I'm very lucky in my job that sometimes I get the opportunity to do things that would normally be difficult to do or way out of our price range and Saturday 12th November 2011 was one of those occasions.
I had organised a once in the lifetime trip on the Northern Belle by Venice-Simplon Orient Express as a fundraiser. The train went from Hull to Edinburgh and Luke and I were all set to go in September along with a few more of my colleagues. Unfortunately our "staff" carriage didn't pass it's MOT and instead they upgraded us all to a trip from Leeds to London Christmas Shopping and so by 6am on Saturday 12th November I found myself Bellini cocktail in hand being whisked away on a day to remember.
Looking back Luke must have looked nervous but as I was none the wiser of his upcoming proposal, I assumed he was hungover. His reluctance to tuck into the amazing 4 course breakfast and frequent trips up the train to the bathroom had sent the alarm bells ringing and my mind drifted back to the Gluwine and Amaretto's we had been drinking the night before at the German Christmas Market. Wonderful I thought, what a waste - he'll probably be asleep soon!
The champagne cocktails continued to flow and soon we were onto our final breakfast course when suddenly I heard loud cheering behind me and diagonally across the aisle I could see our friends gasp open mouthed as they could see what I couldn't, a steward walking towards us with a large red pillow and on top a ring box.
Suddenly Luke was on one knee next to me and once it had dawned on me and my shocked friends that the person the ring was coming for was me he calmly told me a string of beautiful things and asked me to marry him. And as you are visiting our wedding website I'm sure you can work out my answer was yes!
I must say he really surprised me as he had it all planned with the Train Manager ahead of time and he also sought out and bought the ring I said I liked almost 12 months before!
It was a fantastic day with even more free champagne from the staff on the train, lunch at the Ivy in London and shopping in Harrods. I couldn't have asked for anything more perfect!
A while back I remember Sarah going to York with her mum shopping, probably on a weekend I was at work! She happened to pass a jewellery shop and found a ring she liked. She promptly sent the pic to me (not suggesting anything I'm sure!) So simples I had a guide, when the time seemed right and I knew she was the one for me, all I had to do was get that ring! So one weekend whilst my mom was visiting I took her to York to search for that ring (it's a bit like lord of the rings isn't it?) luckily, hours later, I found the exact one and snapped it up!
Next was the tricky part where/when would be the perfect most romantic memorable place to purpose?! I know the once in a lifetime trip to the orient express with the lady! Perfect! Ring brought the next plan was to negotiate the future father in law and ask him for his permission to take his beautiful daughter's hand in marriage. He said yes! Excellent news! A quick phone call to the orient express train manager to let him know of my proposal plans and all the bases had been covered, the engagement plan was on!
It came to the day, I had prepared everything I could think of...the speech, the ring and the plan was set with the train manager. All I had to do was wait till after breakfast and they would give me the nod bring down the red velvet pillow from behind Sarah with the ring on it and down on one knee I would go. The time from the relatively sleep free night to the point of the proposal seemed like an eternity! Constant visits to the bathroom to read the speech and prepare myself, the food which looked so lovely that I couldn't eat due to the nerves and the continuous checking of the time and looking for the red pillow seemed to take forever! Also I hadn't realised how many people where going to be on the train...this would be a very public event! Eventually the time came it happened in such a blur, all I really remember was the red pillow the ring and Sarah crying! Luckily she said yes and all ended well!
It was quite an ingenious but also stressful way to get a few glasses of free champagne!