Welcome to my first ever SYGM blog! I am beyond excited to share this journey with you all but first thing’s first.. the proposal! So let’s go way back to the beginning, where the whole proposal thing originally started, Christmas 2014.
For Christmas Callum bought me Paris, Pearls and Potter tickets (as in Harry Potter.) As soon as the girls in the office found out about Paris, they were convinced that this was it. We had bought our first house 6 months earlier, got Teddy our Border Terrier that November and they started to persuade me that this was when Callum was going to pop the question. I’m not going to lie, the thought of this absolutely terrified me! I 100% did not want a centre stage proposal at the top of the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame. On our first day in Paris, we went to lunch and I just couldn’t help myself.. ‘You aren’t going to propose to me are you!?’ Just like that. Blunt. Typical Helena. Looking back, I maybe should have considered putting it a little more delicately incase that was in fact his plan. Luckily it wasn’t!
Now every engaged or married gal will know that once you get that teeny tiny thought in your head, it kind of snowballs until you cannot talk or think of anything else! Between January and May, that is exactly what happened. I didn’t pressure Cal at all- I think his mum made her feelings more than obvious for us both! I did however drive him absolutely loopy with my joking around, to the point where he genuinely got really annoyed and upset with me whenever the subject got touched upon. In the end I just told him to stop being such a grouch as I was only trying to make it a little more light hearted and I wasn’t expecting to get engaged for another couple of years due to the house and puppy etc etc. AND I honestly meant that!
So by the time we went on a spontaneous holiday (literally 1 weeks notice!) to the beautiful Antigua with Cal’s sister Tilly and her then boyfriend, an engagement was the last thing on my mind- I was more concerned with ensuring there was constantly a rum based beverage in my hand.
A la Paris, I spent the whole flight out there talking about the wedding party who were on board and how I would never get married abroad and would hate to have a predictable engagement abroad (disclaimer: I no longer think either of those things!)
Getting to the resort there was the standard ‘hot couple’ who lay by the pool reading together holding hands and going for romantic walks along the beach – yes we were a little jel.. Callum suggested over a drink that maybe we should take a leaf out of their book and consider going for a romantic walk (hint 1) to watch the sunset on the beach, to which my response was ‘as long as you don’t propose as that would be well awkward.’ Yes I know I know! I need to learn how to stop talking and that there are appropriate and not so appropriate times for joking.
The next day we went on what was supposed to be an amazing Catamaran tour around the island (hint 2). Unfortunately I suffered from a little bit of seasickness. Ok a lot of seasickness. Like I spent the whole day below deck whilst Callum was having a ball drinking copious amounts of rum punch with the crew (hint 3). Not my favourite day of the holiday.
We had arranged to meet Tilly and her boyfriend for a drink at the beach bar before dinner but as we were leaving the room I noticed that Callum was wearing his cargo shorts, you know those ones with the really big baggy pockets!?????? (Hint 4)
‘You can’t wear those!’ I said.. ‘The restaurant doesn’t allow shorts.’ So Callum was forced to get changed in very tight chinos (see where I’m going with this??) as we left the room (late) Callum said oh hold on a min, I forgot my card and ducked back into the room.. We were staying in an all inclusive resort. (Hint 5)
After refusing to hold my hand or put his arm around me on the way down to the bar, (Hint 6) we got there and no one was around. I had no idea how, as we were clearly late! (Hint 7) Callum suggested we go for a walk whilst we waited for the others (Hint 8) to which I sighed longingly at the cocktail menu and reluctantly agreed. Oops.
We sat on a huge rock in a private bit of the beach and Callum suggested we take a photo. I made the usual fuss pre photo as he was on the wrong side of me, we weren’t facing the right way to get the ocean behind us etc etc. Callum was getting more and more exasperated with me by the minute! (Hint 9) finally he looks at me and said ‘I cannot believe you said it would be awkward if I proposed!’ (Hint 10) ‘Well it would be!’ Double oops. THEN he got down on one knee and pulled a little black box out of his back pocket.
All I could think was.. ‘OMG OMG OMG. That better not be a pair of earrings.’
He opened the box and said ‘Helena Michael Hickey, will you marry me???’ And all I can see is this beautiful round sparkly diamond. I literally couldn’t believe it was actually happening.
My response… ‘Does my mum know??’
I didn’t even say yes! We went back up to the bar in floods of happy tears where the others were waiting. We spent the whole of dinner talking about how oblivious I was (10 hints!!!) Turns out both my mum and Callum’s family were all in on it. His mum had taken me past both the bridal shop and the jewellers to look at all the rings in the window the week before (Annie is about as subtle as I am.) I had also nearly rumbled them all when baking cakes, as the ring was hidden in the pantry!
I couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect and out of the blue proposal. Minus my array of awkward comments. And being sick all day. And worrying Callum that I didn’t want to get engaged. But it was completely US!
Thank you to everyone who managed to keep the biggest secret of all. And to Ants who helped Callum design and make my ring in what was it, two weeks??
Finally thank you to Antigua! You will always have a place in our hearts, and our wedding but that’s for another blog.