Francesca and Richard

Francesca and Richard's Engagement in Port Palace, Monte Carlo

How We Met

I first set eyes on Rich 13 years ago when I was working in the local village bakery in Newick, East Sussex (UK). He used to pop in on his way to play rugby every Saturday morning and I very quickly liked him. He was a typical cheeky rugby player. I then left the bakery after a year and didn’t see nor hear from Rich for two years when out of the blue in May 2007 I received a text asking if I fancied going on a date… the Saturday after we spent the evening watching Titanic (I picked it because it’s three hours long!)… and the rest is history.

Where to Propose in Port Palace, Monte Carlo

The boy I had liked since I was 15 finally became my boyfriend on 5th June 2007 and we have been through University, I went traveling in 2012 for a few months and we have grown our careers together.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Port Palace, Monte Carlo

How He Asked

Rich and I have been together for 10 years and since we bought our first home in 2016, we have had non-stop questions asking when we were going to get engaged. In February 2017 we went on a gorgeous romantic holiday to Mexico, where we drank champagne every day and had private beach dinners… everyone thought he was going to propose, but in true Rich style did not!

For our 10-year anniversary, we decided to have a long weekend in Monaco – it’s somewhere had both always wanted to go. We had provisionally booked a hotel called ‘Port Palace’ which overlooked Port Hercules. A month before we were due to go, I found a really good deal at a different hotel so suggested we change hotels… Rich then spent hours trying to find our original hotel with an even better deal – I had no idea why he wanted to stay there so bad!

The hotel and our room were phenomenal – we had a stunning suite with floor to ceiling windows showing off the full view of port Hercules – I was VERY pleased Rich had convinced me to stay with this hotel.

On day two of our trip (the day before our 10 year anniversary), we woke up to a stunningly beautiful day so walked up to the Palace and took some snaps of the incredible view. We then headed over to the Fairmont to visit Nikki Beach (a rooftop bar with pool, music, and bar) we sat and soaked up the views whilst drinking wine. I was having a fab time and desperately wanted to stay but Rich threw me a line that he had indigestion so needed to go back to the room… so romantic!!! We went back to the room and I walked in first…

There were bouquets of flowers in the bathroom, on the bedside tables and a huge bouquet was on the table in the room in front of the window with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot (my favorite champagne) chilling next to it with some chocolates. I was quite shocked but just thought ‘wow this is the best hotel ever! Look at the champagne!’

Rich then asked if there was a note and I realised there was – it said ‘you can only open this if you get the next question correct…’ at that moment my heart literally flipped, I turned around and Rich was down on one knee, ring in hand. I was completely gobsmacked – I didn’t even look at the ring!! I just started hugging him and asking if it was real – and crying non-stop!

We then managed to get hold of all of our family and friends, even though one was in Jamaica, one was in Las Vegas and Richard’s Dad was in North Carolina. Everyone was over the moon for us. We then spent the next few hours in our room drinking the champagne, crying and laughing and I finally looked at the ring, which fit me perfectly. I then realised why Rich had wanted to stay at this hotel – he’d had the whole thing planned for months and I almost ruined everything!

Rich then surprised again me with a romantic dinner in a restaurant called ‘La Maree’ a Michelin starred restaurant on top of our hotel. We were given the corner table outside, so we could continue to admire to stunning view while eating the most beautiful food.

It was the most incredible trip of a lifetime and I will remember that day for the rest of my life.

Special Thanks

Sara Reeve
Photographer