The big question

Today there are officially less than 100 days to our wedding.  O HOLY FUCK!  The time draweth near.

475 days ago I proposed.

L had no idea.  I had been planning it for quite a while.  She’d seen a ring in Paris that she kept going on about.  Of course it was from Cartier and about €40,000, so in other words: slightly out of my price range.  I managed, however, to get a replica made for a fraction of the price as L’s mum has a jeweller friend who can make all kinds of jewellery.  So, in secret, I had the ring made and when it was finally ready I took it home.

I picked it up from L’s mum over Christmas and, having known it would be ready for collection around that time, I had made some plans.

Two weeks after Christmas I packed us a suitcase and made L get in the car.  I told her I had a final surprise Christmas present for her.  As we drove round the M25 she started ruling out destinations as we passed each exit without turning off.  She didn’t figure out where we were going until we were very close to our destination and she spotted a sign for Bray village.

I had reserved an amazing cottage in the village that was hidden in the grounds of a beautiful 16th Century house.  We had a wander around Bray village (which took all of about 15 minutes before we reached open country) and relaxed in our beautiful cottage, watching episodes of Gavin and Stacey on my iPod Touch.

I had booked a table at the Fat Duck for 7:30 (or, rather, my mum had, as bookings tend to fill up quickly and the booking line for each date opens at 10am two months before the required date and 10am tends to be inconvenient for me as I’m usually mid-flow through a literacy lesson by that time).  We got dressed (I had packed a couple of dresses for L – it’s a high-pressure situation packing clothing for someone else) and made our way to the restaurant, me clutching my bag extra tight in order to reassure myself its precious contents were still there.

We arrived and were seated.  I needn’t have worried about ordering champagne as it was one of the first things we were offered.  I ordered us two glasses and waited for it to arrive, my insides doing acrobatics to rival Cirque du Soleil.

The sommelier placed the champagne flutes in front of us and I fumbled over my bag, making sure it was on my lap and open.  I took a deep breath and it was at this point that L says she realised what was about to happen as my mouth went dry and my expression looked somewhat akin to someone smothered in gravy and facing down a hungry rottweiler.

Stumbling over my words, I told her how much I loved her and how amazing it felt to be with her and how happy she made me… and with trembling fingers I pulled the ring box out of my bag, sat it on the table and asked her to marry me.

She hugged me and kissed me and we both got choked up before she actually said yes.  We had the most amazing night.  The food was like NOTHING I have ever had before and, of course, I couldn’t stop smiling all evening.

We had the most incredible time and it was every bit as special as I had hoped.

Hers and hers rings - we had mine made by the same jeweller

(If you want to see photos from our night at the Fat Duck, you can do so by visiting my Flickr album.)

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