How We Met
Hannah and I first started chatting online in the summer of 2016 and after hitting it off we decided to meet up for our first date in October. As I’m sure many people in Nottingham do, we chose to meet at the Lions in market square and as I waited for her to arrive I was definitely a bit nervous.
When she did arrive, we took the short walk up to a bar called Boilermaker which from the street might look like a very plain shop with just a desk and a few models of boilers for sale but as you walk through a door marked staff only and push open the hidden door, you walk into one of the most romantic spots in Nottingham which is where we’d chosen to go for a “drink drink”.
The bar served a range of crazy cocktails, I’d opted for one served in a multipack cereal box whilst Hannah, unknowingly to her had ordered one with a sparkler in it which drew attention from lots of others in the bar!
We both had a great laugh about it and soon were talking about everything from travel and conservation to quoting Red Dwarf which happened to be a favourite tv show for both of us.
We had so much in common and both being a bit geeky and having a very similar sense of humour, neither of us could wait for the next date!
How They Asked
Whilst I had known for a while that I wanted to ask Hannah to marry me, the planning really started just before Christmas in 2018.
I had managed to get hold of tickets go and see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in London just before her Birthday which is at the end of August. Rather than just giving her the tickets, I had also bought a plush niffler (for those don’t know that’s a creature from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them that loves shiny things) and on Christmas morning it was hanging off her stocking and holding onto a shiny envelope which held the tickets.
That started an inside joke that when I did get round to proposing that the ring would be inside the niffler’s pouch, and well I couldn’t resist.
Because we had also spoken about the possibility of getting engaged before, I had been given the confidence to try something more elaborate and I began the planning proper in early 2019 with the idea of a scavenger hunt in my head and knowing it had to end with the niffler.
So when the day rolled around, I started off by giving Hannah a wax sealed envelope made to look like the ones on Taskmaster (a show we both love) to say that we weren’t going to London as she originally thought because I’d forgotten to book the hotel. Obviously this was a very believable story as she didn’t suspect a thing and started to follow the clues I’d laid out to keep her busy for the day.
After completing a jigsaw puzzle which revealed the cover of a book we owned, Hannah went to the bookcase and found that inside I’d hollowed out a space and hidden a usb memory stick that was protected by a combination lock.
Her first reaction was actually one of shock that I had damaged a book that we had got signed by the authors! After I carefully explained I’d picked up an extra copy from eBay and our original was fine she agreed to carry on.
That meant following more clues that ultimately led her to a funko pop of Goose the cat from Captain Marvel (who our kitten was named after) that’s been sat on our fireplace for a few months with the code written underneath the whole time!
Once she made her way into the usb, there was a short podcast which was recorded especially for us by the No Such Thing As A Fish team. It was absolutely incredible seeing her reaction as she realised that they were speaking just to her!
That led us over to my parents house where we had originally lived together. Once there a quick cup of coffee before the next clue was a video of our favourite musician Frank Turner directing us to Rock City in the town centre.
After meeting a friend there to receive the next clue we headed to one of Nottingham’s most famous landmarks, the Robin Hood statue before heading to the fantastic Pitcher and Piano which is set inside an old church. This is somewhere Hannah had wanted to eat for ages and we just hadn’t got round to it so when we were there she was sure this was the birthday surprise I’d planned and that we’d be heading home afterwards. Well that was until the bill came with another envelope and another clue!
Unbelievably, she still had no idea that this wasn’t just a birthday surprise!
We carried on and went via the ice rink where we spend lots of our time to our favourite coffee shop 200 degrees who had even wrote “pssst Hannah, this way!” on the chalk board outside the shop.
After a coffee and catch up with one of Hannah’s friends, she was given another envelope that sent her across the road back to the spot we first met at the lions in Market Square.
Knowing how much she loves books, the next clue led her to a bookshop giving her free reign to choose any book she wanted as an early birthday present and wouldn’t you know it, after she’d got it, she was given another clue. This time asking her to go back to the bar where it all started.
Still unsuspecting we went to the bar and were shown to our table where the menus were delivered along with a clue that contained a QR code.
Once scanned, the code led her to a YouTube video recorded by the Super Carlin brothers who we just love to watch in our down time! After wishing her happy birthday they told her to check out the menu for a special one off Harry Potter themed drink as well as a fantastic beast that likes shiny things.
So she opened the menu and inside was a special insert I’d given to the bar giving her the option to order a Butter Beer and thanks to the incredible team at Boilermaker who had made a custom cocktail for us it was perfect!
So after a short wait, the drinks came out along with the niffler plush that had the ring box in its pouch.
It was only then that Hannah cottoned on to what was really happening right as I picked the box up and dropped to one knee to ask the question.
Thankfully it was a yes and we were able to celebrate that evening before heading to London as planned the next day.
It was an incredible day that just felt like one huge date, full of inside jokes and our favourite spots. We both enjoyed it so much and I’m very glad I tweaked the plan from having friends give the clues to being there with her for the whole day.