How We Met
Simone and I met through a now mutual friend, Hayley, at my old workplace. I was working on an advertising pitch for a well known cosmetic brand, along with Hayley who was the strategist on the project.
One day I walked past her computer and she was looking at an Instagram page to get mum and daughter make-up looks for the pitch deck. I looked at her screen and saw the most beautiful blonde, Scottish siren. I thought she was a celebrity, her beauty was that undeniable, but Hayley told me it was a very good friend of hers.
In that moment I said to her (and to myself) “Whatever I need to do to get that girl, I will!”
Luckily Hayley told her about me and our interests and histories had some common ground. Eventually Hayley added us to a WhatsApp introductions group. It was here that I literally wrote a long “pitch” to Simone to chance her arm for a date.
She seemed to like my first attempt at this, but just to be sure, a few days later in a private message exchange between me and Simone, I pitched to her again. I took into account everything we had spoken about in those few days to prove I had been taking an interest in every detail.
She laughed at the pitch and said she was sitting with her dad at lunch who told her she HAS to go on a date with me. 2 weeks later and after multiple phone and text conversations, Simone came down to London for our first date- in which I promised her the “gold package treatment” (I had no idea what that was myself). Luckily, on the day, I managed to pull it off. I took her out for dinner, followed by ice skating (as it was in the run up to Christmas). Each hour of our date I had a gift wrapped for her in gold paper, within which was something again to prove I had been meticulous in my attention to detail when conversing with her.
The following week I went up to Glasgow for our second date and it was after that, when we decided to make a go of it. 6 months later after seeing each other every 2 weeks, either in London or Glasgow, Simone moved to London for work…and me… for good.
Our lives have been impacted by each other in a positive way ever since, and long may it continue!
how they asked
Anyone who knows me, knows I was never going to propose in a generic way. Working as an Art Director in advertising, I treated my proposal like a creative brief.
“Let’s watch a Disney” is the go to phrase whenever Simone is upset or homesick.
She loves everything Disney and I don’t think she’ll ever grow out of it. Which is why I knew I could surprise her using Disney as a smokescreen. I created a plausible story where Simone believed she was invited to an exclusive Disney exhibition, along with my sister, as a guest of my sister’s fiance’s record label. Using actual Disney prints in the main gallery, with excerpts about each piece, I knew I could make the exhibition seem genuine.
Throw in some actors walking around, a photographer, Disney piano background music and some waiters serving champagne, and the believability was amplified.
I wanted the proposal itself to be special, so the downstairs was sectioned off with a rope. At the bottom of the stairs was a room filled with what Simone thought was one off prints. What she actually found was milestone pictures from our relationship reimagined in Disney form.
Each piece was about the attention to detail, from the Disney fonts, to the outfits to the names and dates of when each event took place. I even put the date of when we first got together along with the proposal date on the barcode of the fake tickets I made, which were sent to her. It’s these little touches that make all the difference.
In the lead up to the proposal my mother had set up a fake WhatsApp group asking everyone round for afternoon tea on the date of the proposal. But it was actually a lunch which I had flown Simone’s mother and father down from Glasgow for- to give her one last surprise after I had asked her to marry me. So when they came out from hiding at my mother’s house, the waterworks erupted again.
Simone is a difficult person to surprise, so that was half the job, but it’s the reactions of the ones you love that are ingrained in your memories.
And this proposal is a memory I know we will never forget.