Sophie and Benjamin

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How We Met

Benny- a New Zealander, was in Sydney, Australia for one day for a friends wedding. He met up with another friend after the wedding who he always saw when he was in Sydney, and seeing as this was such a short one day trip, and his friend had a new beau she wanted him to meet and approve of- they arranged to meet up in a bar for a drink all together that night.

Maddie, the friend he was meeting, along with Ash, her boyfriend- invited me along. She wasn’t trying to set us up, she just knew that we may get along and thought it would be fun for us to all hang out. Reluctant, but never one to turn down a random tequila cocktail on a Saturday night I went along.

I thought Benny was cute- he was friendly, and he had kind eyes. However truly, all we did was chat casually from one end of the table to another. However, after the drinks he left, went to the airport and went back to New Zealand. Except I didn’t quite forget him. I don’t know what it was- maybe just the concept that we seemed somewhat like minded.

Maybe I was just feeling free and open minded in general, but whatever it was. four days later..on a crazy whim- I booked tickets to New Zealand. It wasn’t to specifically see him, I also booked a hostel and hire car- but I did instantly message Benny to say that I’d be in town and asked if he had any tips.

Knowing that only someone as wild as him and someone who loved travelling as much as he did would book a last minute ticket to another country- Benny was instantly all in. To be honest from the message where I said I’d booked a flight- we never stopped talking a day since then. I flew to NZ, and on my final day we hung out from breakfast until I got on my flight back at 3am that night.

Within 4 weeks Benny had literally packed up his life and had moved to Australia for me. And to further this journey- barely weeks after that both of us decided they had well and truly met their match, something so special and so rare- we had found our  soul mate- and would continue this journey of life hand in hand wherever it took us.

How He Asked

Benny had been planning the proposal for months. I was bringing him home to Ireland from Australia to meet my family. They knew it was serious, I had told them. And I knew Benny had been skypeing my dad and had stayed in good communication with him throughout the 7 months we had been dating.

On the way to Ireland we stopped for a week long trip in New York. I wasn’t expecting the proposal there, and especially not within 24 hours of our arrival in the USA. To confirm my unsuspecting stance- when we met the friends we were staying with in NYC they had me entirely convinced they had never spoken to Benny before and didn’t know of any of his plans at all.

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Alas, this turned out to be a giant set up and they all were clued in for weeks on all of his plans and schemes. Benny snuck out in the middle of that night, and met up with a local artist who he had arranged to collect a neon sign from. He set up a sign, lights, glitter, balloons, our favourite jazz guitarists and gourmet doughnuts all to greet me at sunrise on a rooftop overlooking the whole city.

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I got woken up at 5am with a card and a heart shaped balloon from one of the friends we were staying with. Shocked, sleepy and confused I got ready and followed these two favourites of mine to a random building nearby- in the freezing cold and pitch black.

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I knew something was up, as you would- but I wasn’t quite coherent enough to put pieces together- especially combined with their convincing lies of having not known Benny at all. We all went up to the rooftop and through the door I heard the music.

I was familiar with it- Benny and I had listened to Sam, the very guy playing in NYC at sunrise, many many times together. I was greeted by his beautiful jazz music and the love of my life,  Benny, standing in front of a neon sign stating “always” and the most beautiful set up of lights and glitter ever- so encompassing all that I truly love- glitter and magic.

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I burst into tears- this was really happening now. Benny poured out his heart with some pre prepared words, and in a very emotional climax, got down on his knee and asked me to be his wildflower, his forever. I, still bawling my eyes out, said a very enthusiastic yes.

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Benny had previously made a denim jacket with sequin patches and the word “Forever” on the back- as well as arranging for some smoke canons to be there for post engagement photos. I put this on and embraced every emotional moment this perfect sunrise had to offer.

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The morning resumed with celebrations with the loved friends around, phoning family, and eating the doughnuts which Benny had delivered- all as the sun rose over the NYC skyline.

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I could never have pictured a more perfect proposal. Similarly- Benny later told me how he got stuck on the roof setting up after having the keys on the wrong side of the door ALL NIGHT LONG in the freezing NYC cold- so my compassion and depth of the commitment of him to me was even more exemplified and beautiful.

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Special Thanks

Zachary McQuade
Photographer
Sam Blakelock | 
Guitarist