decided to take a walk and see if we spotted anywhere quieter.
Randomly, we ended up walking past Marks and Spencer and saw they had a food hall! We got some baguettes, crisps and some drinks (mine, a pink gin and Brian’s, a beer) and sat in the gorgeous square at the Grandmaster’s Palace. Forget fine dining, it was a pretty perfect lunch.
Deciding to save our drinks (seriously, it was so hot in the sunshine that we were about to melt), we continued our little tour of Valetta and embarked on the hilly walk to the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
Unbeknown to me at the time, this was one of Brian’s proposal spot ideas, but when we got there it was mobbed! Honestly, every tourist in the vicinity must have flocked to the gardens at that time of day. Under the guise of finding ‘a nice place to have our drinks’, Brian suggested we go somewhere else and I asked if we could go back to the lower gardens, where I hoped it would be quieter.
When we got there, we saw that the one bench at the very corner, which overlooked the harbour, was empty so we made our way over. Of course, it wouldn’t be me without some sort of mishap and I had headed to the one single toilet in the park as soon as we arrived. All fine, until I got the lock stuck and had such a struggle with it that I caught my finger in the latch!
Not thinking anything of it, I went back to find Brian at our ideal little bench and felt so content, just sitting taking in the scenery. After a few moments of silence enjoying the views, Brian said he had something to ask me before we had our drinks. Right there, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Everything is a bit of a happy blur of me taking the ring out the box (not entirely sure what the etiquette is here, whether you’re meant to wait for your new fiance to place your ring lovingly on your finger, but I was too excited!) and feeling like I was in a dream.
During this fairy tale moment, we soon realised my finger which I’d trapped in the door was actually bleeding a lot and we ended up having to go find a pharmacy soon after to get antiseptic wipes! The things you don’t see on Instagram!
After calling our close families, we finally opened our drinks and, quite manically, laughed together at how unbelievable it was that we were actually engaged.
MY ENGAGEMENT RING DESIGN
So many people ask me if I chose my engagement ring, but it was all a bit different than finding one we liked in a shop. I’ve known and previously worked with Glasgow engagement ring designer, Darren at Bejouled and always knew I wanted him to make my ring when the time came.
One thing I had known for a long time (amid many wedding shows) was that I loved yellow diamonds and the pear shaped cut has always been a favourite. It’s hard not to have a little idea on what you like when you work in the wedding industry! I’d seen a few nice yellow diamond rings in various boutiques when we’d looked together, but nothing was ‘just right’.
We went to see Darren together in spring and chatted through what I liked and how to make it a bit unique and different. It was clear to see that I – shockingly – really love diamonds and, after trying various styles on and discussing ideas, I left it in Darren (and Brian’s!) capable hands to create something amazing.
I still can’t really get over how ‘me’ my engagement ring is. A pear-shaped yellow diamond centre stone with a halo of diamonds is the dream for me, so to then add to that a diamond twisted band was just perfection. I’m still in awe of how something so pretty can be mine (and also legit terrified I’ll ever lose it – the ring fear is real, people!)
Every engagement ring is perfect for their bride or groom-to-be, but I cannot recommend Bejouled enough. It really is lovely to have a ring that has been designed totally for you. Going bespoke just gives you so much control over every aspect of your design and I know we’ll go bespoke for our wedding rings too.
WHAT I’VE PLANNED SO FAR
Er, nothing… haha! Seriously though, I don’t know if I’m being a bad bride-to-be but I have not done a thing to start wedding planning yet! Last weekend was the first time I had even started a (secret) Pinterest board for myself to start putting ideas in.
It’s weird, everyone thinks that, because of my job, I’d know exactly what I want, but it actually makes it harder! We’re not planning on getting married until 2021 so I feel I’m giving myself plenty of time and know I’ll have a whole lot of help. I’m looking at you, Team SWD!
This weekend, I’m actually heading to The Scottish Wedding Show at SEC Glasgow. It will be my first time attending the show as a bride-to-be, which still feels so funny as I’ve went to the show so many times for work! I’m really excited to experience it in a different way and it’s always been my favourite show to go to, so I know it’ll be a really nice day.
I’m going to be sharing loads from the show on my Instagram (@tenderlovingstyle), so I’d love if you came along with me via Insta Stories. The first of my real life wedding chat is out – eek!