I’ve decided to dedicate one post a month to our wedding, plans, things I’ve enjoyed, things that have stressed me out and everything else in between. I feel as though I’m getting to that age now where a lot of my readers might be engaged, already married or just interested in the whole process, which is why I wanted to share my experiences on here with you.
In today’s post, I wanted to share with you the story of how we got engaged. If you’re looking for a romantic, dreamy, fairytale, then, unfortunately, I cannot give you that: I can, however, give you the true story, that emulates the fact that life very rarely goes to plan. As the nosey person I am naturally, I really enjoy reading people’s stories, and I hope you enjoy mine.
Back before Christmas, Jordan planned a trip to France for us to have a pre-anniversary celebration. We arrived in Lille early afternoon on the Tuesday and spent the day wandering around and getting our bearings. We stopped at a few bars, sampling the local wine and beers before heading for cheese and mussels – how French! We spent some time exploring the Christmas markets and looking around the old town before heading back to our hotel.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll remember that we did a trip to Belgium back in March, visiting Brussels and Bruges, but one of the places we didn’t manage to fit into the holiday was Ghent. After speaking to a couple at dinner about how easy it was to get there, we decided to spend our next afternoon there. They also recommended a restaurant for us back in Lille for dinner the next night, so we swung by on the way home to book a table and have something to look forward to.
I’ve been to Europe loads of times on holiday, and every time, I’ve been on some form of public transport with no problem at all, until this trip. We got to Ghent absolutely fine and spent a lovely afternoon discovering the shops, walking down the canals and eating our way around the markets.
We decided to get the 6.30pm train home, meaning that we would be back in France and at the restaurant to make our 8pm reservation. I wasn’t anxious at all about getting the train home, as the journey there was so seamless, but after the platform of the train changed and it was brought forward by a few minutes, I started to feel a little on edge.
The first half an hour of the journey went by incredibly quickly and I even nodded off for a bit, but I woke up just as we got into a station where we waited for 20 minutes. We weren’t too concerned at first seen as the train to Belgium had done something similar but after the longest wait at the station, we started to go backwards.
We both knew that something wasn’t right at this point, and went to find the conductor to see where we had gone wrong. He was incredibly helpful and told us that the train we were on had split into two separate trains (which apparently is quite common in Europe) and half had gone to Lille and the other half had gone further into Belgium – and we were on that half.
By this point, Jordan’s phone was dead and mine was on very low battery and I went into a full panic mode. The conductor told us we had to go back to the original station where the train split and wait for the next train back to Lille which was arriving on a different platform, 6 minutes later. It all sounded very doable, but I was really worried that we would miss it and couldn’t calm myself down.
It was another hour until we got to the station, and once we got there we asked everyone we could to make sure we were on the right platform. After a few minutes, our train turned up, and although it said Lille on the front, we asked the new conductor and a few other passengers to make sure we were on the right one – which we were.
After we got back to France, we had missed our reservation and we were exhausted so decided to get a takeaway pizza and a bottle of wine and head back to the hotel to watch TV and sleep. Little did I know what was about to happen next.
Once we got back to the hotel, Jordan was being slightly jittery and spilt wine all over the table whilst he was pouring it. I didn’t think anything of it and headed to the bathroom to take my makeup off. I realised I’d left my cotton wool pads in the room and asked him to pass me them, and the next thing I knew, he was on one knee, holding a ring.
After such a draining evening, my emotions sky-rocketed and I jumped into his arms as he asked me to marry him and burst into tears. It wasn’t the proposal he was hoping for (apparently it would have been in a cute little park on the walk back from dinner) but the fact that he couldn’t wait any longer to ask me, made it even more special – and who can say they spent their engagement night eating pizza and drinking wine in bed?
I was really close to ringing my mum that night, but it was late and I wanted to tell her face to face the next day when we were home, and it felt nice having our little secret for a while. The next day I couldn’t stop smiling and had to keep checking down at my hand to make sure I hadn’t dreamt it. We had a lovely last day wandering around the old town and even got some champagne to have on the Eurostar home to celebrate.
And the rest is history.
Reading the story back now it all seems incredibly dramatic, and although the evening put me on the verge of a panic attack, the outcome made me the happiest girl in the world.
I hope you enjoyed reading our engagement story and are looking forward to the rest of the wedding content that you’ll be getting over the next few months.