A Romantic Beach Proposal
Knowing how you would like to propose and pulling together all the details to make it perfect by yourself, are two very different things! When there is a story behind how you met, on a particular date, at a specific location, it would seem that the decision on where and when to propose is pretty easy. It is managing the how that can be tricky!
When J contacted me in April, he knew where and when he would like to propose to his girlfriend. West Wittering Beach in Sussex, at the end of May, holds great significance in the story of how they became a couple. Whilst he did not want to put on a big flamboyant display, he did want to mark the occasion by creating a relaxed romantic setting to celebrate at a place very special to them. He wanted to incorporate a picnic with foods from Italy and Greece as a nod to their favourite travel destinations, but wanted the setting to be a touch more luxurious than a blanket on the sand with a picnic from a hamper. He therefore needed someone to arrive ahead of them to set up and prepare their picnic. That’s where I came in!
However…it was mid-lockdown, the ring was stuck with the designer in London, the beach was closed and their anniversary weekend was fast approaching!
Not wanting to involve too many people in his plans, J and I set to work proposal planning and problem solving – trying to find a way to bring everything together, despite the factors working against us. We decided that if he were forced to change plans, it was the location that was more important than the date. Keeping in regular contact with the Beach Estate and a close eye on how lockdown restrictions might ease, it finally became clear that he would indeed be able to propose not only at the right location, but also on the right date. And as more luck would have it, the weather forecast was perfect too! With some ‘sworn to secrecy’ help from a family member, the ring was safely transported from the designer, to J and everything was in place.
So, on Saturday 30th May, just 3 days after the beach re-opened, I arrived at West Wittering beach to set everything up, ready for their early evening arrival. Using pieces from the Santorini range of Bamboo furniture from The W Collection, a sumptuous pile of cushions and oodles of candle lanterns and tea lights, I created a relaxed romantic setting for their gourmet beach picnic.
The Set up
We planned to frame the set up with a canopy of flowing fabrics, but sadly the wind had other ideas! The roof fabric acted as a sail, pulling the entire frame out of the sand and blowing it down the beach…twice! I had to admit defeat with the roof but remained determined to frame the setting at least with some side fabric! We ended up tying the fabric to the frame with cable ties and weighing down the frame with guy ropes tied to drift wood! Wedding planners are nothing if not problem solvers! It wasn’t perfect – something that wedding planners are not fans of – but everything stayed in place and the scene was set.
I laid out a platter of Italian Antipasto and Greek Mezze, with a selection of meats, cheeses, olives, crackers, dips and fruits. A beautiful luxury box of sweet treats was provided by Anna Lewis Luxury Cakes including Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, Artisan Chocolate Brownies, Blueberry Meringues, Salted Caramel Macarons and Vanilla Sugar Biscuits
The table was very simply decorated with a soft grey chiffon runner, flickering tea lights and sweet peas in glass bottles weighed down with sand. Wicker and glass candle lanterns and more tea lights adorned the surrounding sand.
J & R arrived by boat and anchored just a short walk away from the picnic spot. As they headed towards the laid out picnic between a frame of flowing white fabric, it soon became clear to R that something was going on!
The story of how the day unfolded from there is not mine to tell, other than to say it involved a question, champagne and a beautiful ring!
Their engagement was not extravagant or over the top. It was not a grand gesture in front of lots of people. It was about two people, very much in love, sharing a very special moment at a place and time that was, and is now even more, firmly cemented in their story.
With special thanks to J for inviting me to help him with his lovely proposal plan. And to both he and R for allowing me to take a few photographs and share in their celebrations as a newly engaged couple. Huge Congratulations to you both.
Without the usual team of suppliers on hand, I also need to thank my Father for stepping in to help on the day! Without his help transporting everything up the beach and securing the frame from blowing away, the result would have been very different!
If you are planning to pop the question to your partner but are not quite sure how to pull everything together by yourself, I’d love to hear your ideas and help you plan the perfect romantic proposal, unique to your story as a couple. For more details on how I can help, have a browse through our proposal planning services or call me to have a chat.
Planning, Design & Styling (& Photography)- The W Studio
Furniture & Props – The W Collection
Luxury sweet treats – Anna Lewis Luxury Cakes