Carol and Nathan

   How We Met

I’m from the city in Sydney, but he’s from a country town about seven hours away. We met when we were teenagers, and it’s the absolute dorkiest story… we were at a science camp! Our first conversation was on a bus ride, when I asked him what his favorite singer was, he said Celine Dion, and I laughed in his face because I thought he was joking (…he wasn’t). Surprisingly we were inseparable from then on! On a more serious note, he’s not just the reason I had a great time over those few weeks, but he’s also the reason I got through it at all. You see at that time I had quite severe depression and was still recovering from a suicide attempt a few weeks earlier. Doctors were hesitant about letting me go to the camp at all, but figured I’d likely make some new friends – and I certainly did, I met my best friend and now fiancé!

I remember this one night when all our friends were having a party and I couldn’t bring myself to dance or even be in the same room because I’d had a particularly rough mental health day – and he just sat with me on the grassy lawns the whole night. He let me cry in his arms and just held me until the tears ran out, not saying too much, letting the hugs speak for themselves. I remember we’d stay up late each night with a stash of candy we’d collected over the weeks, talking about anything and everything. However, we couldn’t escape the reality that we both had to go back to our hometowns. I remember saying goodbye, but knowing it surely wasn’t goodbye, and we couldn’t help falling in love shortly after. We started our long-distance relationship that has, looking back now nearly six years on, made it through every high and low, every FaceTime date and airport goodbye. And in fact, as I write this, I’m grinning ear to ear because just TODAY we found out that his work will be transferring him to Sydney – finally, my love is coming home.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Observatory Hill, Sydney, Australia

How He Asked

He proposed exactly five years after our first date. I remember when I met him that day, I was wondering why on earth he was so nervous and sweaty (I later found out he’d spent the whole morning racing around town to set everything up)! He’d told me we were off to a lunch date (he fabricated a fake restaurant and dress code and everything, haha!) but my suspicions were raised when the more we walked, the further and further we went towards bushland, not restaurants! We climbed up these cobblestone steps, and then he stops at a turn off with a sign that said “Observatory Hill”. When I saw that sign I was instantly reminded of a date we’d had there, about four years prior…we were watching the sun set over Sydney Harbour, and he was laughing and muttering to himself about something. I remember nagging him to find out what was on his mind, and he stopped walking, looked at me with the sweetest sincere expression, and said: “I just thought, this would be SUCH a lovely place to propose one day.”

I froze on the steps, thinking, surely, he didn’t remember that date all those years ago…we kept walking. We arrived at a view of the sparkling harbor (with a beautiful wedding on the other side of the green!) and underneath a gorgeous old fig tree, I spotted a picnic rug. As we got closer, I noticed candles, roses, a basket, and a sign that said… “WILL YOU MARRY ME CAROL?’ Spinning around in shock I found Nathan on one knee, his voice shaking with almost-tears, telling me that he wanted forever together and asking if I would be his wife. I barely let him finish before saying “YES!”, and the words barely left my mouth before I heard the camera shutters going and spotted my lovely sister, who he’d arranged to capture the moment!

It was so perfect I couldn’t believe it. We spent the whole day under a sunny blue sky, with little birds flying overhead, wondering how on earth we finally made it, and ever so thankful that we did.

Proposal Ideas Observatory Hill, Sydney, Australia

Special Thanks

Anna Azzam
Photographer