To welcome in the new year I want to share this enchanted wedding proposal story that was sent in by Andrea and Gary. It’s such a beautiful story and I hope it inspires anyone looking for love as well as any guys currently thinking through how to come up with a creative proposal.
Please introduce yourselves.
My name is Gary and my beautiful fiance is Andrea.
How did the enchanted wedding proposal come about? How did you guys meet in the first place anyway?
In 2004 I had decided to do a bit of traveling with a friend of mine to Hong Kong, Australia, Fiji and Los Angeles for a number of weeks. Unfortunately my friend had to pull out of the trip at the last minute but I decided to go ahead on my own. I flew out of Dublin on the 26th December 2004, stopping in London before arriving in Hong Kong. I remember being glued to the news broadcasts and shocked at the level of destruction caused by the tsunami in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.
I got to Sydney a few days before New Year’s Eve and decided that, for new year’s I was going to enjoy the festivities and fireworks at the Sydney Opera House. When the night arrived I put on a Republic of Ireland soccer shirt and headed into the night. It was amazing how many Irish people I saw on my way to the Opera House. The crowds had flocked and thronged to ‘The Rocks’ and had fully occupied any walkways by the Opera House. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was full of joy and celebration. Really, to be in Sydney at New Year’s Eve should be on everyone’s bucket list.
It was a short while before midnight when I wanted to take a walk to the end of the path to take in everyone enjoying themselves when I spotted a most beautiful girl standing waiting for the fireworks to start. (As far as I was concerned they already had). Not wanting to upset people I waited to see if she had been accompanied by anybody before speaking to her. I noticed she was talking with an older lady I presumed was the girl’s grandmother. So, I decided to speak with the older lady to ask if she was enjoying the evening. The lady indicated that she did not hear me so I asked her again, a bit louder. The lady then spoke to me in German saying that she was sorry but she does not speak English. Which was about as far as my understanding of German went. It was at this point that Andrea introduced herself and told me how the lady, Petra, did not speak English. I told her my name and we got to talking even as the Sydney Bridge was lighting up with many different fireworks. Andrea told me how she was on an internship with a T.V. production company working in Sydney for six months.
When I asked how she knew the older lady Andrea explained how Petra had come from Germany in search of her long lost brother who she was separated from during World War II. She had eventually tracked him down to Sydney but had been having difficulty in finding his address. It just so happened that while she was trying to get some help from the Sydney tourist office but was being unsuccessful as she could not speak English and the tourist officer could not speak German, Andrea was also in the tourist office and offered to translate for Petra as she spoke both languages. It was after this Petra asked Andrea to help her when she met her brother, which she did.
The three of us spent the remainder of New Year’s Eve drinking hot chocolate and talking until I walked the women back to their accommodation. I arranged to meet up with Andrea the next day and everyday that I was still in Sydney taking in the tourist sights and spending time together. We exchanged emails and said a fond farewell before I left Sydney for Cairns and to continue on my journey. Even though after I left Sydney I went diving on the Barrier Reef, skydiving, white water rafting and relaxed on a beautiful South Pacific Island. I still felt that the highlight of the whole journey was meeting and spending time with Andrea.
Although we had been emailing for a while, the reality of the situation was that I was back in Ireland and she was in Australia for another number of months after which Andrea would be going home to Austria. We stopped being in contact with each other after a few months of emailing back and forth but there was always those wonderful memories at the back of my mind and from time to time I would wonder where Andrea was or what she was doing. This must have been the same for Andrea as, eventually, in 2009 I received a message via Facebook from Andrea. I was so delighted to hear about how she had gotten on over the previous four years and we spent a lot of time writing to each other again. I found that I still felt really close to her even though I had not seen her since that week in Sydney.
Eventually we realised that we should try to meet up and see each other again. I was very anxious to see if Andrea still held onto the same spark that I had. We organised to meet in Amsterdam (I guess in my mind it was half way between Dublin and Vienna). I had arrived a day before Andrea due to her college class schedule but I met her at the airport when she arrived. When I saw her again I knew that time had not eroded any of the feelings I had for her. At the arrivals gate she ran into my arms and I gave her the biggest hug. On the train into the city we were just talking to each other and standing close when the train jerked making Andrea lurch forward towards me and we kissed for the first time, a kiss that was over four years in the anticipation.
We fell in love and began traveling between Vienna and Dublin whenever we could. I moved to Cyprus in August 2009, with my job, for a year and Andrea came over when her study schedule allowed.
We are now living back in Dublin and even though I only proposed this July I knew from the moment I saw her in Amsterdam, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this amazing woman.
Now that is a beautiful love story in itself. So how did the planning of the proposal come about?
I knew Andrea was a fan of the big musical number and was also a fan of the Disney movie ‘Enchanted’. When I told my sister Lisa that I was thinking of doing something elaborate and special to propose to Andrea she was delighted to help out. She told me how a work colleague of hers, Colm, was always doing crazy stunts and events to video and put up on YouTube. I met him and ran the idea by him. He came up with the plan of doing it in Skerries, north County Dublin as he knew a lot of people that lived there and would help out. For weeks beforehand the different aspects started to be put in place. I had immediately contacted Andrea’s mom, Christa asking if she would be able to make it over to Ireland for the event. Once she said she was coming over I knew that the plan was going to work. The whole thing was only possible due to the supreme effort of all of the people that pitched in. My sister and her friends spent many hours buying up large numbers of plastic flowers and decorating the harbor area.
Colm’s girlfriend Emer is the girl singing ‘That’s how you know’ and sang it beautifully. (even though we had to edit a recorded version onto the video as it was very windy on the day, which disrupted the audio track) Colm also organised the squad of pompom dancers and some young Irish Dancers. I’m pretty sure he built the fabulous archway as well.
A few days before the proposal my mother explained to Andrea how there had been a big family meal planned out in the town of Skerries. On the day itself I was trying my best to hide the fact that I was getting an inordinate number of text messages which were telling me of the progress of the preparations or if they needed more time. The weather was also a factor on the day. As I mentioned before it was quite windy but, much to my dismay, it had been raining heavily at times throughout the day also. It was raining as we drove to the harbor and it started to rain very heavily after I had proposed but for the fifteen minutes we needed, from our arrival to popping the question, the sun had come out and everything went according to plan as you can see from the video. It was funny, but as I was stalling for time due to everything not being ready at the harbor, Andrea, who always likes being on time to things, was starting to get a little annoyed that we might be late for the dinner. I guess my reassurances about the fact that they would not start without us were believed, she just had no idea how true this fact was!
I like to take any opportunity I get, to thank everyone involved in making this such a special day for myself and my beautiful fiancée. I am glad you liked the video of my enchanted wedding proposal to Andrea and I hope you also like our story so far.
So now we are planning our wedding to be held in Vienna next year hopefully still no date set as of yet.
Thank you Gary and Andrea for sharing your inspiring story. It is the perfect way to ring in the new year! I hope you guys have an amazing wedding and a very happy marriage!