On a bank holiday in May 2005, Lee drove me into central London for a surprise. He wouldn’t give me any details at all but I had my suspicions that it might involve a proposal!
I had always wanted to go on the London Eye and my ‘surprise’ was thathe had pre-booked tickets for us to go on it. During the wholeride, I was so nervous andkept hoping he would pop the question when we reached the top. But unfortunately he never did, and on the way down I gave up, thinking that he obviously wasn’t going to and that I really should have known better than to have even entertained the thought!
After the Eye, he took meona river tour (pre-booked, of course) where we had a wonderful time snuggled together on the top deck, taking in the sights and enjoying each others company. Afterwards, we took a stroll around London’s west-end and the embankment where he announced that we would need to jump back in the car as he was taking me to dinner. We drove into Richmond, where he had booked a table at a beautiful floating restaurant. It was all very romantic, andthrough the whole mealI got more and more excited, again, wondering if this would be it! Eventually, after dessert(and what felt like the longest meal in the world!) he asked me if I would like a present(duh!?) and placed a small box in front of me. I started gushingand getting all teary-eyed as I thought ‘Oh my God, this is finally it..!’I couldn’t believe it when I opened the box to find a pair of earrings!Naturally, I wasvery disappointed andextremely red from the embarrassment (especially as he kept laughing at me for expectinga ring) but I just thought, ‘Well, I guess that’sthat then’.
So, at this point I had to admit defeat and realise that, even after 8 years together (and3 living together), hejust wasn’t ready to get married. So, stillvery red-faced we finished our meal and he suggested a walk along the riverfront. After a short stroll (where he teased me relentlessly for thinking that he was going to propose), he suggested that we stop at a little bench in areally pretty garden area. I sat down and patted the seat beside me, indicating that he should sitand he shook his head and said, No, because.." and thenI couldn’t quite believe it because he got down on one knee and said, "Natalie, will you marry me?" and presented me with the engagement ringthat I’d always wanted.At first, I thought he was joking -of course, I said yes when I realised he was serious!
What makes it so romantic, is that he isfar from anorganisedperson, yet he arranged the whole day by himself, booking all the tickets and even driving to Richmond before hand to check that the location was exactly right – he even found the bench he was going to propose on! He had also spoken with my mum to find out exactly what ring I wanted and visited several different shops to find it.And although I thought it wascruel atthe time, I’m so glad that he gave me the earrings during dinner, as it totally put me off the scent and it made it all the more special and surprising when he did do it – it was so unexpected by then! Apparently, it was alsoa way of him getting back at me for harassing him about marriage! But he had always told me since we first met (when I was 18 and he was 21), that he would only do it when HE was ready and not before! But, bless him, he’d had it all planned in his head for years but was just waiting until it was right.
Overall, I have to say that it was the most special, romantic and memorable day of my life and I simply cannot wait until our wedding day inAugust 2007.