Would the right ring take her breath away?
Last Christmas, I was told the only presents that Emma wanted were either a kitten or "something sparkly". I went for the kitten as I had plans for the something sparkly a little later.
I began my search for the perfect ring about eight weeks before I popped the question. Emma hadn't given me any indication of the type of ring that she wanted, which made the search somewhat difficult. All I could remember was that she didn't want anything in yellow gold. Which didn't really narrow things down . . .
So I got a beautiful ring made that I thought she'd like. And if she didn't? Well, I had a reassurance from the jeweller that I could bring it back. I had sized the ring by temporarily stealing one of her rings and blaming the cat when it turned up again. (I knew there was a reason I got the cat first.)
My plan was to propose in France, where we would be with Emma's family. Knowing that we were going abroad, the jeweller gave me a few useful tips. I was to carry the ring in my wallet so that it could be clearly seen by airport security's X-ray scan. Keeping it on your person was not the thing to do. You really don't want one of those machines going off as you stroll through and having to go down on one knee there and then. I was aiming for something a bit more romantic than the departure lounge in Dublin Airport.
Getting her father alone to ask his permission proved more difficult than I thought. I ended up having to wake him from his afternoon nap, and, thankfully, that didn't influence his decision. Trying to get Emma away from the swimming pool was another obstacle. While everyone else was praying for sunshine, I was hoping for a dull day just to get her alone. After four days, and by which time the ring was burning a hole my pocket, we woke to weather which would pass as a valid excuse for a trip into a nearby village. I took her off to St Emilion and popped the question over lunch. After all the planning, the nerves still hit me when the time came. Thankfully, I managed to get the words out, impressively she loved the ring, and better still, she said "yes".