Do you ever sit there and think…how can I propose to my girlfriend and make myself feel as uncomfortable as possible? No? I didn’t think so, that’s just me then.
This event happened a long time ago now, all the way back in May, but I’ve never got round to sharing my story, until now. When I decided that I was going to propose to Amy, I wanted it to be memorable. Something that people would remember for years to come. If you aren’t much of a reader and would prefer to just watch what happened then you are in luck, because the full video can be found on YouTube. Click on the link HERE to watch me make a fool of myself. Most guys would go for the usual take their partners out to dinner, the whole wine and dine nonsense. That was far too straight forward for me. My bright idea was that I was going to propose to Amy in front of an entire room full of family, friends and some very confused bar staff.
Step One: Buy a Ring
First though, let me take you right back to the start, and the most important part of the whole process, ring shopping. The two words that strike the fear into any man. It’s an impossible task for a man to pick out a ring when even the woman doesn’t know what she wants. It was a task that I clearly couldn’t do alone. I struggle to do the weekly supermarket shop without getting lost in the store or buying the wrong things, so I decided that I would take three of my friends/colleagues with me. In case you were wondering, they were all females. You really think I’d take guys with me? It would be like the blind leading the blind.
What I’ve realised about shopping for a ring, is that every member of staff wants to be your best friend. Basically, they want your money! I very nearly bought a ring in one of the first shops I looked in because of the overly nice old women who was serving me. She must have thought…’gullible young man with no idea what he’s doing,’ I bet the pound signs were flashing in her eyes. I managed to escape that shop and headed to a different one.
I would love to tell you that I was the one that picked out Amy’s ring, but unfortunately I would be lying. One of my friends spotted it and I instantly knew that it was the one. It had everything that Amy had asked for in a ring. A square diamond, a patterned band, white gold. It was perfect, and wasn’t so expensive that I’d be living off cans of beans for the next 3 months. The whole process of buying the ring was a mystery to me. We were given complimentary presecco and chocolate on arrival. It was all very formal. I don’t think I’d ever felt so out of place as I did in that moment, with a glass of fizz in one hand, and an engagement ring in the other.
The day wasn’t a total success, it never is with me. The evening of the day that I went out (secretly) shopping for a ring was the evening that my Mum and brother were coming round for tea. As part of my deception, I agreed that I would go shopping on my way home to buy some nice food to cook for the meal. Not only did I get held up buying the ring, I couldn’t find anything on the list that Amy had given me which meant that I came home stupidly late, and without any food. Wasn’t my finest hour. It was one of my worst in fact.
This meal had meant a lot to Amy as she felt like she needed to prove herself that she would be a mother and still host guests and cook a nice meal. Amy lay in the bedroom in floods of tears but I couldn’t tell her what I’d been doing! I looked like the worst person in the world, but little did she know that I’d actually been out all day buying her an engagement ring. Amy laughs about this now, as she knows the reason that I messed up. There was no laughter at the time! In fact, I’ve seen messages between Amy and her friends ripping me to shreds that day. The worst part about this whole disaster, is that I ended up splashing out over £30 on takeout food that night as punishment.
Step Two: Propose
The big day soon arrived. I wasn’t just proposing to Amy on a regular day. I’d decided that it would be on the very same day as Austin’s Christening. Everyone was going to be there, it seemed like the perfect plan. Perfect until the day came and then the idea started to become rather scary and idiotic. I am the kind of person who avoids social situations at any cost. I’ll never know why I chose to propose to Amy like this. I clearly had a screw loose somewhere, which I’m sure you all already knew.
The plan was to christen Austin at the church first, and then invite everybody to a social club for a few drinks and a celebration. Only a handful of people knew what was going to be happening. The nerves that I felt on that morning were overpowering. Even though I’d thought about what I would be doing every day for the last month, there was still the worry that something would go wrong. When do thought out plans ever go the way you want them to?
The build up to the moment that I would propose was intense, and I had worked myself up so much that I doubted that I could even go through with it. I was putting it off again and again. Just 10 more minutes and then I’ll do it. Just another few. I suddenly started panicking when I realised that people were starting to leave. There was no choice, I had to do it now! I retrieved the ring from my mum, who had been keeping it safe for me for weeks now, and headed into the middle of the room. Before I could even speak a word, I could feel all eyes on me. The whole room slowly fell silent and everyone waited with anticipation. I remember catching Amy’s eye and getting a look that said…”What the hell are you doing?!”
I started off by thanking everyone for coming to celebrate the christening of Austin. The idea was to lull everyone into a false sense of security and then…POW…romance ninja! I could feel my voice shaking. If you watch the video, you can hear the fear and nervousness in my voice.
After I’d thanked everyone, I decided that I would then get Amy up with me to ‘thank her for being a Mother’. Amy still hadn’t worked out what was going on. She was completely oblivious until her brain suddenly started to tick when I said the words… “There’s only one problem…and that’s that you are still a Wilson”. You can see the cogs working overtime in her head. Before she could work out too much, I put her out of her misery and whipped out the box from my pocket. All I can remember from that moment is a sudden gasp from the watching crowd.
The very moment that I pulled the ring from my pocket will stay with me forever. When I watch it back I actually get a little emotional. Not because of what I was doing, but because of the reaction from Amy. In them few seconds when she realised what was happening, my (then) 28 year old girlfriend turned back into the little girl who’d dreamed about being proposed to her whole life. The excitement and overwhelming joy on her face brings a tear to my eye whenever I think about it. It’s an amazing feeling when you can bring that much happiness to someone that you love so dearly.
Amy said yes (obviously). It would be an awkward end to the story to tell you that actually she said no and threw the ring in my face. Thankfully I got the answer that I wanted and we can now start planning our wedding. We have a venue, a date, a guest list, a church, a colour scheme, a photographer. We are super organised, and when I say ‘we’, I mean Amy. I won’t even be allowed to pick out my own suit.
I’d love to hear about your proposal stories and if anyone managed to be even braver than me and do something even more outrageous. Leave them in the comments section.
20th June 2020. Write it in your diaries, if you are reading this, chances are you’ll be on the guest list.