Hugh & Pamela's Proposal + "How He Found the Ring" at Ritani

Every now and then we throw in the story of “how he found the ring”, and today, we’re doing exactly that. Scroll down to see how this groom worked with Ritani to make the perfect engagement ring.

How we met: I’m originally from the island of Newfoundland, Canada and my now fiancé, Hugh, is from an even bigger island – Australia! We actually met on the little island of Prince Edward Island, in Canada, while attending University there. We had to transfer and move to New Brunswick to complete our university degrees, and we’re now living out in western Canada in the Province of Alberta! Hugh and I were both working in a call center while living on Prince Edward Island, and I was Hugh’s Quality Assurance Supervisor. I did notice his beautiful blue eyes and handsome good looks but never thought much of him at first. I even had co-workers constantly tell me how handsome he was and I should pursue him, but didn’t think he was that interested in me. It was only until we were put on similar teams and projects that we started to spend a bit more time together where I really noticed his flirting and this guy was indeed interested!

One night, all of my co-workers and fellow agents that worked on a project together decided to go out on the town and celebrate our recent success. I hadn’t planned on going, but decided if Hugh might be there I would go… So, I decided (after much debating) to send him a Facebook message wondering if he was going out that night, and he quickly fired back a message that he wouldn’t miss it. (which he also told me after, if I hadn’t sent that message he probably would not have went either!) We spent most of the night together hanging out with everyone else, flirting, playing pool and having a few drinks. It was a pretty nice, warm summer night and when it ended for everyone else, we just started walking and talking around the little tourist town and walked and talked the entire night! Until, at one point, we both looked at our phones and it was nearly 5am! We called it a night, he said he’d call me in the ‘morning’ and the rest is history!

how they asked: Hugh and I had only moved out west right after graduating from university, a little over a year prior to our engagement date, and always wanted to visit the mountains; but, with new jobs and getting settled in our new home, in a new Province, we could never find the time. So about two or three weeks before our engagement ‘trip’, Hugh had told me about an upcoming conference he had to attend in Edmonton during the last week of November. He said if I could take the time off work, we would drive down through Jasper and Banff (right through the Canadian Rockies) the day before his conference and spend a night there, and then we could drive up to Edmonton the next day so he could attend his conference – and I could shop in the West Edmonton Mall! We started our drive down from Grande Prairie on the Wednesday, driving through Jasper National Park and making plenty of stops along the way to take beautiful pics of the majestic beauty of the Canadian Rockies, the breathtaking a scenery, the wildlife – this was our first time seeing it and it was beautiful! I have to admit I was loving the scenic trip but I was getting pretty antsy, as we were only supposed to be staying one night in Banff and then heading up to Edmonton early the next day to make his conference, and there were lots of picture taking stops along the way, so I was getting worried we would get no time in Banff…Once it got dark out, the stopping to take pics stopped and then after a nearly 8 hour drive we were approaching Lake Louise, Banff. Hugh never did tell me where we were staying while in Banff and we would just wing it when we got there…

We actually pulled in to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel, which was breathtaking – even at night – it was decorated inside and out with plenty of Christmas lights, fresh fallen snow all around that just made the hotel look a little bit more magical… Hugh looked at me with a smirk as he parked outside the main doors and said here’s where we were staying for the night. Of course tears instantly shot to my eyes as I never thought we would be staying there, especially just for a night passing through – but he seemed pleased with himself as it was quite obvious how excited I was just with this nice surprise! Hugh parked in the parking valet attached to the hotel and had me wait in the truck while he went to check us in – as instead of unknowingly dragging our luggage through the hotel to try and locate the front desk, he thought it be best if he found out where we had to go first and come back to get me and our luggage. We made our way to our hotel room which was just two floors from the top!

The room was very comforting and had a magnificent view of the Lake with the Mountains surrounding it and all the trees below, including the courtyard adorned in Christmas lights! Absolutely beautiful! We spent the rest of the evening walking around outside, taking in the scenery and touring the Chateau and all the many shops and features in it – I even noticed the onsite photo studio where there were local photographers that you could book to take pics around the hotel – and finally stopping into one of the pub-style restaurants to have our dinner before turning in for the night. The next morning we woke up early to walk around Lake Louise and take in the scenery before having to leave in just a couple of hours for his Edmonton Conference. We walked around the entire Lake and some trails for about two hours before having to head back to pack up and also realizing how hungry we were… I went back to the hotel room to pack up our things and Hugh said he would go to the deli and grab us some lunch to take on the road where we hadn’t even had any breakfast. I was only back at the hotel room for about 20 minutes when Hugh called my phone and said that while getting our snacks he ran into a photographer who wanted to know if he could take any pictures for him while staying at the hotel. Hugh mentioned how I noticed the photo studio last night, and how much I love pictures and happily obliged.

So hair still half frozen and frizzy from the walk about earlier, I quickly brushed it and headed down to the archway overlooking Lake Louise. Hugh introduced me to the photographer and mentioned we just stopped into Lake Louise for the night and we were leaving for Edmonton within the hour – the photographer assured Hugh the pictures would be ready before we were ready to leave. We started taking pictures in popular spots around the Lake, and began walking around to a couple of other spots we thought were really nice from our walk earlier and it was at one of the nicest spots that he perfectly executed the rest of his secret surprise…

Hugh looked at me and said that while he had told me we had to leave shortly and head to his ‘conference’, but that there was actually no such conference and he actually took me here to ask me to MARRY HIM! My eyes were instantly filling up with tears and he dropped to one knee like the true gentleman that he is, [insert sweet words and proposal here] and presented me with a beautiful handmade, custom ring box and opened to a beautiful sparkly engagement ring (that I only managed to see for milliseconds as my eyes were flowing with water)!

I of course managed to blubber out a yes! And he put the ring on my finger! The photographer was snapping pictures the entire time, there was even an ugly cry shot in there and all! He congratulated us and we continued with the rest of the photo-shoot!

There’s a neat photo of us walking around the Lake and that’s where Hugh started to fill me in on all the little details that I had no idea about, but helped explain all his planning!

How he got the engagement ring: When I knew Pam was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I wanted to make sure that I gave her not only the perfect ring, but also a perfect diamond. So, when I first started looking for a diamond, I knew the 4C’s but little else. I spent time at many local stores, including high end ones selling designer brands, but it seemed that I would need to rob a bank if I was to get a diamond that was of a decent size and quality. The engineer in me concluded that if I was going to spend good money on a diamond, I better learn a lot more about diamonds to make sure I got the best I could afford.

I spent three months looking and researching diamonds. Over that period of time I felt overwhelmed in my quest – anything less than an “excellent” cut just wouldn’t suffice now that I knew more about diamonds. In fact, the tolerances for what makes a truly exceptional diamond are very small; I started seeing poorer cut diamonds that were still graded as “excellent”. I learned how the angles (ie. table, stars, upper pavilion, lower pavilion) worked with each other to produce brightness, fire, and scintillation. I became so selective in each cut, that I consistently weeded out every single diamond available on every site I looked at – a discouraging feeling.

After 3 months of looking and filtering out diamonds, I came across one on Ritani’s website that met everything I was looking for. The staff at Ritani were very friendly and quick to respond to me and provided video’s, pictures, and documentation on the diamond. The quality was outstanding; looking at the angles and the consistency between them, it was clear that this diamond was cut by a skilled cutter, and not cut to maximize size. Since I purchased the diamond, Pam and I often compare it with diamonds at local stores, but not yet have we found any that compare.

About Ritani: Ritani is a high-end jewelry brand modernizing the way people purchase diamond engagement rings and jewelry. Founded in 1999, Ritani marries the online shopping experience and a selection of custom-made diamond engagement rings, loose diamonds, and other fine jewelry with a network of trusted local jewelers in one seamless transaction.

Photos by Gary Yip