17 brides share their heartwarming engagement stories

12 Jul 2019

Who doesn't love a proposal? 

Image gallery

Image gallery

Getting engaged is one of life's greatest moments. No matter how simple or extravagant, an engagement will always be remembered. From holiday hotspots to home soil, from precious moments spent alone to celebratory occasions with family and friends, there are a myriad of places and ways couples have got engaged. 

Here, 17 brides whose weddings have featured on bridemagazine.co.uk reflect on the moment they said "yes". 

Siobhan Howard, who married Adam West in a church ceremony in London

"The proposal took place just under three years before our wedding. Adam took me to the Lake District to stay at the Holbeck Gyhll. He had booked the suite in the hotel where I was welcomed with champagne and red roses. He had also booked me into the spa for the afternoon for some pampering. When I returned from the spa he was down on one knee on our terrace overlooking the lake at sunset. It was all very romantic. We were then went for a celebratory dinner. The ring was exactly what I wanted, so it turns out he had listened over the years."

Mary-Kate Devaux, who chose a Harry Potter theme for her wedding to Paul Doyle

"Paul planned for the proposal to happen on Brighton beach, one of the first places we went on a date. However, when the moment came, our daughter started crying so Paul had to quickly re-plan the proposal and relocated to the Brighton Pavilion for a second attempt. The ring was hidden inside a Golden Snitch box that had the quote ‘I open at the close’ engraved on it."

Danielle Galea, who tied the knot with Oliver Torrance at Hutton Hall in Essex

"The proposal was just perfect! Ollie and I were on holiday in Miami and on a gorgeous Sunday morning, he took me for a stroll along Miami Beach. The time of day meant that the beach was quiet, and we climbed to the top of a lifeguard viewing tower to check out the stunning views. I was distracted by taking photos, and before I knew it Ollie was waiting on one knee. It felt so intimate with it just being the two of us around, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget. One day we’d like to go back to that very same spot in Miami."


Image: Neil Bailey

Siobhan Wood, who said "I do" to Chris Jay in a DIY wedding in Nottingham

We went on holiday to New Jersey and New York in September 2017. After spending a week with Chris’ auntie and uncle in New Jersey for a week, we went over to Manhattan for the rest of the holiday. On the day in question we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge then decided on a trip to Central Park where we went on the boating lake for a while. The weather was amazing so we took a walk round the boating lake, and as I was looking out on the boating lake I heard Chris say my name. I turned around and there he was down on one knee with a beautiful ring. I was so happy I forgot to say yes, so he had to ask to confirm."

Gabriella Green, who opted for a colourful Cotswold wedding with her husband James McLaren

"I had hoped he would propose when we went to America but that came and went and he didn’t. For the real proposal we were visiting his family in Ledbury, Herefordshire and he took me for a walk and showed me all his old haunts. We walked through the grounds of the church and he stopped and turned to me, got down on one knee and proposed. I asked if this was for real – when he assured me it was I happily accepted and then the church bells rang. We were able to then go home and tell all of his family in person."

Heather Lambert, who wed Tom Hudson at a lakeside wedding venue in Windermere

"Tom proposed on our holiday of a lifetime in Canada. We both love mountains, being from the Lake District, and had gone out for a day trip to Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. We took the cable car to the very top and sat overlooking the whole of Vancouver. Tom set up his GoPro for a photo and just after we posed for the photo, he got down onto one knee and proposed. It was like something out of a dream, and best of all, he had managed to catch it all on camera."


Image: Lisa Aldersley

Victoria Kemp, who exchanged vows with Philip Osorio Echeverry Robinson in a barn ceremony

"We had been to London for the day to celebrate my 21st birthday. I could tell Phil was nervous about something – he said afterwards that he just couldn’t find the right moment while we were in London so when we got back to Bedford he took me to a random field and proposed. The sunset was lovely."

Celena Bridge, who shared a magical music-filled wedding with husband Duncan Sandilands

"We had gone on a flying visit for my birthday to Duncan’s parents in Cornwall and needed to leave early for my party with friends in London. Unbeknownst to me, Duncan was planning to propose with a beautiful family ring which had belonged to his much loved grandmother. I wondered why he seemed to be delaying our departure by suggesting a long walk on the beach and he was behaving so nervously I actually thought he was trying to work out a nice way to break up. I turned around to find him on one knee in the wet sand, holding the ring and asking me to marry him."

Chloe Doyle, who celebrated her marriage to Moritz Lank Tofte at Tofte Manor in Bedfordshire

"It was the last Friday before Christmas and we were out to celebrate. We watched Paddington 2 at The Ritzy in Brixton and went for cocktails before we wandered home for a final nightcap on the sofa. We were in the middle of reminiscing about 2017 and what might come in 2018 when Moe popped the question – although it was more of a statement and he didn’t get on one knee or present a ring. A bit of confusion ensued until I realised he was actually asking me to be his wife and not just hypothesising about how that might be the case one day. Once he finally managed to get the ring out of his pocket it was all a lot clearer!" 


Image: Abraxas Wedding Photography

Mandeep Parmar, who married Matthew Singh Atkinson in a Sikh wedding

"Matt took me to Manchester for my birthday and we went to Rossos, Rio Ferdinand’s Italian restaurant. This was where we had one of our first dates. After dinner he got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of a packed restaurant."

Courtney Perlmutter, whose wedding to Mark Johnson featured a pink and white colour scheme

"The proposal took place at the bus stop where we met as teenagers. Mark pulled up and we got out of the car - I thought we were going to look at a house as we were trying to buy one at the time. He led me towards the bus stop and as we got closer, I began to realise what was happening. There was a huge bouquet of flowers waiting on the bench, and as we approached, he got down on one knee. I can’t remember a word he said as I was too busy looking at the ring. That night we flew off to Dubai – a perfect start to our engagement."

Naomi Lena-Watson, who spent three years planning her intimate and elegant wedding to Gary Ball

"I had just opened my own coffee and cocktail bar. I was quite ill at the time and Gary had arranged for me and my girls to go for a meal, all paid for by him. On the way home he called saying he was having trouble cashing up so I asked to be dropped off at the bar. 

"He had arranged the whole thing; there was a candlelit aisle leading to the back of the building which was covered in fairylights and candles with Gary at the end in a suit, down on one knee. After I said yes one of the staff came out with a bottle of champagne. It was perfect – just the two of us."


Image: Stella Photos

Deborah Gardiner, who met now-husband Dr Richard Bailey at university

"My sister Beci, who lives in China, was at home for Christmas so we took her and her best friend, Amy, into Liverpool for dinner and some drinks. Our plan was to spend the next day just the two of us wrapping Christmas presents and watching films. We arrived home around 10:30pm and, while Rick offered to make me a cup of tea, I put on my PJ's. When I turned around Rick was down on one knee. I have since been told he was actually supposed to propose at midnight on New Years Eve at a family party but got too nervous that I would find the ring."

Heather Sokolov, who added a Marvel twist to her Scottish wedding to Frank Rooney

"Frank arranged a surprise 30th birthday party for me at the Torrance Hotel. He then proceeded to propose upon toasting my 30th birthday celebrations."

Lisa Watson, who married Christopher Adamson in Mallorca following a Parisian proposal

"Chris surprised me with a trip to Paris, my favourite city, to see Beyoncé, my favourite artist. He booked the hotel Le Meurice, which was always my favourite. He reserved the presidential suite and filled it with my favourite flowers, roses, and champagne. I hate public things so the proposal was intimate and romantic."


Image: Fonteyne & Co

Fiona Harley, who enjoyed a sunny castle wedding in Dorset with husband Alan James Hoskins

"Al proposed when we were on holiday in Mexico, the proposal was plagued by disaster - a lack of vegetarian food at the buffet, an occupied beach, him being bitten to death whilst down on one knee and it being too dark to see the ring! I still said yes though."

Chantelle Dyson-Hughes, whose festival wedding featured an abundance of DIY details

"On Christmas Day morning, George presented me with an envelope with a clue inside. This clue led to a location where I found a puzzle piece and another clue. Continuing on the treasure hunt, I had to run outside to the car in my dressing gown to retrieve another piece and a clue. At the end, all the pieces created a jigsaw that said ‘Chantelle, Will You Marry Me?’ and then George produced the ring. It was geeky, cute and totally George and I all over."

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