Marina and Andy

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal

How We Met

Andy was the big brother I always had a crush on. His little sister, Janine, was my very dear and close friend throughout High School. I never acted on or even alluded to my crush on my friends’ brother, though in hindsight, she may have caught on after I decidedly disliked every single girlfriend he ever brought home.

Fast forward to graduation, Andy left for architecture school in Toronto, and I pursued communications in Vancouver. During my first Christmas break back in Edmonton, my friend Briana (who is also conveniently Andy’s cousin) invited my friend Taryn and I out for a drink to meet her new boyfriend. To my surprise and excitement, Andy was there.

During that night, Andy and I chatted for a little bit as I was considering moving to Toronto (I always wanted to move there) but to my disappointment, he never asked for my number. I went back to Vancouver, and he went back to Toronto.

BUT a few days later, he messaged me on Facebook! And in true architect fashion, instead of striking up a conversation about anything else (like literally, anything at all), Andy sent me floor plans for the dorm rooms in Ryerson. I have no idea how Andy got said floor plans, but I’m happy that he did and that we finally were able to chat.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal

This was in January, and by May (my birthday) it seemed like our long distance “casual” conversations were starting to turn into more than just that. So for my birthday, Andy flew into Vancouver to surprise me and to take me on a real “first date”.

Following that first trip Andy made to Vancouver, was three more years of back and forth between Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton (including lots of tears). Finally, I moved to #thesix.

We lived in Toronto for two and a half years while Andy finished school, and then moved back home to Edmonton and bought our first house together.

Marina's Proposal in Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal

How He Asked

In July, Andy and I decided to head to Portugal for two weeks. I am a massive book nerd, I’m talking I read-one-book-per-week kind of book nerd. I also work in social media for the local library because I am so obsessed with literature. So of course, while I was excited to see Portugal in its entirety, my #1 goal while in Porto was to visit one of the world’s most beautiful book stores, Livraria Lello in Porto.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal

Andy promised he would take me the second day that we were there and I couldn’t sleep at night waiting to embrace my inner nerd the following day. I was way too excited the entire way there, and I couldn’t help but notice that Andy’s hand was shaking too and I thought to myself “Andy is as equally excited to see this book store as me!!” (I was wrong. Andy’s shaking had very little to do with the book store and very much to do with a certain level of nervousness he was feeling).

When we got there I felt my jaw visibly open and had never felt so enamored by a building before. I was being a huge weirdo and touching the book shelves, opening books, just relishing in the glorious paper-filled place. Andy was trying so hard to rush me upstairs and I didn’t understand why, and actually got a little annoyed (whoops) but finally, he successfully got me up the stairs to look at “some other cool books”.

When up there, he led me into the food section, which I thought was a joke at my cooking abilities, and said to me “hey, look at this one”. I honestly didn’t pay any attention to him because I thought he was joking around, but I finally looked over and he was holding the cutest little book with two illustrated versions of us on the cover with the title, “Reasons Why I Love You”.

Andy always does cute little romantic things like this, and I thought he was just doing something sweet since I was so excited to be in that space. But I was wrong. I read through the book, and it was filled with all of my favourite memories and inside jokes we’ve had together. Everything that we’ve done in the past six years was inside 35, perfectly illustrated pages. My best friend is an amazingly talented illustrator, and he had asked her to create the book for us.

Finally, I got to the end and it said “Will You Marry Me”. I looked up, in complete shock, and there was Andy, on one knee, waiting for my answer.

I said “OBVIOUSLY”. He then pointed me in the photographers direction, who I was completely oblivious to the entire time. I’m so thankful he could capture such an authentic and important moment between us, and I’m eternally grateful I was finally able to get my secret crush.

Oh, and if you’re curious, Andy’s sister and I are still great friends. When we first started talking, I had sent her this message:

To which I have now apologized. I lied. I did want to marry her brother.

Special Thanks

Luis Efigenio
Photographer
Hayley Wright
Illustrated Proposal Book