Monday, February 13, 2012

The Competition: Results Are In!!!!!!!!

Eeekk!! So the day has finally arrived. After 6 weeks, 55 entries and lots of debating, the results are in!! I am so so glad that I ran this competition. It has connected me with so many wonderful couples and I feel like I've already made lots of friends. Nearly everyday someone entered the competition which meant that nearly everyday over the past month and half I've been surprised by a real-life love story landing in my inbox. 

Every single story I received put a smile on my face for one reason or another. Many stories were full of exciting surprises like flying off to beautiful destinations, candle-filled rooms and fountains timed to go off in Las Vegas at just the right moment. Some included heartwarming words and cute or romantic moments — champagne, teddy bears & picnics. Some proposals were made in public on stages from microphones and one was even sung in front of an entire restaurant — so brave! Others were hilarious with everything going wrong, right left and centre — cars nearly crashing into trees, snow storms, people getting in the way.

Most brides-to-be said that they were completely oblivious to what was happening even though in retrospect it is all so obvious since their men were acting so strangely. A handful of women thought their boyfriends had fallen over when really he was just going down on one knee. hehe

Some proposals were elaborately planned out and very impressive. We gave so much credit to these guys who hauled picnic baskets and chairs up mountains, recorded their proposal on video at the top of an African mountain or recreated their first date. A few men went to the wonderful effort of designing the ring themselves, one lovely gentleman proposed with a beautiful brooch and another offered his lady a choice of 6 ring designs that he'd had made up for her!

Many proposals were sweet and simple. These brides-to-be all loved how their men proposed in a real-life situation that represented their relationship and down-to-earth everyday life. These proposals included champagne in the kitchen, sitting in bed on Christmas morning and walking along the top of their favourite hill.

There were two couples who got engaged on the London Eye and at least four who were in Italy (clearly a land that inspires love) - two of which were at the Trevi fountain. Now please don't assume that just because these proposals took place in the same location that they were generic or unoriginal. It was amazing to see how creative the men were, putting their own personal twists on their proposals and really making them unique. 

I feel so blessed and grateful to every single couple who entered the competition. You've shared with me one of the most special and personal moments of your life and as a result, the past month of my life has been so full of smiles and happy moments. 

It was such a challenge to judge the competition because every proposal is equally special to each couple and as I got acquainted with these couples I started to become emotionally attached and biased. I would never have been able to pick out a 'winner' on my own so I enlisted my trusty (and beautiful!) bridesmaids to help me out. We operated as a little judging panel with a scoring system and marked all the stories. It made everything so much easier because we were able to be slightly more objective about it all and discuss our reactions. This helped me deal with the emotional stress of feeling guilty about judging someone's special day, which I know was one of their happiest days ever! 

So after all this fun and challenging analysis, we have a winner!!!
I will announce the winner this evening on the blog and let me tell you...when we read their story my maid of honour literally said 'aww' (uncontrollably) 4 times — yes I counted :P. 

I can't wait to share the news! Super excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Again, thank you all soooo much for sharing and brightening my life.
Lots of Love,