First things first the date. Why did I plan to propose on the 14th of October. Two reasons… the first is because its the day smack centre between her birthday and mine. Her birthday is on the 9th, and mine the 19th of October. So call it silly but I thought that was kinda meaningful, and stop people forgetting anniversaries and stuff Secondly, planning the proposal is a big thing which most girls end up clueing on to. This way, any big thing I organised of which she might have caught out, I can guise as a big birthday surprise for her. Which I ended up doing anyway
Now her birthday is the monday prior to the proposal on Saturday. I gave her forewarning to keep the saturday free as I don’t like going out to dinner midweek, especially nice dinners. I spent so much time and effort getting it into her head that having a nice restaurant dinner on a Monday night was just weird, and plus I have Futsal monday nights! Insensitive bastard huh?
Amongst all this, I would still constantly railroad her by talks of not wanting to get married in the near future and for her not to even consider talking to me about it or I may run.
Anyway, she kept bugging me for her birthday present, asking me for hints as to what it was, and why can’t she receive it on her birthday. Why does she have to wait until saturday? I kept dodging this until one day Emily called me up to let me know that her dad was suspecting that I may propose, and that she is doing her best to knock it out of his head. Also she says Ericas only idea as to what her bday present is, is a puppy. So I played upon this notion, giving vague hints and words that it may possibly be a puppy. Even sending a sms message that looked as if I slipped up to her so she would think along those lines.
When her birthday came, she was so sad. Still wondering why she had to wait until saturday for her present. I told her I was sorry, but she would still have to wait. But naturally since it was her birthday I had to give her something! So I got her a nice cake and flowers just to make her happy on her big day A big bouquet of pink tulips, lillies, and roses, seeing as pink is her super favourite colour. And a huge black forest cake which I know is one of her favourites.
And now to more interesting things.
Why skydiving? A fair enough question that people ask. Well basically, I wanted to have something with a huge sign, and an impact that would really hit her hard.
Now some of the ideas where Skydiving, Hot Air Ballooning, and something involving an office building These were the primary ideas. The hot air ballooning one I would have loved to pull off, as I had some great ideas in mind. But after much investigation there ended up being too much of a cost prohibition to pull it off the way I imagined. Plus also it tied into the biggest problem I had through all this, the sign. Depending on how we made the sign (size, material, etc), certain plans would have to be scrapped or changed.
Now until I had the final idea of what I was going to do for the sign, I had my mind set about 80% on the Skydiving. Because a) I knew she’s never done it before and would love to do it, and b) I’ve done it before and know that its an absolutely amazing feeling. Nothing like it… And call me a romantic, but I loved the notion of her being caught between heaven and earth when she saw the sign.
Also after jumping out of the plane and freefalling, after the chute opens she would think that the best is over, and that its all down from here (no pun intended). And I also loved that it would be then that she saw the sign and realised what was happening, that and she would have her heart in her throat all over again.
Or I’m just a sadist
Before I settled upon the final venue, my initial dropzone was going to be located at Picton. Okay, skydiving is great, but its even better when you have something beautiful to look at. Picton is almost like farm county, its just all country side with the city in the distance, and pretty bland landscape. I had some reservations about this so I kept on looking and found the perfect place. Skydive the Beach at Wollongong. We have a winner, the dropzone was situated right on a beach, and the wollongong area is bounded by both the ocean and some absolutely stunning surrounding landscape.
Once we had settled upon using the plywood for the sign, I drove down to the dropzone under the guise of a work trip and checked it out in person. It was absolutely perfect. I paid for it in full and started getting to work getting the sign done.
I love complicating things for myself, so having my beloved falling from the sky and having myself and a gianormous sign waiting for her return at the bottom, just wasn’t enough. The actual moment of when I proposed, for when I would get down on one knee, pop the question, and put the ring on her finger… it had to be special. The immediate environment had to be conducive to what was going on.
Initially instead of the column or pedestal I was going to have a table covered in a red satin/silk cloth with roses on it. I eventually moved away from this idea as there might have been too much surface area to fill. So I thought of something smaller. The idea of having the column came pretty quickly. I’m not sure how… maybe after watching too many episodes of The Bachelor. But another idea I tossed up was having a red carpet for her to walk down towards me from where she landed. In some respects, I think it would have been really cheesy and am thankful I didn’t do that. But on the other hand, it would have been pretty cool.
I wanted to scatter roses on the edges of the red carpet leading up to where I was. Since that idea didn’t eventuate, I contented myself to scattering rose petals around the base of the column. And I had initially intended to put only one rose of top of the column, but after trying that one out, it just didn’t look impressive. So I ended putting 4 roses on there.
Overkill is my friend, my middlename, and my motto. If its not overkill its not me. So when planning as to how many roses I needed for the day, I actually planned for 8-10 dozen! What the hell I was going to do with them I had no idea! But thankfully friend Matt whom I charged with procuring the flowers for me, overode my judgement with his own, and obtained 4 dozen roses. Thank you mate, good judgement call! I was crazy to want 10 dozen roses!
The column was actually somewhat of a challenge to find. I visited a few gardening stores, hardware stores, tacky $2 shops, and some others. But no where had it. Thankfully, Shannon remembered that her mum had an old column laying around at her place so it was that which we ended up with. Thanks Shaz!! *hugs*
Now what is a proposal without a cheesy speech? Yes… the speech. Corny and cheesy as it will be, it had to be done. Like the bending of the knee, tradition and custom dictates it. If there was one piece of advice I received from all my friends in regards to writing the speech, it is KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. Great words of advice which I wished I had paid attention too… because as predicted, my mind blanked out come the actual time to propose, and I just had to adlib and speak my feelings… or random words… or whatever noises managed to squeak out of me at that time.
The body of it went something like this. I made sure I never wrote it down because what is written down, can be found. So for the sake of safety and security, I kept it all in my head. Which makes it a little hard to recall right now but the main body of it goes something like this.
I know we haven’t been together that long. So its surprising and comforting that I feel this way about you. We’ve been seeing each other for about 10 months now and I’ve never asked you out. So firstly, Erica, would you go out with me? *hopes for a yes*
(assuming she said yes) Now I know we haven’t been going out that long. For all of 5 seconds in fact, so this might surprise you. You are the most wonderful, loving, kind, and selfless person that I have ever met. Every moment I spend with you my heart beats with more love that I can show. My breath is taken away so that I cannot say the things that I want to say.
You are part of me, and I cannot live without you. I don’t want to live without you. I’ve lived in fear for so long of getting my heart broken like it has been before. But I don’t want to live in fear any longer. I want to give myself unto you. My heart, my mind, my body… all that I am.
I want to spend the rest of my life showing you the love I cannot show you in a day. To tell you each and every day how much you mean to me, and always will. That you complete me, you fulfill me, and you are me. My sun rises and sets with you, and I will be with you from time beginning till end. I promise to make you as happy as you make me for as long as I live. And you make me the happiest man alive.
Erica, I love you, and I always will. *get on knee here* Will you marry me?
Cheesy huh? I’m sure you all feel sick now… don’t blame you
Now this whole proposal (not to mention the day) hinged on one singular factor that needed to be in check for the day to go ahead. The weather. Should bad weather occur, the whole day would have to be cancelled. For the backup, I had two ideas since we already had the sign in its current form. One was to have the crew lay the sign out somewhere nice, and I take Erica to a lookout point overseeing the sign and the beach from somewhere. Or well you get the idea. Or see if I can lay the sign out on the rooftop of a low office building in the CBD, than take Erica up Centrepoint tower and get her to looking at it from above. Thankfully, none of those redundancy plans had to come into play.
The suit was also a challenge. Naturally I couldn’t propose in whatever casual clothes I had left the house in. So the whole week before I kept saying about how I’ll need to get my suit dry cleaned for an upcoming wedding, and procrastinating getting it done. Then 2 days before the proposal making a big show of sighing and saying that I better just get it done. And as well as my black shoes which I told Erica I needed to take to someone to mend a hole in the sole. These items I passed to the Falcon who would truck it down to the dropzone on the day along with the signs.
And that was pretty much it, that was the preparation.
Now as you can see there are not many pics in this here post, but they will be in the next one. Its Part 5.5, which I have yet to write. Most of the pics would cross over between these two parts so I decided to just put them there. Its about what happened on the day.
Next: Part 5.5: From This Moment
POST AMENDMENT: Something I forgot to add. I was trying to organise for Ericas sister Emily to be there on the day as a surprise. Emily is probably the closest person to Erica in this world, and given the love they share I could not think of a better person to have there to surprise her. I’ve already sorted out the logistical details of Emily arriving in Sydney from New Zealand. Friday she arrives, I pick her up from the airport and spend the day together. Then Shannon will take Emily out to dinner and entertain her and bring her home where she will stay overnight. They will both then drive down in the morning to the dropzone, and Emily, Erica, and myself drive back to Sydney together from there. But alack and alas…. Emily couldn’t make it down because of a family trip away. Dang.
Plan B: The next person closest person to Erica. Her best friend CR. I was hoping to organise the same for her as no matter what, I wanted someone close to her on the day to share the moment. And just be an added surprise. Especially given that I had so many people close to me there on the day, thought granted they were all the helping hands But unfortunately budget restrictions prevented me from doing so. I was already way over budget, and having to purchase a return ticket to/from Singapore would have killed me. Plus she may not be able to take the day off work to do so.
So unfortunately, this is one surprise that I didn’t get to pull off. Sigh….