The Engagement

Well where to start… I guess I’ll focus on the most amazing part to start with; the proposal. There will be plenty more stories to come about the trials and tribulations leading up to the big day but if I can’t capture your imagination with the proposal, nothing will.

We had booked a short weekend break away in Barcelona for mid December and I knew this would present me with an ideal opportunity for a memorable proposal. Throughout the entire trip I couldn’t help but have the irrational dread of losing the ring and ruining the whole damn thing. 

That fear, serpentining through the customs inspection queue, was palpable.  I could picture nothing more than the alarm going off and my proposal being blown by a man with a whirring whistling paddle telling me to empty my pockets. Thankfully though, I managed to evade detection and despite the certainty of my suspicious demeanour, repeatedly pawing at my pocket to ensure the ring was still there; I was let through. I had successfully smuggled my, probably legal, goods over international borders.

Arriving in Barcelona late on the first night and all throughout the following day we spent our time sight seeing – Alice admiring the beauty and splendour whilst I eyed up potential places to propose.

We pottered around the pier, rambled on Las Ramblas and meandered through the Gothic quarters narrow streets. I remained ever conscious of the very expensive ring in my pocket and the insidiously nagging stories I had been told of pick pockets operating in big tourist cities.

On night two we readied ourselves for an evening of sampling the glittering nightlife that Barcelona had to offer. Alice and I were giddy with excitement, and a few ‘Desperados’ we had picked up earlier, though I also had in mind my intention to propose that very evening.

We left for our first proper evening out and strolled down to the pier; unbeknownst to Alice I had placed the ring inside of my bag and was nervously considering when and where to ‘pop’ the big question.

Might I just take this moment to also state that the adjective to ‘pop’ the question is grossly misrepresentative of the planning, preparation and anxiety that pre-empts this perceptively inconsequential question. Therefore I did not, ‘pop’ the question but through a long and thought out sequence of events ‘ask’ the question!


We picked up chocolate covered waffles from a stand and walked down the pier to where I intended to propose. We found a secluded bench where we cuddled up together for a while admiring the beauty of the city lights reflecting off the water and the delightfully mild night air.

Slowly I begun to pluck up the courage and as the night began to be described as ‘wonderfully romantic, beautiful and special’ I seized my opportunity and told Alice that “I had a very important question to ask her”. As I slid down onto one knee at her feet and produced the ring I could see that her eyes had already welled up and if I wasn’t quick I too would be incapacitated with emotion. So as quickly as I asked “Will you marry me?” Alice had replied “Yes” and we held each other close, caught in the moment and excitement of formalising our change of marital status; not through clumsily wrestling the ring into place but by the ‘majesty’ of Facebook.

I since found out that despite the certainty and immediacy of Alice’s response it wasn’t actually until after we had finished hugging, several minutes later, that she managed to get a well focussed view of the ring as the tears in her eyes had impaired her sight. Consequently, giving weight to the argument that, the ring may have less impact on their decision than they may have previously let on, boys!

Phone calls were made to friends and family to share the good news. My sister’s response was particularly heart-warming as she congratulated me for making my, now, fiancée cry -

“Did she cry?”

“Well, Yes”

*Laughs* “Well done”, she said, “Good one, Bruv!”

Welcome to the Harris family, I thought.

Soon after we had found a place to eat and indulged the remainder of the night away with champagne and diamond sparkles. Honestly, the rest is just detail, the night had started with anticipation and ended in sweet relief and elation; our first night as an engaged couple was, by all accounts, perfect!

The next day we got up for sunrise and headed down to the beach and as we had the cameras out I couldn’t help but to take a selection of images of my brand new fiancée and her brand new sparkling ring.