Christian and Beth

How We Met

2008, it was our first high school assembly in Blackpool, I was swinging back in my chair, sleeves rolled up and being somewhat mischievous already. The person that sat next to me was Beth, she caught my eye and I said a cocky “ya’lright’ in my northern accent. At the time I thought nothing of the young girl beside me then would be sat next to me 10 years later writing this. Also, she was way too ‘cool and pretty’ for me. Throughout the next 3 years she caught my eye in the corridor, at lunches, and the local park when hanging around with our friends but I never really had the confidence to approach her. Then, 3 years at the age of 12 and 13 post my school rugby match a girl called Laura (one of our mutual friends) decided to break Beth’s promise and tell me that Beth liked me.

I am so thankful that she did this one conversation with Laura proved to be the most influential conversations in my entire life. It gave me the confidence to start approaching Beth, chat away and start the process of our friendship. Over the next few months, we sat at the park and chatted for hours on end about everything. I used to walk her home every night. On the night of June 12th, 2009, I finally plucked up the courage to ask her to “go out” with me. This was the start of our relationship, where there aren’t really any genders, where everything is shared, where we pick each other up when we fall and we work as a team no matter what.

How He Asked

It was going to be on a catamaran, since I booked the holiday it was going to be on a catamaran. Then I thought… if I charter a catamaran she’s 100% going to be onto be. I had thoughts of a very expensive and very awkward catamaran trip. So that was out of the question, I had to come up with something else. One evening I was flicking through posts on Instagram and Gina Franchesca Photography popped onto the screen. I was truly amazed by her work and sent an email stating the dates of the proposal date. The response was incredible, she provided me with so much help and we decided on a quiet spot beneath The Cliff restaurant in Barbados (where I had booked a surprise meal) where we could capture the special moment. I emailed The Cliff to check that this was ok that we used the beach. All was set for the big day.

Fast forward to the morning of the 4th March 10:38 am, I had an email off The Cliff, “Unfortunately you’re unable to propose at the beneath the restaurant as it was underwater”. “Great,” I thought, everything that I had planned for the proposal was now out of sync, I now had 6 hours before we went to get ready to re-organise everything (the location, the photographer, the car to transport us). I couldn’t fail now, so I kept calm and carried on as normal. I would say I was like a swan, calm on the outside, flapping underneath. I then emailed Gina the response from the Cliff. Gina kept me calm and reminded me not to panic and reassured me that she would find me a perfect beach. She kindly checked out the location in the afternoon before the evening I proposed. We had decided on Batts Rock Beach on the West Coast of the island, it sounded perfect. I was so unsure as to what was to come, I didn’t know the beach, Gina had told me what to wear but I was scared of having my back to her when the photos were taken.

Next dilemma, why would I tell Beth to get dressed up for our evening meal and then take her to the beach? I made up a story that there was a bar on the beach and we were going there before we went to a surprise restaurant. I then had a little bit of help by the hotel staff to sort me out another car, they already knew where we were going as they had sorted out a special surprise in our room for when we got back. Sorted. Everything was set. 5:20 pm We were ready, the car was waiting, all too calm and smooth for my liking. I took my bag, with the ring in it, which I took everywhere whilst we were away. Nothing out of the ordinary but Beth peppering me with questions about where we were going. She didn’t have a clue, which I was really surprised about, she’s normally always onto me. 5:36pm We arrived at the beach, we got out the car. I’ll say this now, I’ve lied about this bar on the beach, I’ve lied where we were going, I’ve lied about bloody everything up to this point, it felt so close but so far away. My head went into overdrive, where now? Shoes on or shoes off? Which one is Gina? Does Beth know what’s going on? Can she see this box in my short pocket? Where do I walk? Left or right down the beach? Where is the sunset?

At this point, I had my GoPro camera out, we were making a holiday video so I said, lets go onto the beach to this bar, it’s just around the corner. Beth said “really? A bar on the beach!” I replied, “Yes, its just around the corner past some trees”. Gina was there, black top, jeans, just like she stated in her earlier email. I chucked my bag down and started walking left, said “lets get a GoPro video of us walking at sunset”. She STILL wasn’t onto me. This was it, I was looking into the camera with my false smile as inside my heart was bursting with nervousness, excitement and love.

This was it, all these years, for this moment. I didn’t rehearse what to say as I was advised not too. I just said what I felt. I said “Beth, there is no bar, her face dropped. But I’ve been wanting to do this for an awful long time. You know I love you very much and the real reason I’ve brought you all the way here is for this”. I pulled the box out of my pocket and dropped to one knee. Her face lit up brighter than I’ve ever seen it. I asked, she replied Yes. We kissed and cried, a lot. For myself it was the build up of years of planning and the love that went through me. The evening turned into a big celebration with a meal drinks at The Cliff. We’ve been on Cloud 9 since. It was all from nothing, to something, to everything.

Special Thanks