Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens Proposal
I'm so excited to finally share my proposal story as well as mine and Scott's 2 week adventure in England and Spain in this under 12 minute video! If you want to just see the proposal, you can skip to 8:36.
ABOUT THE FIANCÉ
Scott is from the Southern coast of England in a seaside town named Shoreham-by-Sea; he immigrated to the United States 17 years ago for his dad's job. He grew up in South Orange County like I did, so funny enough, we have many mutual friends that I attended Elementary and Middle school with. He received a B.A. in Geography at Cal State University of Fullerton and currently works as a Verification Specialist for a financial wellness company that provides loans to refinance credit card debt. Scott received his American citizenship in 2015 (and is currently a dual citizen), and I attended the ceremony which was a very meaningful and profound. Aside from it being a great milestone for Scott, it reminded me of the sacrifices my parents and family made as well as the struggles they endured to immigrate here from Vietnam, working hard to receive their American citizenship.
Scott's a die hard Newcastle Football Club fan, and we even traveled to Sacramento to see the team play. To keep up with his love for football/soccer (aside from watching the English Premier League play on tv), he plays in a weekend soccer league in Orange County. If there's one thing that I can immediately think of when it comes to Scott's passion, it's traveling. Aside from our trips together, one of his most memorable places he traveled to was Iceland (I remembering him vividly describing his trip and showing me photos during our first date), despite the immensely cold weather he endured during the trip. Scott's a very communicative, caring, loving, extremely supportive and completely silly person; he complements me in every way and also knows how to deal with my crazy moments or to call me out when I'm being unreasonable - he's my voice of reason.
HOW WE MET
We actually met in 2007 at a halloween party near UC Irvine. I wore a sailor costume and attended a fraternity party which was located in an apartment above Scott's best friend's apartment. Scott dressed up as Iron Man and apparently (so his friends tell me) became smitten with me and knew he was going to date me one day. We kept in touch through Facebook but I was dating someone at the time so we didn't reconnect until 2014. I had just gotten out of a 6 year relationship and moved home; I remember specifically sitting on my mattress which was on the floor because I was still getting situated moving back into my room when Scott messaged me on Facebook. He asked if I had been at a particular Starbucks earlier that day, and I answered that it wasn't me. We then got into deeper conversation and decided to exchange phone numbers since he mentioned wanting to hang out and catching up over coffee.
We ended up connecting and hung out for 6 days straight (festivities included watching Zoolander, attending the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, wine and dine at Paul Martins, Starbucks, and watching Interstellar - which he fell asleep in) before he headed back to England to visit family over the holiday season. We kept in touch while he was abroad via Facebook messaging and I picked him up from the airport when he returned. Since then we were inseparable and although I mentioned multiple times that I wasn't looking for anything serious since I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, he confessed (after spending a spectacular weekend in Zion then enjoying quite a few cocktails in Vegas together) how much he liked me and that the weekend together had confirmed his feelings for me, that we would make great partners, thus he wanted me to be his girlfriend.
I did not give him a straight answer in regards to being his girlfriend as a) I got sick from drinking so much and b) I wasn't sure if I wanted to be in a relationship.
After coming back from our Zion/Vegas trip, I thought about Scott's question and some of my friends even thought I needed more time to be single. Monday January 20th following our trip, I showed up at Scott's house after he had a bad day at work and handed him a strawberry boba to cheer him up. What cheered him up more than the boba drink was that the napkin wrapped around the boba cup that said 'a million times yes, I would love to be your girlfriend'. We didn't go 'public' with our relationship until February 22nd when we both posted a photo of us together and changed our relationship status on Facebook (as you know that's the thing that seals the deal in the digital world). I had so many people immediately message and text me as most people didn't know that I was dating anyone.
WHEN DID HE KNOW?
Scott had an inclination that he wanted to marry me after our first trip to England together in April 2016. During that trip I had visited his hometown and met the rest of his family (it was also the first time he brought a girlfriend back to England with him). He had contemplated asking me while his grandmother was visiting from the UK over the Christmas and New Year holiday season, but thought it would just be too busy and hectic of a time. After ringing in 2017, he was sure he wanted to ask me on our next trip to England and he asked for my parents' blessing in March while I was away on a girls' trip in SD (pretty much the only weekend I was away).
We have openly talked about marriage and our future together, but I was thinking that a proposal would occur towards the end of summer or when I was more stable in my life as there have been many changes the past 8 months. Apparently his co-workers, parents and close friends knew that he was planning to propose on this trip, and also wanting to do it during our afternoon tea at the Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel in London.
Since this was my first proper afternoon tea, I was excited to document it with photos and filming, and little did I know that Scott's nervous and quiet demeanor was due to him trying to decide whether or not to propose to me during tea (his original plan) or abort mission and figure out another place/way to propose. The entire tea service was a little off because he had been following his favorite soccer team's game on his phone and they were losing; typically he gets upset or really quiet when this happens. But he was actually looking at his phone the entire time because his friends were texting in a group asking whether or not he had proposed - it got to the point that his phone died during tea service.
Scott made an attempt to see if I could set up video of us to 'get us having afternoon tea together', but I didn't have my tripod so the shooting angle was all weird. Towards the end of the service, Scott mentioned visiting the Ivy Chelsea Garden, a restaurant in Chelsea that has a breathtaking flower covered entrance; but I didn't want to drag him all the way over there just to take photos in front of the flowers. He then suggested visiting Kensington Gardens which he said had nice flower gardens that I could take my 'outfit' photos in front of for my blog. We hopped on the tube and headed to Kensington Gardens; upon entering this Royal Park, I noticed that it was a lot of open land. Mind you, I had the worst neck kink and back pain, and was wearing heels from dressing up for tea; Scott had me trekking around this park for at least an hour. At one point, I had to take a break to sit on a bench. He kept mentioning that there were these beautiful flower gardens while showing me on his map. I responded that I felt we were actually already in the gardens, like...this was it! Surely enough, I pass this informational placard that stated we were in Kensington Gardens and displayed the nature and animals that we could expect to find in the space. So I was thinking yea I told you so, until we stumbled upon these immaculate Italian Water Gardens, which has the most stunning, intricately carved marble basins and sculptures as well as the awe-striking Tazza Fountain that overlooks The Long Water river. It is said that Prince Albert had the Italian Gardens built for and gifted to Queen Victoria.
I was taking photos and filming while entering the gardens, and while passing by one of the vast fountains, I noticed something that saddened me. I motioned Scott over and showed him that a pigeon was head first in the water and dead. This just made me so sad to see this dead animal floating in the fountain, all the while Scott is trying to find a romantic spot within the gardens to propose to me. He directed me to follow him over to the Tazza fountain and said that the area would be a great spot for us to take picture and video. When he mentioned getting video footage of us, I thought that was strange, because he never wants to intentionally be in a video with me, but I figured he wanted me to have footage of us for my vlog. I attempted to set up my camera on the stone wall, and Scott tried to assist me but ended up dragging my camera along the stone so I yelled at him and told him to stand in front of the camera so I could frame the shot. Before I set up the timer, he asked if I was doing video or picture, and I said we would do picture first; we took the picture then I set up the camera on record to film and skipped over to him.
As you can see in the video, I completely thought he was joking around because he used to pull me aside on different occasions and say, 'babe I have something to tell you....', therefore because he started off by saying that, I was in total disbelief the entire proposal. But I'm glad that he did it the way that he did; it was intimate and romantic; it was about us and I love (even though I told him not to do it while we were on this trip) that he did it in a city and place that means a lot to him. He managed to hide the ring the entire trip; another reason why I didn't think he was proposing was because I packed his backpack and luggage before we left and didn't see a ring, so he pulled a fast one on me. Read more about my ring here!
To give us time to get our affairs in order, we have decided to start budgeting and planning for the wedding towards the end of Summer 2017 and project that we will have our wedding late September 2019. We would like to pick a quaint location in Palm Springs, or somewhere surrounded by nature. I would like to have a mix of travel and wanderlust vibes incorporated into the wedding, and I want to be more of a modern, boho bride; but of course my mom has a different idea of the type of bride she'd like me to be. After back and forth on hair and dress styles (and mentioned the Royal Family weddings a bit), she has settled on me being the bride at the end of the day so how I want to look is up to me. I'm glad to have gotten so much support and tips from friends currently planning their wedding or my recently married or to-be-married friends so I get the scoop on wedding and bridal trends and resources. If you have any planning tips or advice, please leave me a comment - I would love to know your thoughts, can't wait to share how everything will unfold leading up to the big day!