Penny and Sam

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Suffolk National Nature Reserve

How We Met

Sam and I met on Halloween night while out at a local bar. He was out with his friends, and I was out with mine. We didn’t know each other, but had one mutual friend, who was flitting around talking to both of our crowds of friends all evening. I was drinking (quite a bit…) and towards the end of the night, my friend needed to stay as her partner was very, very drunk and she needed to stay with him, but I was ready to go home. So, she called out to Sam, who she had known for years, and asked him if he wouldn’t mind walking me to a taxi to make sure I got home ok. He was happy to, and walked me safely to a taxi in the early hours of the morning. He asked me to let him know that I got home safely by messaging him on Facebook… but, I passed out on the stairs while walking up to my flat.(Classy, huh?!) Anyway, the next morning, I tracked him down on Facebook and thanked him for ensuring I got home safely, and for not even attempting to take advantage of a “drunk devil bride” on Halloween. We got to talking and became really good friends, and a few months later, in March 2015, made our relationship official.

How He Asked

Sam and I absolutely love the night sky. It’s become a huge part of our relationship. We spend some of our most amazing date nights laying on the beach looking up at the stars, and many of the gifts we give each other are to do with the sky in some way.

In the past he’s bought me some beautiful gifts to symbolise our love for the sky, such as a night sky pandora charm, an acre of the moon and my very own star. Recently we’ve taken a couple of trips to the planetarium in Greenwich to see some of the spectacular shows, and about a month ago, he bought me my first proper telescope, so we can begin to look closely and take photos of all the wonderful activity that we can see in the sky at night. And, obviously, the most amazing thing of all, he organised a surprise holiday to Scotland last November, to see the northern lights.

Wednesday began like any other day.. we were both off work and had plans to do some work in the garden, but as I woke up, I heard rain falling quite heavily, so we abandoned our plans to pick up some fence posts and panels and were in no way rushing to get up and out of bed. I had a meeting in town to attend around lunchtime, so I was pottering around getting ready to go to that, and we were just saying that it’s a shame to waste the day and that we should do something fun, as we don’t have much time off together. We couldn’t decide what to do, so once I had returned from my meeting, Sam suggested just getting in the car and taking a random drive and see where we end up… which, was in no way unusual. We often have no idea where we’re going and just go wherever the car takes us. As it was still raining, we put coats, umbrellas and everything in the car, along with the camera and tripod (as we always do when we go out, just incase we find a good location spot) and set off on our journey to the unknown. …Or so I thought anyway.

The car took us to Norwich, where we spent the afternoon looking around the town and shopping. We had Thai food for dinner, which was actually quite romantic as Sam tried to teach me how to eat with chopsticks. *That is sooooooo hard to do btw!* After laughing at me attempting to eat with sticks and taking what felt like three hours to eat some noodles, we walked back to the car. The rain had gone, the cloud had cleared, and all you could see was sunshine and blue skies, so we decided to take another little drive to see what was around the area and see if there was anything nice around to photograph.

It was on this little drive that he told me that he had a confession to make, and that our “random drive out this afternoon” wasn’t exactly random. Infact, there was nothing random about any of it, and our adventure to Norwich was all part of a bigger plan. He told me to ask no questions, and not to worry about anything. …And obviously as soon as he said that, I had a million questions and I was worrying about everything… lol. We drove for around an hour, and just as the sun was setting, we came to a huge open space. Sam stopped the car and said.. “This is it.” I was obviously so confused as there was literally nothing there apart from open space and a few trees. And it was then that he told me where we were.

Sam had found a national park called Suffolk National Nature Reserve, which is a registered dark zone, near Walberswick. It’s known for it’s dark skies. You can see thousands of stars and sometimes even the Milky Way if the moon is in the correct phase. It got dark really quickly so we loaded up the Clear Outside cloud cover app.. and it wasn’t looking too good, as there was a lot of high cloud forecast until around midnight, but from 00:00 – 02:00, the forecast was clear, so we waited in the car, watching Friends and Only Fools and Horses on Netflix while waiting to see if the cloud lifted.

When you’re working against the elements, everything is so unpredictable, and we had no idea if we’d end up seeing anything at all. That’s why Sam chose to take me to Norwich, as he would have been in a good place to either travel up towards North Norfolk Coast or down to Suffolk to visit this park, depending on which place appeared to have the clearer conditions. I didn’t mind whether we saw anything or not. I just thought it was so lovely that Sam had made the effort to find the perfect place for us to stargaze, and surprised me with it the way he did.
Midnight came so we braved the cold, set up a mat and the camera and by the time we had set up, the cloud had lifted to reveal a sky beautifully lit with thousands of stars. Honestly, it was absolutely spectacular, and so beautiful. We took lots of photos, and set the camera up to take a photo of us looking up at the stars, that I wanted specifically for a canvas print for our bedroom. We got some beautiful photos, and while Sam was changing the camera settings for another photo, I took a few seconds to look up at the dark sky and twinkling stars. I was totally in awe that Sam had found this beautiful place, that we were completely alone, and that this was only for us. I sensed movement behind me. I turned around to see Sam, lit by only the light of the moon and the stars, down on one knee, holding a pretty box with a stunning diamond ring inside it.

He said some very romantic and very intimate things. I was in tears. It was all very overwhelming. He asked me to marry him, and I of course said YES!

Well.. infact, I nodded as I was too busy hysterically crying. Haha! A lot of what happened is blurred, but I remember the first phase was just repeating “Oh my God!” over and over while crying, then hysterically crying into Sam’s shoulder, then he put the ring on my finger and there was lots of shouting, screaming, swearing, jumping… forgetting completely that it was the middle of the night. Luckily we were completely alone and there wasn’t anyone around for miles.

It was such a stunning setting, and I couldn’t have wished for anything more.

We’re lucky enough to have caught a photo of the proposal. and once we got home and reviewed the photos, we saw something unbelievable… a shooting star. Right at the moment that Sam proposed.

Now if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

It was the most amazing night, and everything was so perfect. We’re so, so happy.

Over the moon, you could say. ;)

Penny's Proposal in Suffolk National Nature Reserve