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“How did he propose?” Real Life Engagement Stories

Find out how eight Irish couples got engaged.


beach proposal

Your Engagement 101

It’s the first question on everyone’s lips – how did he pop the question? Here’s our Real Life Engagement Stories from Real Life Brides-to-be…

Us Wedding Journal girls are self confessed nosey parkers and we want to know everything – how he planned it, where he did it, what he said. So we decided to ask our Facebook fans to spill the beans on how their better halves said our four favourite words – ‘will you marry me?’

Sarah Long and Craig Kingston, Co. Fermanagh  

“I got engaged on 30th August 2012, the night of the blue moon. I had just finished three night duties as a nurse and was on the phone to my boyfriend Craig making plans for what to do on my night off. We decided to go out for dinner and to the cinema. When Craig collected me, he said that he needed to pick up something so he had to take a drive first to collect it. So  we drove to Enniskillen airport and parked up. When I got out of the car I was greeted by a man who said: “You must be Sarah”. I then discovered that we were going on a hot air balloon ride over Enniskillen! So off we went with the sun setting and over the lakes and while in the air Craig got down on one knee and of course I said yes!”

Sarah Beasley and  Denis Murphy, Co. Cork 

“Denis and I have been best friends since we were 12 and have been together since we were 16. Now 27, we have a great life built together and our own place full of horses and dogs.  On Christmas Day post turkey dinner, I settled into a chair in the living room for the annual Christmas day snooze . Just as I was dozing off I heard my brother say: “What in God’s name is he doing?” I looked out the window and at the bottom of the drive was a horse lorry. I initially thought Denis had bought me a horse for Christmas.  Then the red letters began to appear on the lorry, from behind the hedge to spell ‘Will you marry me?’ As I walked down the driveway, my unexpectedly romantic man got down on one knee with tears  in his eyes  and the rest, as they say is history.”

Yvonne Heaney and Michael Doyle, Co. Kildare  

“On 1st November I came home from work and Michael asked if I’d like to go to dinner, so I went to get ready. I had my pyjamas on, Sudocreme on my spots and, while I let a hair mask work its magic, we sat at the kitchen table eating crackers and cheese. Out of nowhere, Michael got down on one knee and presented a stunning engagement ring – the ring my mum had left before she passed away. He knew it was the only ring I ever wanted to wear. So off to dinner we went to celebrate, met some friends and had a great night.”

Yvonne and Michael
Yvonne and Michael

Laura McDowell and Kieron McKeown, Donegal 

“In 2008 I flew to New York to teach for the Summer. When I arrived the first person I met off the bus was Kieron.  We spent the whole summer with each other. Five years, a two year old daughter, a house and a business later we decided to revisit where we met for the first time. We flew to New York for my birthday, and arrived at the camp. We went and sat in the white wooden gazebo where we spent most of our time. Kieron asked if I wanted my birthday present and took out a massive emerald leather bound book that he had specially made. The pages were filled with pictures of all our memories and places we had visited together. When I turned the last page there was a picture of the New York skyline and my perfect engagement ring. We are going to New York in May 2015 to get married at Camp Chipinaw with close friends and family.”

Laura and Kieron
Laura and Kieron

Dearbhla O’Rourke and Aidan Sloan, Co. Down 

“The day after my graduation Aidan took me and our son Ethan for a walk to a waterfall that I loved. However, on the journey there Ethan was sick in the car and we had to turn back, but decided to stop at the promenade in Newcastle for some fresh air. When we got there Aidan whisked Ethan out of the car and said “Why don’t you show mummy your new t-shirt?” I turned to look at Ethan as he took off his coat and noticed that he was not wearing the shirt I had put on him that morning, but a white t-shirt with a black and white print of a Mickey Mouse  and hot air balloon going over Niagara Falls with  a speech bubble that read: ‘Mummy, I hope you are enjoying your day…and turn around as my daddy has something he would like to ask you!’ I turned to Aidan who was down on one knee with a silver ring box, with the words ‘make me the happiest man alive’ engraved on it. After accepting, Ethan turned around and on the back of his t-shirt, it said “On the 3rd of July my daddy asked my mummy to marry him and she said yes”

Alicia Kearns and Brian McCrory from Co. Down 

“Brian and I went to New York for Christmas shopping in December. We had talked about getting married but both agreed to wait until we had a date and venue booked before getting engaged. We thought we may as well look at some engagement rings whilst in New York and whilst browsing decided to have a ring specially designed. Four days into our trip it started snowing so we took a tour on a bicycle cart around Central Park. I had joked that if  we had picked the venue beforehand,  this would have been such a romantic setting to get engaged. We walked around the park for a while and suddenly Brian stopped and proposed with the beautiful ring we got made. He informed me that he had already booked our dream wedding venue before we went to New York to surprise me.”

Treacy Devine and Jamie McGilloway, Dublin 

“I got engaged on Christmas Day 2013, although we did do it a bit backwards. We had booked our wedding in Druids Glen for 5th February 2015 and we were going to surprise our family with it, but then we heard Jamie’s sister was going to get engaged so we decided to wait. On Christmas morning we handed everyone a wedding invitation to our wedding as we had the hotel and church booked.  After all the excitement, Jamie and our son Brody went to our daughter, Sophie-Ellen’s grave to give her a Christmas present. Jamie then officially asked me to marry him and gave me an engagement ring, despite agreeing to put all of our money towards the wedding, rather than a ring. It was so romantic.”

Leona Brown and Aidan Mullen, Dublin 

“Aidan booked a trip to Paris for our tenth anniversary. I had mentioned a few times about wanting to put a padlock on the Love Lock Bridge and was impressed when Aidan revealed he had remembered a padlock and arranged for us to go there. When we arrived at the bridge I was focused on finding padlocks from celebrities that I knew had left there so, I didn’t notice that Aidan was getting a bit nervous. When we found the perfect spot for ours, Aidan starting writing ‘Aidan loves Leona 24/7’ on it. When I asked if we could put our dog’s name on the back, he said no and when he turned the padlock around to show me why, he got down on one knee to reveal ‘will you marry me?’ written on the back of it.”