Deirdre and Gavin

It all started in 1996, when we were both 17 years old.  I asked Deirdre to the Matric dance and as they say, the rest is history.

Fast forwards 16 years and 5 months (yes, yes, I know, a little overdue!!), and arrangements were starting to get made to make a proposal a reality.  First thing was to arrange a hotel where I could take her away.  My colleague at work knew the people at Shelley’s Point Hotel in St. Helena Bay and after taking a look at their website, realised that would be a stunning place to take her to propose.  My idea was for the hotel to arrange a picnic for us to go down to the beach where I would surprise her.  However, I knew if I suddenly said to Deirdre we are going away for no apparently reason, she may get suspicious, so I had to come up with a plan.  So, I asked my colleague if the hotel would play along and phone Deirdre on Valentines Day to say that we have won their so called valentines day competition for a weekend away on the 8 March 2013.  They were excited to be apart of it and agreed, so on Valentines Day everybody was ready to make the call, however…

When I luckily phoned Deirdre prior to the call being made, she said she can’t talk today as the boss of the company is there. Damn, so all was aborted!!  Therefore it had to be done after hours and the lady at the hotel would have finished work for the day.  So in stepped my colleague who roped in her friend to make the call at 7pm (they even went as far as typing and printing off things in the background to make it sound like an office, kids per put at another side of the house).  I conveniently went for a run at about 6:55 to make sure I wasn’t there when the call was made.  At about 7:05pm (which is good because I can’t run very long) my colleague phoned to say that it was all done and that she bought it hook, line and sinker.  Right, part 1: arrange trip away – Done.

Because she said she wants to choose the ring together, the next thing was arrange a temporary ring with a jeweller that could look like a real ring.  So I ended up with a lovely Sterling Silver ring with a Cubic Ziconia stone.  Polished up it looked just like the real thing.  Part 2: Ring – Done.

The next I had to source a nice velvet covered ring box that I could only find up country and as luck would have it, it was at the same time as the postal strikes.  However, I received the box 2 days before the proposal. Part 3: Box – Done.

The final thing I wanted to do before the proposal was make her a photo book with all our pictures dating from 1996 up until that point.  So one Sunday morning while she was at work, I designed the book and submitted it for printing.  Part 4: Photobook: Done.

On Friday, 8th March it was time to go on our holiday, BUT it was pouring with rain!!  As we were driving up country I continued to pray for the weather to subside, but it didn’t and the picnic was planned for 5pm, it wasn’t looking good and I was trying to think of an alternative, as I didn’t think my nerves could last until the next day!  At 4:30 I got a call from the hotel saying that they needed to see me.  I made the excuse that I needed to sort out something by reception and went to go speak to the hotel manager.  They advised me that because it was raining they had set up their Hydro Spa just for us with our picnic basket, champagne, candles, flowers and soft music, it looked FANTASTIC, it was perfect!! Better than the beach by a mile.

So I ran back up to the room and said the hotel had included a free surprise for us and told her to get into her swimming costume.  Wanting to give her the photo book before the engagement, I quickly sat her down and said I’ve got a present for her.  She loved the photo book and we just finished looking through it at 4:55pm, so with minutes to go we headed to the Spa.

So with the ring under my towel and nerves up to the stars, we entered the spa and as she was taking all the candles, music, bubbles, flowers, picnic basket I went on one knee and gave her a short speech which ended up with me saying “Will you marry me?”

Of course she said yes otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this story.  It was absolutely perfect and most of all, she loved it!  We have now set the date for the 22 September 2012.  We started dating on the 22 September 1996 when we were 17 and 22/09/13 is 17 years later to the day.



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