How it all Began - My Engagement Story


Every time I meet a new couple and sit down to talk about their stationery, conversation often quickly turns to “how it all began” and the engagement story. I think that’s because these stories often reveal so much about a couple – whether it be a proposal in an exotic location for a couple that loves travel, a proposal on a mountain for those who love hiking … you get the idea! In honour of this theme, and because I do love to tell this story, I wanted to share my own engagement story with you all. It’s been quite a journey so let’s begin…

Early Days

David and I got together in 2000, the summer that we left High School where we met in Higher Physics. We got engaged in 2012 and the years in between included a lot of ups and downs, just like many relationships. There was a six-year stint of long distance when it wasn’t all plain sailing – long distance sucks but we made it work. Even though we’re not the same people that we were in 2000, we still liked (loved) the people we became and have become. Many of the couples that I meet end up telling me very personal situations that they have battled through together, and that’s another reason I like to share my story. By 2011, David had moved back to Scotland and we were living and working in Edinburgh. We both love the great outdoors and in August 2012, we packed up his VW Golf (GTi) with our mountain bikes and kit and set off on a 10-day road trip.

Trip of a Lifetime

We ventured to Laggan Wolftrax on the first evening for a spin round the trails, and as a warm up for our excursion into the wilderness the following day. We rode the Ardverikie Estate trail – you ride past the house that doubles as Glenbogle in TV’s Monarch of the Glen – and what a great ride! A great start to the trip and that was just the beginning. Then we headed north to Thurso – via Dunnet’s Head of course to see the most northerly point in the UK. We had a night in an amazing B&B with dinner in the town before we boarded the ferry for Orkney from Scrabster.

The weather was so wild that we nearly didn’t get on the ferry at all and I was REALLY apprehensive. I’m not the best traveller on a good day let along when there are gale force winds and sideways rain! But onto the ferry we did go and that was an adventure in itself with comedy, or should I say slapstick, moments I’ll never forget. Probably the most memorable was the ferry tilting the instant that we left the harbour, causing everything, including me in my chair, to slide across the floor and fall over. Lots of smashing of glasses accompanied this and I had to laugh. It was rough! Or  ‘a wee bit choppy’ as David put it?!

All at Sea

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our ferry journey took us twice as long as it should have because one of the engines stopped working. We spent a few hours going round and round Scapa Flow until another ferry had finished its route and could help push us into Stromness Harbour. We arrived at our B&B in Dounby and the owners were just amazing. They made us an evening snack to warm us up – it was wild!!

The next day was much calmer and we ventured out around the island on our bikes, first to Maeshowe Chambered Cairn, then to the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar. When we got to Skara Brae, we walked around the exhibition and the prehistoric village before wandering back toward the visitor centre. It was at this time that David became entirely fixated on the beach of the Bay of Skaill. He kept encouraging me to go and sit on the beach but I was really hungry and had other ideas. He responded with: “We’ll go have some food and then go sit on the beach. Okay?’

The Proposal

I was slightly baffled as to his sudden obsession with the beach. It was cold and windy, and I couldn’t imagine why would he want to sit there! But, post-food, we kept to our word and went to sit on the beach. I got my camera out and starting taking photos of the view, the curve of the bay and the little piles of stones other visitors had built that looked like mini cairns. I then took a photo of David and the conversation went like this:

A: You’ve got your thinking face on. What are you thinking?

D: I’m thinking about your bike.

(to myself): Great. We’re sitting in this beautiful place and all you can think about is bikes.

(out loud & slightly perplexed): O-kay. What about my bike?

D: It’s looking a bit tatty.

A: O-kay.

D: In particular the lock-rings for your grips. So I got you some new ones.

He held out his hand and gave me two red lock-rings – my favourite colour – with the words ‘Marry me?’ inscribed on them. I was dumb struck and all I could do was smile and laugh … with joy and surprise! I never thought David would surprise me with a proposal because I always thought I’d know … but he really pulled it off!

D: It is a question, you know?

A: Yes!

D: And it’s not in Comic Sans either! You’d have said ‘no’ if it was, wouldn’t you?

A: Yes.

It was clear that quite a lot of thought had gone into it all. David had had to order the lock-rings from Lizard Skins so he’d been planning it since about January and sitting on them, looking for the right time. It turns out that every time he’d planned to do it, we’d either not gone and done what we were planning or someone else had come along, generally for a bike ride. So, taking me to Orkney, he figured he would grab the chance.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing it! Fast-forward six years from that day and we are super happily married. If you’d like to celebrate your own story with some lovely customised wedding stationery from Origami Fox, contact me today.

Gavin McGregor