Planning the perfect marriage proposal is not an easy task. Planning one during a global pandemic, when it’s almost impossible to arrange to meet up with your mates, well that’s something else. Dale did it though!
I’m very pleased to report that not only did Kimberley say YES, but she also had no idea that I was there taking photos of them 😬.
Dale got in touch after his original proposal plans, like so many other plans, were ruined by COVID-19. And to be honest, it was touch and go wether a walk on the beach would be allowed, but restrictions were eased (or didn’t come into place, I can’t remember now) with just enough time to allow us to proceed as planned. Meaning that everything worked out perfectly.
I’ll let Dale take it from here…
A little about Dale & Kimberley
- Let’s start at the beginning, how did you two first meet?
We both met in Australia! I over heard Kimberley talking to a friend and instantly recognised the accent. I asked her where she is from for her to look puzzled and question me the same. We lived in a hostel together and crazily enough shared a bunk bed before we even started seeing each other. Next thing you know, we’re both one and living in a flat together in Bondi. The most bizarre thing is that we didn’t know each other before we had met although we lived and grew up in the same town back home.
- How did you know Kimberley was the one? Was there a particular moment you thought “I’m going to marry you!”
I remember looking back at the time we had on the other side of the world once we had come back to the motherland and thinking, the amount of crazy ups and downs we had thrown at us throughout travelling and yet here we still are moving in all the right directions as a solid team. The way she supports me, the way she draws a smile on my face when its needed, the way she helped shape me into the man I am today, I knew she was the one!
- Had Kimberley dropped hints that they’d like to marry you? Had you talked about getting married before?
Yes and yes! Kimberley dropped some not so subtle hints throughout the relationship haha! I always had in my head that I would like to be with someone for 5 years before thinking of proposing, so every time Kimberley dropped a hint, I told her that amount of time was increasing. Before the 5 year mark had arrived, I already knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and thought it would make it more of a surprise if I popped the question before we reached 5 years together.
Planning the proposal…
- How did you come up with the idea for your proposal?
The hardest thing about planning a proposal during lockdown is that you just don’t have a clue what is around the corner. My original plan was to get on the knee in Verona, Italy, in July until that came crashing down due to COVID. Then I seen Chris’ website and knew straight away that I had to have Chris there doing his thing. He helped me by presenting different possible locations, one of which I ended up choosing. The amount of hours I had spent weighing up different options on how to propose was ridiculous because I just wanted everything to be perfect (and it was!). With Chris’s knowledge of certain areas and help in direction, everything became smooth sailing.
- Did you tell anyone else about your plans or ask anyone for help?
I knew I couldn’t hide the ring at home, there was no doubt Kimberley would find it. The next best place? My parents house! I wanted to tell them of my plan anyway to see if they had any advice etc, they was all for it and just as excited. Next, I had to ask Kimberley’s mum. I remember a while back when we had talked about our future, she told me that she would like me to get the approval of her mother and brother who was also made up for us.
- What advice would you give to someone planning their proposal right now?
It may seem stressful at time when your trying to plan or book certain things but no matter how it turns out, it will always be a special and perfect day for your partner, no matter where or how the question comes out. The feeling you get when they give you that all important yes makes every little bit of planning or preparation worth it. Keep calm and good luck!
Popping the question!
- Ok, so briefly, what was the plan?
Firstly, I had to make sure me and Kimberley was ready and out of the room for the set time I had suggested (this itself was a task as we do get caught out pottering around a bit haha). We then proceeded to the location where Chris would be waiting for us, to secretly follow us to the landmark at which my knee would be getting dirty. I had already discussed with Chris where this would be happen, so it was now just a matter of getting there!
- Did you know what you were going to say?
Literally the morning of the proposal, I was lay in bed next to Kimberley who was still counting sheep, thinking of everything to say building up to the moment. I had planned to say much romantic yet soppy things but when the moment came, everything flew out of my head. I didn’t bother to rehearse anything because I’m usually quite good at talking but boy was I wrong. I had a complete mind blank and remember saying something along the lines of ‘You know that I love you loads and loads……. well, will you marry me?’.
- Were there any last minute improvisations?
A couple of weeks before the day, Kimberley’s brother in law had called to ask her for help in getting a ring size so he could propose to her sister in the same month. This threw me off a little as they weren’t aware what I was planning either. I spoke to Kimberley’s brother in law and let him know out of respect so it didn’t impede on his plans. The day was the most perfect day from start to finish and was more than what I imagined, we more or less had LLanddwyn island to ourselves! To have our little fur baby with us and for the question to be asked whilst doing something we love to do anyway, it will forever be imbedded in my memory.
- How did you feel in the build up to your proposal?
In the build up from the morning up until around 5 minutes before the question, I was surprisingly calm and level headed. I thought my stomach would be like a washing machine but I kept it together until the moment came. Everything just seemed to happen so fast and would almost be a blur if it wasn’t for the great photos we can always look back on. Afterwards, I almost felt as if I had grown up instantly while yet being over worked with serotonin.
- What did you do to celebrate afterwards?
On the drive back to the place we had rented for the weekend, we stopped off at a cheese store and got a large selection. Next we stopped at the supermarket to stock up on bottles of wine and then it all came down to consuming haha. We also had our own hot tub surrounded with fairy lights which set the mood lovely and made for a great day and night from beginning to end.
Now, about that ring…
- Where did you buy the ring?
- How did you go about choosing the ring?
I had an idea of what kind of ring I wanted to get Kimberley but when the assistant brought out a few different rings from what I had described, my mind was changed.
- Are there any good stories around buying it?
The amount of sneaking around to get out the house to sort out the ring and other stuff had me going for “bike rides” and even had me rolling in dirt to make it believable!
- How long did you have the ring before you proposed?
I had the ring for just under 3 months before proposing giving me plenty of time to arrange the popping of the question the way I wanted it to be. The only place I could hide the ring was in the attic on the far side of the entrance but then what do I say when I’m crawling around the loft the day we leave? I hid it at my parents house who already knew of the plan so this was perfect.
- How many people have asked you if you’ve set a date yet? 🙄😂
Hahaha who hasn’t?? One thing we do know is who we want as our photographer!
Congratulations & Thank you!
I’m always honoured and a little flattered when someone chooses me to be their photographer. I had the best time stalking these two through the woods and over some rather windy cliffs! So when I hear so many compliments and kind words after I’ve delivered the photos, it properly makes my day! If my kids didn’t need shoes, I’d happily photograph proposals for free 😉. Thank you Dale for choosing me, I can’t wait to see you and Kimberley tie the knot!
Planning on popping the question?
If you’re planning on asking your partner to marry you, I hope this has been of some help to you. But, please feel free to drop me a message if you’d like to talk through any ideas or want some general advice. Also, check out this link if you’d like to see more Secret Proposal Photography.