On our trip to Australia in March 2020, we got engaged. It was relatively spontaneous as, although we had talked about marriage quite a bit (and I already had the ring), I wasn’t actually planning to propose for another few months. Just before we went away, I specifically told Alex (quite harshly, so she tells me) that I absolutely wasn’t going to propose out there as we were going over for my cousin’s wedding and it’s just not the right time… which was true at that point. My mum had been looking after the ring for me and so knew it was on the cards, and had been trying to convince me to pop the question since Christmas. She pointed out to me that Australia would be the perfect place to ask now because Alex wouldn’t be expecting it at all, however if I waited then she would definitely know it was coming when we next went away. She had a point so I took the ring, packed it in my suitcase and we left for Australia.
Alex told me afterwards that she KNEW I was going to propose, because I’m not the most subtle of people, but as soon as I bluntly told her it wasn’t going to happen, she believed me and was completely thrown off the scent!
I knew straight away that I would do it in Sydney because I wanted to enjoy Danny and Talia’s wedding in Adelaide, but wanted to do it as soon as possible so that it was out of the way and it wasn’t on my mind the whole holiday! I messaged a friend who lives in Sydney and asked what the best options were to romantically pop the question, and I settled on Sydney Harbour! Before we left for Australia, I booked a private boat for 2 hours, which takes you out into Sydney harbour at sunset and includes a seafood platter and Champagne…
I did tell all of this to Alex expecting her to be suspicious, but she’s so caught up in her own thoughts 100% of the time, she didn’t pay too much attention to it all.
We spent that whole day making the most of the bad weather and visited Sydney opera house cafe for lunch, and then went to Sydney aquarium to get out of the rain. We went back to the Airbnb we were staying in, got ready to go for the boat trip, then went to Darling Harbour for a drink before boarding the catamaran. The whole time I was sat there, I thought ‘surely she can see the bulge in my pocket’, but other than cover it with my hoodie, there wasn’t much I could do about it!
When we got to the wharf to wait for the boat, Alex saw another couple dressed nicely and said ‘we must be in the right place, I reckon they’re on our boat as well’. I then had to explain to her that ‘private’ meant ‘no other people on board other than the captain’. She since told me that at this point she suddenly thought ‘if I didn’t know he wasn’t going to propose on this holiday, I’d think he was about to propose’. Her naivety baffles me.
We got on the boat (which sadly had the cover on as it was drizzling) and set off out into the harbour. I had previously emailed the company asking where the best position is to propose, so I knew the captain was aware of what was to happen! Not long after we set off, I went down to the toilet to make sure I was prepared and get the ring ready. After about 20 minutes into our trip out onto the water, the captain said he was going to turn the boat around so we can go out onto the front to take pictures, as it’s ‘the best spot for them’ – I knew this was my cue. Alex went out with her camera and stood taking pictures, whilst I stood next to her, half holding her up and half getting into position.
“Grievesy”, I said on one knee next to her.
“What?!” She turned around, half annoyed that I was no longer holding her up on the swaying boat, half in shock at what she’d turned around to.
“You said you weren’t going to propose in Australia?!”
“Yes well clearly I lied, will you marry me?” I asked… she said yes.
We spent the rest of the journey drinking Champagne, taking pictures and eating our seafood platter. I was so excited to tell our family and friends all about our Sydney engagement, so as soon as we got off the boat we went to the nearest bar, ordered a bottle (or three) of Champagne, and posted all over social media. We had our priorities sorted…
Although the weather was a bit of a shame and I’d planned for it to be sunny so that we could sit out on the front of the boat to admire the sunset, it was such a special day for us, and a beautiful thing to look back on and remember! Another thing ticked off the bucket list, and here’s to the rest of our lives together travelling the world (one shot glass at a time).