Date : 2 September 2002
Venue: The Navigator, Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire
6½ years we'd been going out. I'd been thinking about "popping the question" for a while, and was actually going to do it in September 2002, while we were out in America for a friends' wedding. There's a large bunch of us going out there together, so it would be nigh on impossible to get Katherine on her own without making it obvious to her and our friends what was going on. Plus the pressure would be on and all eyes would look expectantly at me after the wedding. Not the sort of pressure you need when trying to make it a surprise.
I'd already booked a table at one of our favourite local pub/restaurants to celebrate Katherine running in the Cardiff Marathon (in 3 hours 57 minutes and 34 seconds, donchyaknow). It was during the day while I was writing her a congratulations card, that I realised that tonight could be the night. *Gulp* What would I say? When should I say it? Should I say anything at all?
I got home from work (couldn't really do much in the way of work with the whole thing wizzing round my head) and things got off to a rocky start when we snapped at each other a little bit. Katherine had had the day off to recover from the marathon, and was sorting stuff in the garden when I got home around 7.30. The table was booked for 8.15, and there was little chance of us making it on time since Katherine had to have a shower, and the garden had to be finished.
We got there a little bit late, but a bit more relaxed after both calming down. We sat down in a secluded corner (yes!) and sat there chatting and drinking. We ordered food fairly promptly, but it still hadn't arrived after an hour, which is really unusual for this place. A quick chat with the barman, and it turns out they'd lost our food order (grrr!). They were really apologetic, and offered us some compensation (as well as rushing the order through in the kitchen), but tonight was looking like a bit of a disasterous time to pop the question.
Our food arrived, we ate it, Katherine had another drink. Katherine said afterwards that I seemed a bit distracted at this point, but I think she realised why now :) Our plates were taken away, and I was shaking so much....I was so nervous....the conversation just never really gave the opportunity for me to slip the question in.
After ½ hour of stuttered conversation, we were about to leave, and I just blurted:
"One more question......will you marry me?"
Katherine looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights, asked me "are you serious?"
I responded with a "yes" (Katherine later said that she'd never seen me look so serious)
and she burst into tears.
She smiled a bit through the tears and nodded to me to get down on one knee, which I did (a bit uncomfortable since I was kneeling in a fireplace) and I asked her again.
She said "yes".....thankfully! I don't think I've been so nervous in all my life.
The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur. We stood in the car park for a while and hugged each other, and then drove back in absolute silence (until I put some music on) and stood in our dining room chatting for ages when we got back. All smiles and shock all round I think.
We talked about it until the wee hours of the morning before we tried to get some sleep. I don't think either of us slept that well that night. I don't think either of us have slept well since, to be honest!
Tuesday was a nightmare - I wanted to tell people in work and phone home to let the parents know the good news, but we thought it best to ask Katherine's dad for his permission/blessing first. So, during the evening (at ringing), I took him to the side and him if it would be ok for me to marry his daughter.
He said "Of course! What took you so long?" (or words to that effect, I can't really remember now) and we told him that I'd proposed the night before and she'd accepted. I phoned my parents immediately to let them know - my mum had to have a sit down :)
Tuesday night and Wednesday was spent telling people (all of whom would say "about bloody time!" or something similar). The Thursday was a day ring shopping. Want to know what's happened since? Check out the Wedding diary.