A sunny morning, a Sydney park, a surprise picnic. ‘Will you marry me?’ on bunting, a bended knee, then friends arriving with bottles of champagne.
It was personal, and it was lovely, but it wasn’t extraordinary; it didn’t deserve column inches, or for anyone who didn’t know us to get excited. But our proposal story has always generated excited reactions for one reason: I did the asking.
There was only one moment when I questioned what I was doing... Sitting on the floor at work at 7am on a Sunday sticking paper letters on to bunting, my coffee turning cold, I thought 'Is this a bad idea? Have I thought this proposal through? Will he hate it? Will he say no?'
I didn't really ever doubt doing it, more just the way I was doing it.
I felt like I was on a secret mission, but a badly planned one. There were no synchronised watches, no walkie-talkies, no Plan Bs. Barely even a Plan A. I’d googled ideas, but they were all geared towards proposing to women. So I’d got as far as bulk-ordering pompoms and picking a park.
Andy and I had been together for seven years when I decided to propose. Up till then, we’d led a transient lifestyle, moving countries every few years, and I didn’t feel ‘grown up’ enough to get married. Over the years, we talked about marriage more and decided we’d probably tie the knot one day.
I always assumed he’d be the one doing the asking. As our relationship steadied and deepened, I realised it didn’t take him proposing to reassure me he was in this for the long haul. He’d showed it countless times, whether by uprooting his life for me and moving across continents, or making me an omelette every Saturday. The big things. The little things.
How did it feel to actually pop the question? Ask your husband, brother or dad how they felt. Because the likelihood is they’ll know better than your sister or mum, considering only approximately five per cent of married couples say the woman proposed. In a time when Aussie women are more likely than men to own their own homes or get bachelor degrees and the number of women on executive boards is rising (slowly), this is one area still left to the men.
That wasn’t the reason I proposed… I wasn’t trying to make a feminist statement, I wasn’t in need of a visa, I wasn’t bored of waiting. There is a reason, a simple one. I want to spend the rest of my days with him and he deserves to know that. I might even make him an omelette one day to prove it.