Explosions, Parks, Burgers and Love: The Story Of My Proposal

IMG_6331Whenever I think of marriage, or engagements, or really anything to do with love, this is the scene that starts playing in my head:

What can I say, I’m a romantic.

For about all of my life, I have been a true serial monogamist. I love being in a relationship, being with someone else, being one-half of a whole. It’s me.

And yet…

Dating is one thing. Relationships are one thing. Marriage is a whole different game. And for the longest time, I didn’t think I would ever get married. Not the right time, not the right girl, not right for me. And I was OK with that, I really was fine if I never got married.

But then I met Shamaine.

It’s hard to think of a time that I wasn’t in love with this girl, head-over-heels, totally, completely. Even the moment we met in the rain in Shoreditch, her all shy and adorable, my heart kind of exploded.

You know, just a little.

And so, two and a half years later of us being together, living together, utterly-inseparable, she is now my entire life. Even my dog loves her (and will wait outside a room when Shamaine’s in one without her, completely ignoring me). And there was a moment one day where I woke up and realised I couldn’t imagine what life would be without this woman. So, as The Queen once said…

So I did…

THE PREPARATION

But how does one go about proposing to the love of their life? I’ve never been one to do things quietly and I knew everyone and their mother would ask us for the proposal story. I wanted to have something to tell them.

Ok, well, let’s figure this out. I started by thinking about what makes Shamaine happy. What I know she would love to have on the day.

And what she loves are blossoms…

Spring has sprung.

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Isn't spring beautiful?

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Spring in London is beautiful.

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One more shot of my very pretty fiancΓ© in a very pretty garden.

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When a tree is full and ready to pop, she grabs a branch and shakes it like it’s on fire. And I figured if I could get that smile on her face, well, it would be an incredible day… You know, besides the whole engagement thing.

I began my research and I found a company called Force FX that made hand-confetti cannons nearby in Sussex. Point them upwards, turn the handle and watch them explode with confetti – and I was hoping they could fill them with blossoms instead. So I gave them a ring:

“Hi, so I’m proposing to my girlfriend and was wondering if you could put blossoms in instead of confetti because she really loves blossoms.”

“Well, you see, blossoms don’t really fly because they’re too heavy,” the man on the line told me.

“Oh,” I said sadly.

“But we’ve got paper blossoms we can pack into the cannon for you. They’re pink and white and really beautiful.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Well let’s do that.”

So we did that. They put the cannons together in a day and shipped them to my house, arriving when I was at home and my girlfriend at work.

THE PARK

I had the cannons, and I had the date. I wanted to propose before heading back to the united states for a different wedding so my mom could see the ring on her finger. So, Sunday it was,

I also knew where I wanted to do it: Clissold Park, the beautiful green space right near out house where we walk the earlier mentioned dog. It’s a place we both love and I wanted to create more happy memories there

(Also, I had always promised Shamaine that when I proposed, it would be in London. I didn’t want her thinking that every trip we took might be a proposal trip and then come back feeling disappointed.)

Now to find some help for the big day. With my job at Yelp, I work with TaskRabbit a lot. If you haven’t checked them out, do so. They’re a company that helps you do everything, from picking up groceries to building IKEA furniture. We hire them for events and I figured, well, this was a pretty big event.

Because this was going to be pretty damn adorable and filled with love, I actually reached out to the company to see if they wanted to play a role. They totally did and helped me make sure everything ran smoothly. I let them know the details. We’d meet up in a spot around the corner from my house at 3pm, send them on to the park and when they were set up and ready, they’d text me and we’d come over.

Everything was finally set up and ready to go. Now I just had to wait…

THE BIG DAY

I woke up nervous.

Really nervous.

Palms sweating, knot in my stomach, totally nervous. And I had no reason to be nervous, and yet, here I was. But dammit, it was a good nervous. I should be nervous on that day. It would be wrong to not be a little (or a gigantic amount of) nervous.

That morning, I did my monthly segment on London Live talking about hot new London openings. And before I quickly left Shamaine some instructions:

“Hey, when I get back I’m going to take you out somewhere really nice, so get dressed. Ok bye!”

And off I went.

I did my filming and made my way home. Shamaine was a little confused (but only a little because I tend to do stuff like this a lot), but getting ready. I ducked out, smuggling blossom-confetti cannons out the door and to the Rabbits. I threw them both into a taxi and back home I went.

When I returned, she was beautifully made up, wearing a perfect summer white dress. I got the text from the Rabbits and I got into the car. We drove nearby, parking right outside of Clissold Park.

“The park?” she asked.

“The park,” I said.

“What are we doing? Are we going Pokemon hunting?” she asked, honestly believing that we could be going Pokemon hunting while dressed to the nines. And this is why I love this girl.

“Not today… Well, actually, maybe today. Just not right now.”

I took her by the hand and we walked into the park. I could see the Task Rabbits ready, posed in the park, facing each other, cannons held high like they were ready to duel. I began to lead Shamaine off the path and onto the grass.
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She was hesitant and I later learnt she thought they were some sort of circus troop that we were walking in the middle of their performance.
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When we stopped between them and I spun her to face me. I watched her face: Confusion. Recognition. Surprise. Tears.
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I told her that she was the most important thing in my life (true) and these last few years have been amazing (also true.) I told her that I know how much she loves the blossom season of London and is truly sad that it only comes once a year. But when I’m with her, every day feels like blossoms are falling on just the two of us.
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Awwww.
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It was time. I signaled the two Rabbits and they fired the cannons into the air, a thunderclap followed by a shower of pink and white.
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And as they pedals fell, I sunk down onto one knee.
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Here, I sort of remember asking her to marry me, but more than that, I remember Shamaine telling me, “YES!” before the words could even come out of my mouth.
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I stood, we kissed, and the whole park applauded.
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THE FINAL SURPRISE

But that wasn’t the end of it. I had a feeling that after this ordeal, she might want to sit and take a moment, and what better way to do that than with… burgers and milkshakes.
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I had a third Rabbit go to our favourite burger spot in London, Bleecker Street Burger, and pick up two of their Bleecker Black Burgers (incredible) and two milkshakes. And when she opened the box, there was a little message waiting for her.
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Oh, and of course, I had a blossom cannon for her to fire as well, because I know my girl well and I knew she’d want to have her own blossom explosion. Also, love.
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And so, we’re engaged, and it’s pretty damn incredible. The well-wishers and congratulations have been non-stop from our favourite people around the world and why not. Who doesn’t love love?
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Get ready: Wedding in London in 2017. If it can be as perfect as this engagement, then it’s going to be nothing but an incredible day.
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I asked. She said yes. And we ate burgers to celebrate like damn romance champions. πŸ’πŸ” #Engaged

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Handmade with love by TaskRabbit. Thanks guys!
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43 Comments

  • kariss Ainsworth

    Oh my god Alex I think my heart just exploded!

    • Alex

      I know that feeling well. πŸ™‚

  • Dannii @ H

    Awwh, what an amazing proposal. I just love that there were burgers involved too.

  • Ila Shebar

    Tears in my eyes reading that beautiful blog. What a tribute to your beautiful fiance’. I love you both! Gorgeous pictures! So happy for you.

  • Joanna

    Aww what a sweet proposal congratulations

  • Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    Aw how sweet! I love the blossom cannon – so perfect πŸ™‚

  • Nayna Kanabar

    This is so very beautiful and romantic. Its like a fairytale.

    • Alex

      Aw. Thank you.

  • Natalie Lynn

    So beautiful! *tears* Congratulations to you both!

    • Alex

      πŸ™‚ Thanks Natalie, it was an amazing day for sure.

  • Anna nuttall

    Wow how romantic and adorable. So cute. xx

    • Alex

      Aw, thank you.

  • Emily Vass

    This is the cutest best thought out proposal! I wish you both the best! x

    • Alex

      Thank you very much Emily! πŸ™‚

  • Liz Mays

    You’re so romantic, and this is the best story of how y’all got engaged. I love how thoughtfully you considered the things she loves.

  • Fashion and Style Police

    This is super romantic. Congrats to you both. Wishing you guys the best.

    • Alex

      Thank you so much!

  • Sarahjane

    OMGH! What a beautiful proposal! So romantic! I wish you all the happiness!

    • Alex

      Aw,thank you Sarah Jane!

  • Lilinha

    Awww how exciting and romantic! Congratulations to both of you! πŸ™‚
    http://lilinhaangel.com/

    • Alex

      Aw, thank you.

  • Rachel

    Oh Alex, wow, you really did think of everything, how beautiful and many congratulations to you both.

  • Tara

    What a lovely story. I’m not really into these kind of things, but what a thoughtful proposal! Best of luck for the future.

    • Alex

      Thanks Tara. I’m usually not too, but when it’s your’s, well… you know. πŸ™‚

  • Annie B

    What a lovely post! I’ve just celebrated my 1st year anniversary. My proposal was so romantic too πŸ™‚

    • Alex

      Do tell! What was yours?

  • Hannah

    I think my heart just melted. Huge congratulations x

  • Lubka Henry

    What a lovely story! You’ve organised the whole surprise so well – bravo!
    Wish you both lots of happiness, love and joy together πŸ™‚

    • Alex

      Thanks Lubka! πŸ™‚ It was a wonderful day.

  • Claire

    What a sweet romantic story, I really enjoyed reading all about it πŸ™‚

    • Alex

      πŸ™‚ Thanks Claire!

  • Karen Lee

    Reading though your story, my heart just got a little bigger and my smile a little wider. So very very happy for you and the lovely girl who captured your heart. Best today and forever xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Karen Lee

    • Alex

      Aw, thanks Karen!

  • Ana De- Jesus

    I literally got the feels reading this post, my eyes were welling up because the love that you both share is so beautiful to behold. Its rare to find a guy as kind and thoughtful as yourself and so pleased she said yes. I look forward to hearing how the story progresses !

  • Elizabeth

    Aw how romantic are you!? πŸ˜€ Love the idea of a blossom confetti cannon and those burgers look yum!

  • Jemma

    This is such a lovely story! Big congratulations to you both.

  • MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    Aaaahhhhh that’s such a lovely story. Congratulations, I wish you a long happy life together πŸ˜‰

  • Ashleigh Dougherty

    Quite possibly one of the cutest and most loveliest blog posts I’ve ever read. Congratulations to you both!

    Ashleigh x

    http://www.beingashleigh.com – UK fashion, lifestyle and travel blog

    • Alex

      Awww, thank you so much Ashleigh. It was a really amazing day for sure. πŸ™‚

  • Van

    Job well done Alex! Beautiful! And in your own special part of London too!

  • Beth Owen

    Oh wow what beautiful photos and such a lovely story and proposal!

    • Alex

      Aw, thank you so much Beth!

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