Veronique and Thompson

How We Met

In the summer of 2007, I made the spontaneous decision to study abroad in the first semester of my sophomore year of college. But where to go? After giving it much thought, I decided I would travel the the exact opposite side of the planet from my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. And so I spun a globe and determined that the farthest place from home was an isolated Australian city known as Perth.

Unbeknownst to me, around the same time, Veronique was busy making her own decisions to study abroad from her home in Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. After much research and deliberation, Veronique and her best friend Melanie decided that Australia was the country she wanted to experience most, and that Perth would be the city where she would base her studies and travels.

With the purest chance of luck, Veronique and I met for the first time in Perth, Western Australia, half-way around the world from our respective homes. Less than two weeks after arriving in Australia, I was introduced to Veronique at a party of mutual friends; the rest is history.

Soon after meeting, I asked Veronique out on a date. She accepted my offer, and I picked her up in my $500 car (yes, that’s $500), took her to eat at McDonald’s, and then to see a movie in downtown Perth. The date was a success, and led to many more days and evenings together in beautiful Western Australia, and in many other parts of the world.

Since meeting in Australia, Veronique and I have lived an international long-distance relationship supported by nearly 100 flights and hundreds of hours of travel. As we’ve said since the beginning, “if it’s worth it, it’s worth it.” That’s the philosophy we adhered to throughout the first five years of our relationship and never looked back.

how they asked

When Thompson decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Veronique, he knew that the way he proposed needed to mirror the incredible love story they had created since meeting in Australia five years before. They met on a tropical beach in an isolated paradise, and Thompson wanted the setting of the wedding proposal to be equally special.

Villa Escapar Entrance

For eight months, Thompson researched, consulted, studied, and planned what turned out to be a truly epic proposal.

On August 16th, 2012, two days before the proposal, Veronique received a package in the mail at her home in Montreal (Thompson lives in DC at the time). The package contained four numbered envelopes and a letter which read “Open Envelope #1″.

Inside, she found a plane ticket to Cancun, Mexico, a packing list, and a letter instructing her to open Envelope #2 as soon as she landed in Mexico. The letter ended by notifying her that they would not speak from that moment “until their eyes met.” They were out of contact until two days later at the moment of the proposal in Mexico.

When she landed in Cancun, Veronique opened Envelope #2 which contained the details of the private car service Thompson hired to drive her 90 miles from Cancun International Airport to the Villa. She followed the instructions in the letter and found the Escalade which would be her chariot to the location of the proposal, a magnificent beachfront mansion in the heart of the Riviera Maya.

Veronique arriving at the Villa

As she pulled up to the Villa, Veronique was met by the photographers Thompson hired to capture the event itself. On film and as instructed, Veronique opened the third letter at the entrance which explained the photographers’ presence and let her know that she would be staying at the Villa for the evening. The staff of the Villa then led her through the gardens, up the grand double staircase, and into the Master Bedroom.

Veronique reading third letter at Villa

Once in the Master Bedroom, Veronique opened the fourth letter which told her it was time to get ready for dinner (remember Veronique has no idea Thompson is at the Villa and has not spoken to him in two days).

Veronique reading fourth letter in Master Bedroom

Fourth Letter on Canadian and American flags

Veronique would soon find the custom dress, shoes, and jewelry Thompson picked out for her in the Master Closet and Master Bathroom.

Veronique discovering her dress

Jewelry for the wedding proposal

Once she was dressed and ready for dinner, the villa staff led her down to the beach in front of the Villa where Thompson was waiting.

Veronique getting dressed for the wedding proposal

Veronique dressed at the top of the staircase

Thompson and Veronique’s eyes met for the first time in Mexico as she walked out past the pool and down to the beach in front of the Villa. Thompson in his blue suit, Veronique in her white dress, they immediately embraced and kissed, finally speaking after two days of silence.

Tom and Veronique see each other for the first time in Mexico

Tom and Veronique kiss for first time in Mexico

Thompson then told her about his gratitude for their incredible memories, for the incomparable love that they share, and for her unwavering support throughout the years.

Tom speaking to Veronique before proposal

He told her “I want this moment to be the beginning of the rest of our lives together, forever.”

And so, Thompson got down on one knee, pulled the custom ring he designed out of his jacket pocket, and asked her to be his bride.

Tom proposing to Veronqiue in Mexico

With a blissful smile, Veronique said yes (by far the most satisfying “yes” he’s ever heard!).  It was the moment which will come to characterize a lifetime – the solidification of their incredible love story.

Veronique and Tom embracing after the proposal

The custom engagement ring

After a full minute of kisses, tears, and laughter, Thompson let her know that they would be staying in this incredible Villa for the next week, celebrating this magical moment in the most picturesque setting imaginable.

Tom and Veronique after proposal

“But what would a celebration be without friends to celebrate with?” he asked..

Thompson pulled a walkie-talkie out of his jacket pocket and told their friends, who were hiding inside the second Master Bedroom, to come outside.

Tom telling friends to come out on walkie talkie

Veronique’s best friend Melanie (who Thompson met the same night he met Veronique in Australia), and Thompson’s best friends Danny and Paul walked out onto the balcony, making their presence known for the first time.

Friends on the balcony after the proposal

The moment was pure magic, and the newly-engaged couple quickly ran up to the Villa to greet their friends and celebrate this momentous occasion.

Tom and Veronique waving to friends on balcony after the proposal

Veronique hugging Tom after learning friends are there

Greeting friends for the first time in Mexico

For the next week, Veronique, Melanie, Danny, Paul, and Thompson lived like kings in their beautiful Mexican mansion complete with a private butler and chef. They explored the surrounding Riviera Maya, visiting the Tulum ruins, cliff diving in various cenotes, snorkeling with sea turtles in Akumal, and sipping mojitos on the insanely beautiful Ziggy Beach. It was a fitting celebration of the perfect proposal in a perfect setting in paradise.

Friends on Rooftop of Villa

Eight months of planning (and secret-keeping!) had finally paid off. Veronique said yes to Thompson’s proposal, and they left Mexico as fiances. It was a trip that secured their future together, and made their travel love story official. Looking back, it truly was an epic proposal, and for them and their story, it couldn’t have been anything less.

Tom and Veronique on rooftop dome

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Special Thanks

Scott Brown Photo