I don’t really know why it’s taken me so long to write a post about the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I guess I wanted to wait awhile, for all the excitement and butterflies to settle, to really live in it and cherish it, replaying the moment over and over in my head, before writing it all down for the world to see.
Initially I thought that Tuesday 31st May would be just like any other day. The only thing significant about it was the fact that it was the day after Oli’s birthday and I had a surprise mini-camping trip planned and a table at Wagamamas booked.
When I woke up on that Tuesday, there was no way that I could have preempted what was going to happen later that day. I literally had zero comprehension that my life was about to become extraordinarily amazing.
I’d wanted to plan a birthday camping trip for Oli’s birthday as mentioned in my previous post but Oli had asked me to cancel those plans as he had a surprise booked. He assured me it was nothing big or grandiose but that he’d merely wanted to plan something as a treat for me, for no particular reason or rhyme. But just because he loved me. How could a girlfriend argue with that?
So on that Tuesday when we got back from Birmingham – where we’d been with Oli’s family for the weekend – we headed out to Wagamama’s for Oli’s belated birthday dinner. And we sat across the table from one another, recounting our relationship highlights, our favourite moments, our happiest memories.
And with our Chicken Katsu Curry devoured, we arrived back at Oli’s, where he got a text and stood frozen on the door step, gazing at his phone, looking half confused and half worried. Initially my heart skipped a bit because I thought someone had died or was critically ill, but when he pulled himself together he managed to say “Someones left a light on in Church. We need to go and turn it off.”
(I feel I need to explain at this point that Oli works for the Church as a Youth Worker, so we spend a lot of time at church and we’ve been asked to turn off many a left-on-light before, so this isn’t an unusual occurrence but actually a very good ruse.) After moaning about having to go all the way up to church and questioning why it had to be us that had to go and turn the light off, I got changed out of my fancy-ish restaurant outfit opting instead for a plain grey long-sleeved top and the baggiest, most unflattering of harem pants. If only I’d known there would be photographs. When Oli saw my outfit change, he rather innocently remarked, “Oh no, why have you changed? What happened to your nice outfit? Why did you do that?” Or something along those lines, to which I – like the typical girl I am – took offence and became even more indignantly rooted in my comfy clothes to accommodate for my Wagamamas food baby.
Oli eventually managed to persuade me to come with him to church to turn the light off, after declaring that he is scared of the dark – he’s never normally scared of anything, this really should have been a pretty obvious clue to me that something out of the ordinary was occuring! On the short drive to church there was a slight diversion and we had to take a slightly longer detour to get there. Oli is usually extremely chatty and is always asking questions, doing silly voices or singing something, he is very rarely silent. Unless he’s majorly sleep deprived or hungry. But during this journey he was super quiet and seemed uncharacteristically nervous. It was then that things started to add up and everything suddenly seemed a bit weird. I remember thinking, ‘What if this is it? What is this is the moment I’ve been waiting for? Is Oli about to propose?’ But then I promptly laughed this off (in my head), promising to tell Oli about my hilarious thought process later on the way home from turning the church light off, knowing that he would laugh too.
We pulled up at the church and Oli fumbled with the keys, his hands shakey as he tried to open the church door. I caught sight of his phone in his hand, open on a spotify playlist and as cliched as it sounds, my heart began to flip in my chest. We hadn’t been listening to any music in the car. Why did he have spotify open and at the ready?
I stood there outside the church, waiting for the door to open, thinking that whatever lay behind it could have the potential to change my life whilst thinking in the same breath that it might just be nothing and we might just genuinely be there to turn a light off.
But when Oli whipped out a blind fold, his face a massive beam, an excited toothy smile, I knew then that my thought process had been spot on, my gut feeling couldn’t have been more correct. Blindfold on, Oli gently led me into the church and parked me in a spot and told me to wait there. The next thing I knew I could hear music. And not just any old music but Tom Odell’s Grow Old With Me, one of my favourite romantic songs, that Oli and I have listened to on countless car journeys. Spotify playlist accounted for.
I could smell candles too. And a lot of them. Oli took my blindfold off to reveal his still beaming face and the church covered in candles, with rose petals sprinkled all over the aisle and pretty floral bunting strung between the pews. It looked absolutely b.e.a.u.tiful. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was beyond amazing. For that moment in time I felt like I was the leading role in my very own Rom-Com fairytale.
He took my hand and we walked up the aisle together. I giggled the whole way, high on excitement and incredulity because I couldn’t believe that something this wonderful and this spectacular was happening to me. How did I ever get so lucky?
I couldn’t stop smiling and squeezing Oli’s hand and when we reached the top of the aisle we stopped and Oli turned to look at me. He began reminding me of all the top moments in our relationship, that we’d discussed over dinner. He told me that he hoped this moment would be number two on our list and that our wedding day would be number one.
He really did chose the sweetest, most heartwarming place to propose because not only is this the church that we go to together and spend a lot of time at but it’s wear we’ve always talked about getting married. It really felt like something out of Romeo and Juliet…only without the death, thank goodness.
I usually cry at anything, literally anything. A sad TV show, a malnourished animal, if something I’ve ordered in a restaurant is sold out; I cry probably once a day at a minimum. But whist Oli was tearing up, telling me how much I meant to him and how much he loves me and how he can’t wait to grow old with me, I just couldn’t stop smiling and giggling with pure, unadulterated happiness, delight and joy.
When he said “Will you marry me?”, and held out the ring (Oli proposed with a pretty pandora ring that he chose himself with the promise that we would go and choose my engagement ring together because I’m a complete fusspot and wanted to have a say!) I said ‘YES!’ about a million times and flung my arms around him. He then proceeded to tell me that we were off to Paris at the crack of dawn, for three wondeful days. I’m surprised my face didn’t break clean in two right there and then my smile was that big. Because Paris is my absolute favourite place in all the world and the thought of going there with my best friend, the love of my life and my new finance, was beyond exciting.
Another sweet thing was the fact that the candles and church had been set up by some of Oli’s work colleagues, our friend and three of the youth at our church, which made it all the more special. The sheer vastness of candles, suddenly made Oli’s anxiousness to get to church as quickly as possible all the more understandable.
Once I’d soaked in the whole beauty of the proposal and snapped enough keepsakes on my iPhone, the Vicar and our friend Esther, came in to take pictures of us and share our excitement whilst offering congratulations. We then drove home to my parents, ringing up family members on the way to share the good news and relive all the lovely details of the proposal.
When we arrived at my parents house we were greeted with balloons, champagne and sat around the dining table reliving the biggest surprise of my life. May the 31st turned out to be a pretty special day indeed.
I couldn’t have wished, dreamed, hoped, asked for a more perfect, sentimental, romantic and wonderful proposal. It’s amazing to think that Oli went to all that effort, to all that trouble and organisation, for little old me. I must be pretty special after all. I must be, to have a man like him in my life. He makes me happier than I ever thought it possible to be and I cannot wait to embark on this terribly exciting adventure, that is the rest of our lives, with him by my side, holding my hand for every step and stumble along the way.