Helen and Pete Real Engagement Story

Written by    Last updated: August 17, 2006

I was planning a day off from work to study for an exam I was sitting. My boss wanted me to change my day off to later in the week. I was complaining to Pete about this and he told me not to move it so I knew he was up to something but wasn’t quite sure what. I managed to avoid my boss for the next two days so that I could keep the day off I’d planned.

The night before I was on the phone to Pete telling him about my busy and stressful day. He told me to look in my top right hand cupboard in my bedroom for a surprise to cheer me up. When I went to look I found a gold and red glittery box. Inside was a small paper rose and a note saying ‘study for a bit this evening, get an early night and text me at 8am tomorrow morning – I love you, P’. I was so excited – I thought maybe he had taken the day off work too and was going to spend it with me doing something fun.

Next morning (after waking up every half hour with excitement and anticipation!) I text Pete at 8am on the dot! He sent me a text back telling me to look in my top left hand cupboard in my bedroom. Another gold and red glittery box. Inside was a paper rose and another note:
‘Study hard till 2pm. Wash your hair this morning’ (very good for a guy to realise I’d want to look my best!). We’d talked about marriage and knew we were both ready but my guess was he wouldn’t propose until after my exam.
I spent the whole day trying to convince myself not to get excited and that this wasn’t a proposal but I didn’t do a single bit of studying!


2pm came along with another text – ‘Look inside the drawer under your bed’.
And yes, you’ve guessed it – a box, a rose and a note saying ‘Meet me at the station at 4pm. Wear something smart but comfortable’. I was very impressed that he knew I would panic over what clothes to wear. I met him at the station and he was standing there with a rose and two rather full bags. He took me to the platform that went to Gatwick airport. I stood grinning at him but he still didn’t let on.


At Gatwick he made me wait away from the check-in desk so I wouldn’t know where we were going. I had to go over to answer security questions and the screen above said Europe and North America (helpful!). The check-in clerk didn’t say where I was going either (she had been sworn to secrecy moments earlier). It wasn’t until we were on the plane that he handed me a guide book to Venice. Finally I knew where I was going. I was still trying to convince myself not to get carried away and that this may not be the proposal I was hoping for.


When we got to Venice at 10.30pm, we left our bags (which he had packed for me a few days earlier when he was in my flat) and went for a walk. A few metres along the Grand Canal we stopped next to a gondola. It has always been my dream to go on a gondola with the man I love and finally it was coming true. We got in and off we went up some of the small, quiet, starlit side-canals. After a while he lent forward and rummaged around in his bag. I swear my heart was going about ten times as fast as normal. He pulled out a ring box, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I think my first reaction was to clasp my hands around my mouth in shock (I’d done a pretty good job of convincing myself a proposal wasn’t going to happen). I finally said yes and he opened the box to show me the most dazzling and exquisite solitaire diamond.


When the gondola ride was finished we sat on some steps by the canal and he pulled out a bottle of champagne and two glasses. The fact that he hadn’t had a drink for the last three years after an extended health kick made it even more special. And it doesn’t end there. He also pulled out another jewellery box with a diamond cross necklace inside. He had bought me that to wear while we were in Venice as he knew the ring would be too big. We stayed in Venice for 24 hours (he had arranged with my work for me to have the following day off too – talk about extensive planning) and had the most magical and romantic time. I have no doubt that he is perfect for me and I hope I can make him as happy as he has made me.

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