Tuesday, February 14, 2012

And the Winner Is.....

The results are in and I won't keep you waiting a moment longer!
The winner of the Loveducks Photography Wedding Collection Competition 2012 is....
Drum roll please......

So here is their beautiful story (as told by Holly):

"Laurie and I got engaged half the world away in Australia. We had planned a holiday staying with family and friends but as this was my first trip to Oz had decided that it would be lovely to have a quiet weekend all to ourselves and explore the Australian outback a little. The plan was that we would drive North from Adelaide to the very gorgeous little town of Melrose, stay in a little B+B for a night and climb the famous Mt Remarkable (little did I know at this stage that Laurie was hatching a plan to propose). 

However, quite uncharacteristically for Australia in the summer time as we drove North the fog rolled in and soon we couldn’t see beyond about 10ft in front of us. Laurie is normally very laid back but as the fog and rain became worse he was strangely agitated and insisted that we should still attempt our walk up the mountain. The furthest we got was to the edge of the national park when the roads became too dangerous to drive up any further – at this point we saw a wild kangaroo bounce out of the fog an back down the mountain (Laurie still jokes that this kangaroo was his spirit guide). 

So we abandoned our plans drove back to our B+B and the gorgeous little town that very much reminded me of the Pixar film Cars. The place we stayed had been chosen by Laurie and was one of the most beautiful and unique places I have ever stayed – we had an old Blacksmith’s cottage with one big room with a huge roll top bath in the corner and a view out into the woodland at the bottom of the mountain. 

As I got ready to go out for dinner Laurie insisted that he needed to go to the local shop but wouldn’t tell me why, this would all be revealed later. Having not packed for bad weather was wearing pretty much all the clothes I had with me and a borrowed a bright yellow mac that was much too big and we headed out into the rain for some dinner. 

When we got back, I came out of the bathroom still wearing my somewhat ridiculous outfit to discover the adorable blacksmiths cottage filled with candles (the need for matches had driven Laurie to the shop earlier in the day) and Laurie sat on the bed. I walked over and as I sat down he got down on one knee and after speaking some incredibly kind thoughts and words he asked me to marry him. 

I burst into tears and very quickly said yes and at this point Laurie brought out a wrapped up box about 6 inches square. It quickly became apparent that he had been looking for an engagement ring I would like for months to no avail and had decided to have one made by the very talented people at Harriet Kelsall in Cambridge and had been on the phone to one of the designers for weeks explaining what I was like and the type of jewellery I own. The box contained six beautiful illustrations of ring designs for me to choose from (cue lots more tears!). 

What Laurie didn’t know was that when I was at university I had walked passed that shop on an almost daily basis and had dreamed of one day commissioning a piece of jewellery from there – it was a perfect coincidence. As we sat on the bed Laurie explained that this wasn’t quite the proposal he had planned, he had hoped to ask me at sunset with the expansive views of the Australian outback in the background as we walked down Mt. Remarkable but to me it was absolutely perfect. 

We are now in the thick of planning our wedding in Shropshire next year. We are getting married at beautiful ruined Ludlow Castle and then having our reception in a marquee at a rented farmhouse near by. Our plan is for the wedding to be eco friendly and very relax with a bit of a country festival vibe. There will be a big picnic, lots of homemade decorations, a cake competition and a folk band to dance to. - I absolutely can't wait!"


Yay!! We girlies judging the competition particularly loved how Laurie proposed with six ring designs for Holly to choose from and the coincidence with the jewellers was the icing on the cake! We also loved imagining how it would have felt to be in a warm candlelit cottage after a foggy rainy day with the man you love on a holiday in Australia...we thought it sounded like a film! 

I called Holly at lunch time today but it went to her voicemail. She had Laurie call me back and I told him the good news. He was excited but had to remain all composed and professional because he was at work. We decided to keep it a secret from Holly until I could tell her over the phone myself this evening. I loved how excited Laurie was to surprise Holly and see her face when she heard the news. It is so clear to me that he loves making her happy and he knows her so well. They're out for drinks and dinner tonight to celebrate Valentines Day and I just gave them a quick call to let Holly in on the secret. I think she squealed with delight lol and cried and then went speechless — how sweet is that?! Sharing the news with her was such a joyful moment.

Congratulations Holly & Laurie! I am so excited for you both and I can't wait to work with you.

PS: For all who are dying to know which ring design Holly chose, she went for #6 :) So pretty!