Note: Because our engagement story is quite long and full of almost-but-not-quite moments, I thought it would be sweet if I wrote my side and Derek wrote his! The proposal was a total surprise to me so I can really only write about the day of the actual event but if you want to know more about the build up behind our engagement, I’ll link his post here in the next few days. For my side of the story, keep reading below.
I think I was the only person in the world who didn’t know he was going to do it. I learned afterwards that my parents knew – he asked them for permission the day before we left. My sister and her boyfriend knew. His parents and his sister knew. My mum had proceeded to tell both sets of grandparents, my Aunts, my Uncles, my cousins, almost everybody she’d ever met. And I had no idea.
Looking back, I can put the pieces together. The day he asked for permission, I remember thinking it was odd for him to go all the way to my parents’ house, just to drop off tennis tickets for my mum (that was his excuse) whilst I was at work, especially when we were going back over later that night.
I remember a month before that, his mom and I were discussing jewellery, which led to rings, which led to her making me try on her rings and exclaiming that we were almost the same size.
I remember being a bit puzzled when I went looking for a pair of his thick socks to borrow a few days before we left. I knew he had his great grandmother’s ring that was intended for me to have in the future when the time was right. I also knew he kept that ring in his underwear drawer and when I went to get socks, it was nowhere to be seen.
‘That’s odd,’ I remember thinking. ‘He must have hidden it somewhere else.’
Now, the fact that Derek was able to hide this from me is the true surprise here. Usually he can’t tell me his secrets fast enough.
He proposed to me in Orlando, Florida on the 11th of September at around 11pm. It was the fourth day in of our holiday of a lifetime. We spent the evening at Disney Springs and I could tell there was something going on with him. Although he’s usually a bit on edge in crowds, he was worse than ever. Anything that could get to him was definitely getting to him. Not in an angry way – he just seemed a bit anxious. Looking back, he was definitely feeling the pressure!
We had an absolute ball – Disney Springs is a great place, full of fun little shops and restaurants, all circling a beautiful lake with fountains in the middle. We spent hours walking around and looking at all of the souvenirs, from Christmas ornaments to kitchen supplies, where we bought some salt and pepper shakers, and a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter to be used in our future home. We found a Marvel souvenir store that he geeked out in, we listened to a couple of bands play music next to the lake, and then we stopped to watch the hot air balloon land over the water. We could hear one of the musicians playing a saxophone nearby. Looking back, it was the absolute most perfect moment. We’d found the quietest possible spot on a busy Friday night at Disney Springs and nobody was around at all. At this point, I could tell he was antsy. He was fiddling with his shirt with one hand, and he was holding my hand with the other. His palm was sweaty. I remember thinking Florida’s intense heat must have been getting to him!
He turned to face me, and just as he opened his mouth to speak, a young couple walking hand-in-hand turned the corner and walked past us. At the sight of them he dropped my hand like a hot potato and asked when our dinner reservations were. Since it was almost time for food, we headed back to the restaurant and the moment was over.
We had dinner at T-Rex, a massive dinosaur-themed restaurant with novelty cups, themed dishes, everything cheesy that comes with a family-themed restaurant. This was a fun little treat I booked especially for Derek – don’t all men carry on that love of dinosaurs from childhood? I know my man does! We had a fun night and by the time we got back to the hotel we were both exhausted.
We weren’t even in our hotel room for two minutes before it happened. After I dumped my handbag on a chair, I pulled on my Minnie and Mickey nightie that I’d bought from Walmart a couple of days before, and opened the door of the room that led to the balcony. Our room overlooked the Orlando Eye (and a classy Hooters billboard but let’s forget that little fact) so it was nice to look at at night. It also was nice to let some of the warm air in from outside, as we always kept the air conditioning turned up just that little bit too high.
I’d just sat down on the bed when suddenly Derek was in front of me on one knee and pulling me up by the hand.
As I got to my feet, I remember my heart throwing itself around my ribcage. Or at least it definitely felt that way because it was beating so. Hard. So hard in fact, that I can only remember some of what Derek said because most of what I heard was my blood absolutely pounding in my ears and my brain screaming oh my God oh my God oh my God what’s happening?!?!?!?!?!
Therefore, some of this may be paraphrased but you get the gist.
“Amy,” he said, and his voice was shaking. “I wanted to do this earlier and yesterday but I chickened out and I can’t wait anymore.”
I feel so bad now, months later, because he talked for a bit but I honestly can’t remember what he said because I was so in shock. I can 1000% remember how he ended it though and it was like this:
“Amy, I love you so much. I can’t imagine my life without you and I don’t want to. I want to do whatever I can to make you happy. Will you marry me?”
And I nodded my head so hard that I’m sure I resembled one of those bobblehead figures you see in the backs of cars. “Yes!”
And then he was sliding the ring – oh my God the ring – on my finger, and I was pulling him up for cuddles and kisses and jumping up and down and it was the best night of my life.
The ring is something special. He took the diamond from the original ring and redesigned the band completely into something he knew I’d like. What was originally bulky and thick, is now two thin, simple bands in the infinity design. Right at the centre where the lines cross, is the diamond set into the band. He took a risk and used two different coloured metals – rose gold and white gold as he knows those are my favourites. The two-tone is something I never would have picked for myself but when I saw it, I fell in love and now wouldn’t want anything else.
Plus, it was designed by my best friend exclusively for me, so there’s that special little fact too.
I felt totally complete – the happiest I’ve ever been. Cloud nine doesn’t even cover it, it was more like cloud nine hundred and ninety nine. Despite the fact that it was after 5am back in Scotland, I called my mum who was wide awake and obviously waiting for the phone call. She proceeded to wake my dad and my sister and my gran and my aunt, who all texted me for about an hour until I told them to go back to sleep. The next day was spent informing all of our friends and family, and Derek and I celebrated alone together over the Breakfast Sampler at iHop. How romantic!
I loved getting engaged whilst away from home. Not only were we on our dream holiday, it meant that we now had something else to look forward to. Instead of being sad to leave sunny Florida, we got to be excited to celebrate with our families, plan an engagement party, and start looking for wedding inspiration.
Almost five months on, I feel so happy and lucky every day to be engaged to my best friend. I still can’t stop admiring my ring. We are now happily pinning away our ideas and inspiration over on Pinterest and talking about our wedding options. Still no date set in stone but there’s plenty of time ahead!
Basically, in summary: Derek took our holiday of a lifetime and made it even more special. I love him more and more every single day and love to call myself the Future Mrs Smith!
Now read Derek’s side of the story here.