- Can you remember the night you met ‘the one’?
- Had you been to a wedding reception?
- Did you meet him/her/them uptown clubbing?
- Was there an afterparty and did you go?
- Was it such a great party that someone threw up in the sink?
- Did you/he/they don their superhero cape and unblock it bare-handed?
Yup; that in a nutshell is the story of the night Gary and Rebecca met, and that is pretty much all I said about it on the day they got married, because Gary did a very brave thing.
He told the story of their engagement.
In his own words.
With occasional assistance from the other star of the day, Rebecca’s flower girl Mia…
As you can see, it was a very moving ceremony!
Rebecca and Gary had always wanted to see the Northern Lights. They’d also always wanted to go to Iceland, so Gary reckoned that would be the perfect place to ask the big question.
Day one was great! They walked all around Reykjavik, which was beautiful, but the Northern Lights didn’t make an appearance, so plan A was scuppered.
Day two, they did the Golden Circle of natural wonders; continental fault lines, huge geysers, and the biggest and most impressive waterfall they’d ever seen, but once again, nae lights. Gary was getting a little anxious!
Day three, with their own personal tour guide, they headed north on the longest drive of the trip to see an extinct volcano and a traditional village of turf houses. Encouragingly, the sun began to break through the clouds – could this be the night? The ring Gary had sneaked in his luggage was in his pocket, ready and waiting. Rebecca was still unaware of his plans; it was shaping up to be the perfect night for the proposal.
Then Gary realised he was running out of petrol. Double back, fill up, cruise on…
- A I’ve just passed up the perfect setting for my dream proposal.
- B This could ruin everything – do I abort this trip and try to get the lights back in Skye?
- C Rebecca has now picked up on my agitation and is thinking I’m just being arsey for no good reason.
- D hunger is setting in and the mood in the car is not great.
We drive on; darkness falling, northern lights radar non-existent, sweaty bum, brilliant.
As the distant lights of Reykjavik come into view, we are still half an hour away and on the opposite shore of the inlet. If we get too close to the city the lights will render any search useless. Now is the time; do or die.
We pull into a layby at the side of the water which is very unassuming but in its own way quite picturesque, even though it’s almost pitch-black. I manage to convince a reluctant Rebecca to leave the car for a moment in the vague hope of glimpsing something resembling an atmospheric marvel.
We’re standing in the dark at the side of a highway, barely able to see each other. Rebecca, quite rightly, says she’s heading back to the car and starts to walk off. “Not before I’ve done this”, I hear myself say, as I fumble to produce the box whilst awkwardly lowering onto one knee. I think I can see Rebecca turning round and this is confirmed when she says, “what the …. are you doing?”
All I can say is I’m glad I had a white box, because the penny seems to drop and at least she can see what I’m trying to do, even if I’m having an out of body experience. I manage to ask her if she’ll be my wife, to which, after a second of stunned silence and a few words I won’t repeat, she says yes. I think I’m delighted but all I can hear now is my heart beating in my ears. We also have a bit of a job in locating each other but eventually we get there, and by now the adrenaline is being replaced by joy – with a healthy dose of shellshock.
We make our way back to the car (somehow) and continue on for the remainder of the journey asking each other if we’ve really just agreed to marry each other and Rebecca noting her surprise that I of all people had managed to keep that a secret for this trip. Forgetting for a while that we are quite hangry and it’s now about half nine – the upmarket fish restaurant we had planned is well out the window.
We get back to the hotel, have a little fizz, and head out to the only place that seems to be open which is a pizza place. Our night was completely not what I had planned, but I realised at that moment that that didn’t matter.
This was the best night ever because I shared it with you. And the light I’ve been chasing all my life was sat next to me the whole time.
I think that’s what we call ‘an awww moment’, don’t you?
I don’t know whether or not Rebecca and Gary ever did get to see the Northern Lights. I know that after their wedding they did have a trip up to Skye, so maybe they caught them there, but it really doesn’t matter does it?
I loved their ceremony and the way they made it their own, so I was really pleased when they got in touch to share these memories and these great photos by Lindsey and Patrick of Edinburgh Photographic. You can see more of their work here
as they said, “We want to give you our heartfelt thanks for supporting us on the day and in the lead up.
Your input and pointers really helped to make it a unique and wonderful day!
All of our friends and family have told us how much they loved it and so we couldn’t be happier!
Once again, thank you for everything – we had the best day and hope you enjoyed the ceremony as much as we did!
I definitely did! And I hope that if you did finally get to see the Aurora Borealis, you’ll send me a photo I can add to provide a fitting coda to this great story – that would be really lovely.
Congratulations to you, Gary, for having the courage to tell the story of your proposal yourself. That took guts – it may almost have been as challenging as the proposal itself! And thanks again to Lindsey and Patrick; I really like the way that they didn’t just photograph you, but they also made a point of photographing your guests so you could see their reactions afterwards; I think that’s a very important part of the coverage because those are things that otherwise only I get to see because you can’t.
Stay well, safe and happy and thanks again for choosing me as your celebrant!