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Inspiration: Laurie’s Engagement Story

For those of you who love a sweet story or those gentlemen looking for proposal inspiration, I am delighted to share with you my engagement story. Simon, my fiancé, wrote the story of our engagement for our wedding website and I’ll admit that I love reading it. Each time I read it I am instantly brought right back to the emotions of shock and excitement I felt. I definitely recommend having someone take pictures or video tape the proposal and writing down the story afterward. I hope our story makes you smile and shows you things may not go perfectly but you’ll cherish the moment forever!

(written by the groom-to-be)

First, you need to understand that Laurie has a knack for figuring out my surprises, so I wanted to outdo myself. Second, she not only celebrates her entire birthday month, but her half-birthday as well…and I love teasing her about it!

Tuesday, May 4th
The magic happened on May 4, 2010. Okay, this wasn’t exactly her half birthday, but it was close enough and an ideal Tuesday night. This detail may seem insignificant, but it is vital for one reason: band practice. I always have band practice on Tuesday nights, and I knew the thought of a proposal on a Tuesday night would seem impossible to her. Lately we had been talking about marriage, but what Laurie didn’t know was that I didn’t want to spend any longer without her by my side forever.

The Deception
In a constant effort to deter any suspicions of my surprise, I made plans with Laurie to meet after work at a restaurant near my office for a quick dinner before practice. However, I actually made dinner reservations at the Hotel Del Coronado, a historic landmark on Coronado Island that I knew would be a great place for us to celebrate our anniversary.

This happened to be a night she was on a deadline at the magazine and was working later than anticipated. As is my fashion, I kept texting her to see when she was going to be done because I didn’t want to be late. Eventually I just had to text, “You have to leave now, I have a surprise!”

I waited in my car in the magazine’s parking lot, watched her approach her car, and just as she opened her car door honked my horn…SURPRISE!

As she sat down in my car I handed her a card that read “Happy Half-Birthday!” and instructed her not to open it yet. Ploy #2 to throw Laurie off track, check. Sure enough, she wasn’t quite so easily fooled. While driving over the Coronado Bay Bridge, I had to thwart her questions of whether we had enough time for dinner before practice. I was hoping she wouldn’t notice my “lying lips.”

Hotel Del
As synonymous with Hotel Del, we enjoyed a delicious meal overlooking the ocean, yet the entire time I couldn’t stop thinking about the proposal. It is no easy feat to conceal one’s excitement and “act normal” with someone who knows me as well as Laurie.

After dinner, I took her to Hotel Del’s wine bar, Enology, she had been wanting to try. We were three wines into the Tuesday wine tasting special when the sun began to set so I asked the bartender if we could finish this glass on the beach.

Minor Setback
I wanted everything to be precise because she would always remember this epic moment, so I pre-arranged one of the soon-to-be groomsmen, Tyler, to set up a blanket on the sand with rose pedals, champagne, Extraordinary Desserts chocolate cake (Laurie loves chocolate) and candles while we were at the wine bar.

The plan was for me to text Tyler while we were walking to the beach so he could scurry out of sight. However, he didn’t receive my text and when I brought Laurie outside, I saw Tyler standing by the blanket! WHOOPS! I discreetly excused myself and called him, hoping Laurie didn’t suspect anything. When asked about it later, Laurie admitted she was unaware of the minor complication. She thought it was a business call, since I am often on-call for any company issues.

The Magic
When we finally reached the edge of the sand she didn’t want to actually walk in the sand since she was in heels. “Let’s just watch the sunrise from one of these benches,” she said. Again, this was not part of the plan, so I insisted we walk in the sand. Laurie finally relented and took off her heels, but still claims I was nearly dragging her.

The beach was nearly deserted and it soon became obvious that I was leading her to the romantic blanket setup (she claims that when she saw the blanket and candles, she knew it was too extravagant for a half-birthday surprise). At the perfect moment, just before the sun went down, I had her read my card and I got down on one knee to asked her to marry me.

Laurie was so excited that she doesn’t recall saying ‘yes,’ but I assure her she did. I was both elated and relieved. We shared a special moment as we enjoyed the remainder of the sunset, then returned to the wine bar where they had champagne and more chocolate treats waiting for us. Laurie couldn’t wait to call and tell her family the news……. but she soon found out they already knew!



  1. Manijeh Monday, April 11, 2011 Reply
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