Many of my family and friends have asked about how I proposed to Claire.  I have broken the story into three parts (Intro, The Plan, The Big Day) and because it’s so long.  I just starting writing and this is what came out.  The date I proposed to Claire was Monday, Nov. 4, 2002.  Or go strait to the Proposal Pictures. Enjoy…


proposal_1 An offer Claire couldnt refuse... How I proposed to ClaireUnknown to Claire, I started looking at rings about 4 months ago.  After weeks of research, I found where I wanted to purchase the ring and what I wanted to get.  I ended up getting the ring online from Blue Nile ( ).  The site was great and I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a diamond. Since everyone asks, here is the basic info on the diamond: 1.50 carats, Round Brilliant Cut, and in a 6 prong platinum Tiffany setting.

Buying the ring was only one half of the proposal.  The other half was coming up with some romantic and original plan to pop the question.  As I discovered, that would be twice as hard as picking out the ring.  After hearing all the cleaver ways friends or friends of friends had proposed, I was convinced of two things.  One: The more you plan everything out, the more opportunity there is for things to go wrong.  Two:  All of the good romantic ideas had been already taken. 

Since we had already planned our vacation to London, I thought for sure I could think of a unique and romantic way to propose overseas.  The idea of proposing at a castle came to my head because I always refer to Claire as my princess.  I had been pushing the castle idea to her in disguise.  I told Claire one of the major things I wanted to do while in England was to visit an old beautiful castle.  The original plan was to take a day trip from London to the white cliffs of Dover and ask the question at the castle there.  That way if the castle was not that great, I could propose at the white cliffs.  Claire had mentioned my castle desire to Sally (Claire’s friend who we stayed with while in London) and she recommended we check out Warwick Castle ( ).  Once I looked at the pictures on the website, I knew that this was the place.  THANKS SALLY! Now, I could start planning how I was going to pop the big question. 

The Plan

proposal_5 An offer Claire couldnt refuse... How I proposed to ClaireThe first part of the plan was to pick the day we would go to the Castle.  I figured I should do it as early in the trip as possible.  I feared I would not be able to enjoy the trip worrying about asking Claire to marry me.  We arrived in London on Friday and did things with Sally during the weekend.  This left Monday as the first possible day.

Next, I had to decide when and where at Warwick Castle I should ask Claire to marry me.  After looking at the website, it was very obvious to me.  I wanted to propose by the river with the castle in the background.  This way, it would be both private and beautiful.  I just hoped it was not too muddy when I got down on one knee.  I planed the proposal to happen towards the end of our day.  This way I could build up my courage and scope the Castle out for any other good places.

The final part of my plan was to go back to London that night and stay at a very nice hotel instead of at Sally’s.  (It’s nothing personal Sally.  We loved your place.)  I  made a reservation at the Renaissance Chauncey Court Hotel in downtown London ( ).  The only draw back in making the reservation in advance was that it had to be done Monday regardless of weather.

Not wanting to plan too much, I went with a fairly simple plan.  Go to Warwick Castle on Monday.  Pray for good weather.  Towards the end of the day, walk down by the river and propose.  Return to London and stay the night at a nice hotel.  I did not want to plan what to say or how to bring up the question.  I would just go with the flow.

There was no plan for if she did not say “Yes”.  As the English would say, I would have been ‘buggered’.

The Big Day

Nervous about the day to come, I woke up before the alarm went off.  My eyes opened to see blue skies outside the skylight and a big sigh of relief was released.  That was a very good sign since it had been either raining or very cloudy since we had stepped off the plane on Friday.  It was off to the tube  and then Paddington Station  where we had to catch the train to Warwick.  Claire couldn’t understand why I was taking so many pictures like this one of her reading on the train .  She had no idea of my master plan and that I was trying to document the day.

Once we arrived in the town of Warwick and Warwick Castle around noon, I was very happy with the location I had picked.  It was everything I had expected and hoped for.  While exploring the Castle, I started to get very excited as I took pictures from the Castle ( pic1 , pic2 , pic3 , and pic4 ) of the area I wanted to pop the question.

proposal_15 An offer Claire couldnt refuse... How I proposed to ClaireFrom the top of the Tower, the views were breathtaking ( pic5 and pic6 ).  For a brief moment, I almost thought about abandoning my plan of asking the question by the river.  We were at the top, and there was nobody else on the tower.  I was debating asking and my heart was beating about a thousand beats per minute.  Just then some other people arrived at the top of the tower and I thought it would be better to wait until later in the day by the river.

As the day passed, we explored the Castle and I counted down the minutes until it would be time to propose to Claire.  The moment finally arrived at the end of the day.  We walked over the bridge to the island where I was going to ask the question.  I saw this big Oak Tree and thought that would be a good place.  As we got closer to the tree, I was so nervous I could hardly speak or smile .  Claire took of picture of me and of the Castle .  I had to stall to gather my confidence and suggested we walk around on the island a little.  As we started to walk, I spotted a bench and thought it was the perfect.  I told Claire, “Look over there, that bench has our name on it.”  Claire didn’t think anything of the bench because she knows how lazy I am.  We walked over to the bench we sat down.  The view from the bench was great.  There was no small talk because I was so nervous.  If I stalled anymore, it might never get done.

Claire and I have this way of telling each other we love one another.  Someone asks the other, “Have I told you that I love you today?”  The response is always “No.” and is followed by “I love you.”  So, here is how I popped the question.

Me: Have I told you today that I love you?
Claire: No.
Me: I love you.
Me (getting on one knee in front of Claire who is sitting on the bench): Have I asked you today to marry me?
Claire: (no response)
Me (getting the ring out of my pocket): Claire… will you marry me?
Claire: Yes. 

She was very surprised to say the least.  The ring was so heavy she needed two hands to hold it up.  Just kidding .  I was very happy and relieved after she said yes.  The smile on my face was a little bigger than the one in the picture taken earlier by the oak tree .  Unfortunately, there was nobody around to take a picture of us on our bench so we had to do it ourselves .  That was the only thing that didn’t go my way that day.  We did manage to take a picture of us together on the bridge with the timer.

We went back to London and met Sally at the hotel to celebrate the good news with a drink.  The hotel was very very nice.  We were even personally shown to our room and all the amenities were pointed out to us.  In all our travels that has never happened before.  It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.


Comments are closed.