Marriage proposal.....the proposers perspective

Here is a little bit about my marriage proposal to my now wife Laura…..picture the scene…..(there ARE no pictures of my marriage proposal, so you really will have to picture the scene. Any following images are for illustrative purposes only lol! Or you can look here at more images of pre-wedding shoots, done probably not that long after that momentous day….)

Portugal. Mid 2009. Hot, sticky, beautiful. Relaxed and having the time of our lives.

After a day exploring a near by historic town, Laura and I decided to have a quiet evening in, relaxing with a glass of vino in the apartment we had rented for the 10 days we were there. I had already decided before we went out to buy the ring and make the marriage proposal while we were on holiday. I just needed the right time. I had no plan, I was going to “wing it”.

Pre-wedding shoot madness!

Pre-wedding shoot madness!

The apartment was classically southern European….terracotta tiled floors, open walls and windows, white and wicker everywhere. Quite idyllic really. But not really the ideal setting for a marriage proposal. Ah well……

Worn out from the adventures, we sat down on the sofa with said large glass of vino and put the telly on. Thoughts at that point for me were not about a marriage proposal. Obviously all local TV channels, so we did a bit of scanning. Laura found the satellite channels and managed to find Coronation Street….the only thing really we could find in English. My Portuguese is not fluent. Non-existent really. Either in English or Portuguese, it’s not my cup of tea.

Apparently a fake marriage proposal (they were already engaged!)

Apparently a fake marriage proposal (they were already engaged!)

I saw a flash come through the patio window…..It was my excuse to make my escape from Coronation Street. it was already dark as late on in the day, but it got even darker, really quickly. Then the thunder came. Loudly. And frequently.

I opened the patio and it was pouring down, but it was so hot I wanted to go outside. I LOVE the rain when its warm. There is no better feeling. I went outside and was presented with the most EPIC of lightening shows I think I have ever seen. The forks were close, huge, frequent. Suddenly, the thoughts of marriage proposal came flooding back! Wouldn’t this be cool….

Recollections of their own marriage proposal!

Recollections of their own marriage proposal!

I stayed outside for about 10 mins, watching the incredible light show that was being put on. It really was amazing. I sneaked inside while Laura lay on the sofa chilling with vino, watching rubbish telly (sorry any Corry fans out there). Said I needed a towel as I was so wet from the rain. Marriage proposal was the only thing I was really thinking about.

Going back to where the marriage proposal was….

Going back to where the marriage proposal was….

I trod carefully up the tiled stairs with my wet feet. This would not be a good time to slip! I got to the bedroom and rifled through my golf bag, the only place I knew Laura probably wouldn’t bother to look if she needed anything I had. I found the tiny shiny wooden box. I placed it deep in my shorts pocket and went to find a towel. Got one, headed downstairs again and straight outside. Laura didn’t look up.

Exciting times on a pre-wedding shoot

Exciting times on a pre-wedding shoot

I waited another couple of minutes to gauge the storm. It wasn’t relenting, but was definitely moving away. I had to strike quickly….

“Laura” I called through the open patio door. “Come out here. You got to see this storm”!

“What”? was the reply.

I repeated myself.

“Hang on, this is nearly finished” she called back.

“No NOW! Its going away"! I said, urgently and was worried that I was going to miss the moment…

“I’ve seen thunderstorm before”! or words to that effect came bouncing back to me….

I went to the patio door and put my head through “No, seriously, not like this, you have to come check this out. Its bloody amazing”!


She sighed deeply, got off the sofa and stepped outside into the now slightly subsiding rain. She looked up and watched as lightening was still striking but a little further away now. We watched for about 2-3 mins, with Laura, if I am honest, with a bit of disinterest in the whole thing, probably just humouring me. I walked to the edge of the little garden we were in and put my hand in my pocket, took out the little box, held it tight in my fist and walked back to her.

“You love me, right”? I said. As soon as I said it, I realised that sounded very needy!

“Yeah, why”? She asked with her normal incredulous look that is not insulting, just her little way….

“I love you too” I said (don’t all melt. I know, I know…)

I lifted my hand, opened the box…..

She was looking at the sky…..

She looked down, double-taked, then looked up at me….

“Will you marry me”? I said, just as a distant clap of thunder struck and a flash of lightening closer by hit….

“You’re kidding, really”? Was her slightly non-plussed response I wasn’t really expecting….


“Oh my god……oh bloody hell……YES”! Finally the right words came out!

Hugs, kisses, a few more mins outside before the rain died down and we were getting a bit too wet, then we went inside….

The rest of the evening was filled with loads of phone calls…..

And that was it…..job done.

Apart from the elation of Laura actually saying yes, it seemed like just something we did. Was just another step to the rest of our lives together. The marriage proposal itself didn’t seem as nerve wracking or as bad as I thought it might be.

So intrigued to know what their marriage proposal was like….

So intrigued to know what their marriage proposal was like….

The Nitty Gritty of the Marriage Proposal

So what is the point of me telling you all this? Well, we are coming up to Christmas, a famously notorious time for marriage proposals to take place. Boyfriend to girlfriend, girlfriend to boyfriend, boyfriend to boyfriend and girlfriend to girlfriend…..whoever is doing it, I am sure there is going to be nerves, thoughts about how to make it interesting, original, relevant and romantic. You can search the internet and find HUNDREDS of blogs, web posts, pages etc with loads of ideas about creative marriage proposals which go from things like making little signs and little movies out of Lego that say “Will you marry me”, to massive undertakings with flash mobs, deep sea diving, sky writing, crop circles……and sometimes all of those and more combined! (kidding…)

Marriage proposal has to be what is right for you. You and your partner will know when its time. Yeah, of course, make plans. Go away somewhere. Don’t go away and arrange something very simple. Don’t arrange anything at all and take them off guard. And so on. But make it just for you. No-one else. You’re not doing it to please the majority. You’re there to please your partner and you, no-one else.


And don’t be nervous about it either. Easier said than done, I know. But if you KNOW……then what have you got to be nervous about? If you’re doing a big song and dance about it, which is absolutely fine if it fits the both of you, then maybe that nervousness is because of what it is, if it will go right and where you’re doing it, potentially in front of an audience etc. BUT……don’t be nervous about the actual act itself. If you love each other, if you know you will be spending the rest of your lives together, if you are sure you know the answer to the question……then it should be as easy as the relationship is. It’s the person you love. That has to be good right?

Marriage proposal…..from my point of view, I have no advice other than that simple bit of advice I have just given you. Just enjoy it. Make the most of it. Do what is comfortable for you and your partner and do it well. It’s got to be about the two of you. You will hopefully only get to do it once. It’s a fabulous time.

You then have the fun and excitement of planning that amazing wedding you have both dreamt about. What is the dress/suit going to look like? Where you’re going to get married? Who is going to capture all those memories for you on the big day? Is there a wedding fair near to get some ideas (I am at the Anstey Hall one on Feb 10th by the way, so come say hello!)…. So many questions, but its a heck of a lot of fun finding the answers.

So, if you’re planning a marriage proposal over Christmas, all I can say is good luck. Have fun.

And when you’re organising your wedding, have a look around my website, get in touch if you think I would be a good fit as your photographer for the day ;-) I love hearing about your marriage proposals and the stories that go with them. They paint the picture I need to get to know the kind of people you are and take those shots that I know you will love. Let’s chat…..and if you’re planning on making that marriage proposal this Christmas, good luck!

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