My side of the engagement story:
My fiancé John and I first met at Medieval Times in Schaumburg Illinois. It was my first job and I had already worked at "the castle" for close to 5 years as a serving wench. My closest friend who also happened to be a coworker had mentioned that one of the knights was great at giving back massages, when I had complained about the crick in my shoulder. She pointed him out to me and a few days later I boldly approached him asking for some relief of the stubborn knot. He agreed, though probably taken a bit off guard by my boldness, and soon after we started dating.
A couple of years later we were driving to his grandparent's house out of state to celebrate Christmas. Expecting a proposal, I had my fingers crossed that this Christmas we would finally make our relationship official. We had talked about it from time to time and he also felt that we were meant to be together. However, he would always say, "Be patient, and it will happen." While driving to his grandparent's house, John and I had got to talking and he told me not to expect a proposal for Christmas, and the frustration in my eyes began to overflow as tears. "But when?" I asked, "I've already been waiting so long." John knew that "be patient" wasn't going to work this time so he struck a deal with me. If I tried not to mention the word "proposal" he would give me a timeframe in which I could expect him to finally pop the question. I agreed and he told me sometime before February 14th. I asked him not to propose on Valentine's Day, thinking it was slightly corny and he agreed. Needless to say, I received a beautiful, thoughtful Christmas gift paying homage to my love of horses, but no ring.
On February 12th, I was over at John's house for the evening watching the new episode of Ghost Hunters when we got to talking about the deal we had made. Although I couldn't keep entirely quiet on the proposal topic, I had definitely been more aware about not bringing up the subject. This time he brought it up. "So where would you like to go to lunch tomorrow?" he asked me. I thought for a minute and replied, "Bahamas Breeze," their Mojitos are excellent." Then he said, "Well after lunch I was thinking about taking you out to the jewelry stores, so we can have a look around." Although I knew for a fact he planned on proposing the next day, the excitement still bubbled up inside me.
The next morning John picked me up at my house to go out to lunch. On the way to the restaurant he received a call from one of the guys at work telling him he had to come in to practice today. John was upset with the man on the other end of the phone, explaining that he was not supposed to come in on his day off. From what I heard they had a brief and slightly intense argument and John hung up in a huff. "I have to go into work, just for a little while, they need another person to exercise the horses," he said. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy about this. We did a U-turn in the middle of the street and headed in the direction of Medieval Times. When we got to the castle John kissed me and said it wouldn't take long and that I could at least watch what they were working on with the horses for the new show. He then went to the knights' locker room to change into his practice clothing.
I sat at the top of the arena and tried not to feel sorry for myself while I watched the other knights and squires work with the horses. I noticed some of the guys trying to convince one of the new squires to pose as the princess for the sake of practicing the show but he refused to do it. That's when they turned their attention to me. I really didn't want to do it, for starters I'm no actress and I obviously wasn't in the best of moods to be helping out with their job when it was supposed to be my day with John, not theirs. I begrudgingly shuffled down the arena stairs to the sandy pit of the arena floor. They assured me I wouldn't have to do any acting. I noticed five Andalusian stallions standing in a "V" shape directly behind me. Then the show manager announced the arrival of the prince and that's when John entered on one of the stallions. He then instructed his horse to bow in front of me and the five other horses behind me were also bowing. John then dismounted his horse and got down on one knee in front of me. He then told me that this was the place that we had met and he thought it only appropriate that we begin the next part of our life together there. He then reached into a small bag he was carrying on his hip and pulled out a box that contained the ring and asked if I would marry him.
John's hand was shaking and his eyes were getting wet, whether from nerves or emotion, I couldn't tell, but it was extremely touching. At this point I was pretty emotional myself and immediately said yes, to the cheers of the rest of the knights, squires and managers. After much congratulations I finally had a chance to look at the ring john had chosen. It was a beautiful antique inspired princess cut solitaire. I had given him many different ring ideas along the way and he had managed to combine all my various interests into a single beautiful ring. Even more impressive is the fact that John had somehow managed to surprise me when I was expecting a proposal to happen that day. It doesn't get much more thoughtful than that. I'm truly blessed to have John in my life, and our relationship continues to grow stronger every day. I look forward to sharing the rest of my life with him.
John's side of our engagement story:
A year and a half after Megan and I started dating we began to talk of marriage but as something in the distant future, or so I thought. Topics of conversation ranged from what she liked in a ring, the time of year for the wedding, the size of the wedding, and various other vague things. Every once in a while the subject would come up again and we might hash through an idea or two then drop the subject. After a while she would ask me if I had any plans to propose to her, well truth be told I did. I had some ideas and I would pacify her with, "I've thought about it and I will propose to you someday." That worked for a long time until I changed, "Someday," into, "Soon," and then tried to change back to, "Someday."
The day we were driving to my grandparent's house for Christmas was the straw that broke the camel's back. She broke down and cried saying that I had no intention of marrying her. Well I did want to marry her and so I promised to propose to her before Valentine's Day of 2008. Weeks later I began putting together my proposal plan. I went and picked up the ring by myself because I knew exactly what she wanted after she showed me some rings she liked online. It was a white gold engagement ring with a vintage look and a princess cut diamond.
The next step was to procure the method of the proposal. Since we had met at Medieval Times while we both worked there it had special meaning for both of us. I came up with two possible proposal ideas. I brought this up to the Stable Manager/Head Horse Trainer, Mario, because I would need his permission to ride one of the Andalusian stallions that could bow upon command. Mario thought my ideas were good and he approved but wanted me to get approval from our Operations Manager, Marvin. So I had a meeting with Marvin who readily approved but wanted me to create a written plan to submit and get approved by the General Manager, Saj. I knew someone who created letters for business plans. I talked to her about writing the letter. She agreed, and after receiving it from her and going over revisions, I soon acquired the final draft. With my new letter in hand I had a meeting with Saj, who while agreeing that both proposals had their merit he could not approve my first idea because of the changes to the show script that it would take. So I had to go with my second idea of a practice session for the proposal.
Next, I wanted her parents' permission to pop the question. Getting together with Megan's Mom, Nanette, and Stepfather, Brian, wasn't that hard. While Megan was at work, I met them at a restaurant called Dirty Nelly's. They did not give me the okay right away but after a long discussion they gave me their blessing. My meeting with Megan's Father, Gary, was a little harder because he lives over an hour away. Luckily he had a work meeting nearby that week so I was able to meet him at the restaurant "The Assembly." After shooting the breeze for a while I let Gary know why I had asked him to meet with me. After teasing me for a bit, he approved.
The next step was to get some of the guys in my department of knights and squires to help out, but there was a snag in the plan because for the next two weeks the Corporate Show Team was to be at the castle because of a new show script that would start after they left. It was getting down to the wire. I had four days to propose to Megan. I thought everything was about to fall apart. Then a slight glimmer of hope came when the Knights and Squires Manager, Mike, informed me that we could hold a practice session on February 13th for the proposal. He even had a video camera to tape the event.
Now, the plan to get Megan into Medieval Times was I was to receive a call and be yelled at for not being at practice. I invited Megan over the night before and suggested that we go out to lunch on February 13th to one of her favorite restaurants, "Bahamas Breeze." Then we could go to Woodfield Mall to look at the several jewelry shops there. Megan agreed but seemed downhearted possibly because it looked like I had put no thought into proposing to her. Little did she know?
I went to Megan's house to pick her up. As she made the last few touches of makeup, I called a fellow knight at Medieval Times, Chad, and told him to call me in 10 min. Megan and I began to drive to "Bahamas Breeze," and were about three minutes away from her house when Chad called me. We played it off fairly well, him yelling at me for not being at "practice" and myself yelling at him for interrupting such an important day. Although I may have played it off too well because at the end Chad asked in a small voice, "You know what this is about, right?" "Yes," I answered curtly and hung up. I pulled a U-turn and headed to the castle.
I mollified Megan by telling her that she could see parts of the new show. Once we got to Medieval Times I had Megan sit in the arena so she could see everything. I rushed to get dressed in my practice cloths. Chad came into the locker room to tell me that they could not get to the video camera. I began to get nervous I really wanted to have something to show for my efforts. Luckily, Chad graciously offered to run to his apartment to get his camera and camcorder. I went down to the arena where Mario explained a few changes to the plan. Instead of having everyone mounted the others were to be on the ground next to the horses. Rob, the Show Department Manager, would announce me, then the five horses in the arena would bow and I would come out mounted. My horse would then bow my horse, and then I would dismount and propose. Mario went out into the arena to line everyone up. I mounted up and practiced bowing my horse, Hook, but instead he was rearing. I finally got Hook to bow on command and signaled that I was ready.
First we did a practice run, Rob announced me and the horses bowed and I came out and bowed my horse. Next Mario started yelling at me that the blocking was all wrong and we needed to do it again. Then he decided that we needed a princess stand-in. Somebody called out that our friend, Ethan, should do it. Ethan playing along refused saying, "No, I had to do it last time," and stomped off. Rob came to the rescue and asked Megan to stand-in. At first Megan did not want to do it because she saw this as an interruption of our special day. But Rob prevailed and brought her down into the arena.
Everyone reset and once again, Rob announced me. The horses in the arena bowed. I came out and bowed my horse. Then we deviated from what we did before. I dismounted and handed Hook off to a squire. Then I knelt in front of Megan. I reached into my pouch and pulled out the ring box. I could see Megan's eyes mist up, which made me choke up. My hand shook with nervousness so I held the ring box in both hands. I whispered my proposal to her. "We met each other here. I thought it proper we begin the next step of our lives together here." She stood there silently. "Will you marry me, Megan?" I asked. She paused then nodded yes. I heard the loud voice of Rob behind me shout, "She said yes!" I stood up to hold and kiss her. Last I heard everyone in the arena cheer for us.