Halli and Jeffrey

Halli's Proposal in Phuket, Thailand

How We Met

The first time I saw Jeffrey I was waiting for my interview to begin at a new company. He was currently working at the company, and I remember seeing him and thinking, “WOAH he’s good looking!” I got the job, and ten months went by during which we said maybe five sentences to each other (one consisting of our mutual love of Sausage McGriddles from McDonald’s, our first bonding moment). There is a 5-year age gap between us, so we both had concerns of the other being too old/young which made things never progress. On his second to last day of work, a goodbye card was going around, and I jokingly asked my friend Chloe if I should put my phone number in it. Chloe, knowing Jeffrey pretty well, then proceeded to explain to me that him and I had both confided to her our HUGE crushes on each other, and that we just needed to go out already because it’d been ten months, we were no longer going to be co-workers, and we hadn’t made it happen!

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Phuket, Thailand

Halli and Jeffrey's Engagement in Phuket, Thailand

I made the first move by sending him a message on our work chat system, and we continued to message back and forth until he left for the day (him having not asked for my number). I pretty much thought he wasn’t into me and that it was going to end there. The next morning I was working at my desk, and I got a notification on my phone that ‘Jeffreyj21’ had started following me on Twitter.

You see where I’m going with this: yes, he slid into my DMs!

Proposal Ideas Phuket, Thailand

We chatted all through the afternoon into the evening. My mom remembers me gushing about “the cute guy at work who was messaging me!” We decided to meet up for dinner the next night at Winger’s (still obsessed with the sticky fingers there). Somehow between me talking non-stop and Jeffrey watching a rivalry basketball game over my shoulder all night, we had immediate chemistry. I should mention here that, at this time, I was moving to NYC for college a month later. I intended for us to hang out and date a little, and then I would be outta there. Hit it and quit it type situation. Fun and done. We hung out nearly everyday up until I left. Our last time seeing each other, I accidentally said “love you” as he walked away from me. A true accident, a mindless slip, like saying it to your mother at the end of a phone call and I. WAS. MORTIFIED. I didn’t know what to do! I assumed he’d think I was a crazy person. But all he said was “love you too!” and walked away.

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HOW COULD I LET THAT GO?

We then proceeded to essentially date long distance. I refused to be his girlfriend, constantly saying, “that’s crazy, I live across the country,” but he never gave up. He flew out to see me for Valentine’s Day, he flew me home to see him over spring break, and we texted, called, and Facetimed every day. When I decided that the college I was in wasn’t for me, I proceeded to tell him that if he asked me again, I would say yes to being his girlfriend. This was about 3.5 years ago now, and the rest is truly history. We continued to date when I moved back, we’ve traveled a ton (we collect fridge magnets!), I graduated from college and Jeffrey will graduate in May, we’ve lived together for two years now, and we are getting married next June!

How He Asked

Jeffrey and I had looked at rings multiple times throughout our relationship, but really got serious about it last September. I originally had something in mind, and just wasn’t finding it. I wasn’t loving anything, nothing was really clicking. While shopping in Wilson’s, our saleswoman left to find a ring she thought I’d like, but said she’d be a minute finding it so we could continue to look around the cases. We walked through every case, and at the very last one a ring caught my eye. It was the COMPLETE opposite of what I wanted, but it was gorgeous. I couldn’t stop going back to it. Naturally the saleswoman came back right at that moment, so I asked if I could try it on “just for fun” because it wasn’t what I wanted, and it was for sure way above our budget. This ring in the case was: the exact metal color I wanted, perfect sized stones for my finger, actually under our budget, and MY EXACT RING SIZE. If that isn’t meant to be I don’t what is! I thought I’d end up having to fully customize a ring that was a solitaire rectangle diamond, and ended up walking away choosing a three stone, full halos, diamonds on the band, perfect-as-it-was-made ring.

Earlier this year we had two trips planned: Thailand and then, six weeks later, another trip back to NYC. Jeffrey had picked up the ring in December and knew he wanted to propose on one of the trips. He asked around and got some opinions and the verdict was in: he’d propose in NYC. We had so much history there and it’s my favorite place so it was great.

An hour before we’re leaving to the airport to Thailand (and right after Jeffrey had straight up told me he wasn’t proposing on this trip), Jeffrey received a text from my step-mom saying bye, have fun, and that this trip was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. At that moment, Jeffrey knew she was right and that Thailand was actually the way to go. He threw the ring into his luggage and away we went!

On day 2, we had the most amazing excursion all day around the Phi Phi Islands. We sailed off the coast of Phuket, swam and snorkeled in clear, blue water, had so much delicious food, and hung out on some unreal beaches. It was the best day! We got back to our hotel in the afternoon and Jeffrey said he wanted to go out to the beach to watch the sunset and take some photos. Me, knowing he wasn’t going to propose on this trip, thought literally nothing of it. We got ready and headed out to the beach.

I laid out a blanket and sat down, looking out at the most unreal sunset, just enjoying myself. Jeffrey (such a good man) propped his phone behind us to “take photos” (capture a video of the moment). He walked over, grabbed my hands, and pulled me up so I was standing. All I remember thinking was, “okay, we’re taking standing photos… weird, alright.” That’s when he held my hands, looked me right in the eyes, and said “Halli Bunker…”

I have no idea what happened next. I was crying, I’m pretty sure he was talking? I just couldn’t believe what was happening! I had specifically said I didn’t want any big, flashy, photographer/videographer, family hiding in the bushes proposal, and omg did he nail it. It was just us two, on this gorgeous beach at sunset, it was romantic and it was perfect.

We sat on the beach until well after dark just freaking out about the fact that we were finally engaged and how happy we were! On top of the killer proposal, the rest of the trip was wonderful.

We got to hang out with elephants for a whole day! In matching sandals. ;)

We went to the most amazing rooftop bar at sunset the night after we got engaged where I shamelessly took #nofilter selfies because this girl was basking in the sunset, living on Cloud 9 because LOOK AT THAT BLING.