Luke and I had discussed marriage a few times over the years, and we both knew it would happen eventually. However, I wanted to leave it completely up to him on when we would get engaged.
I had mentioned to him more than once that I did not want him spending crazy amounts of money on a ring. I’m not a big jewelry person, and I already had the ring I wanted. When my grandparents celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary, my Poppy gave my Nanny a new set of rings. A few years after Poppy died, Nanny gave the set to my mom. My mom wore it for years. Then, in 2015 my Mom handed the set down to me once she received her own from my now-step-dad. So, I had a ring that meant a lot to me, and I wore it everyday for quite awhile (just not on the proper finger). Then, around Halloween 2016 while we were cleaning out some pumpkins I took my ring off so it wouldn’t get covered in pumpkin guts, and placed it into a little dish we had bought in the Dominican a few years back. Then, I just left it sitting on our kitchen island. I thought about it a few times, and how I should put it back on, but I never did.
I had a bit of a suspicion that it would happen in Disney, since it just felt like us, but I had no idea when or how or even which trip it would happen on (we had plans in place to go to both Florida and California in January 2017, and we knew we’d be going back to Florida in January 2018). Before leaving work for Christmas break in December 2016 one of my co-workers was joking with me, “maybe we’ll both come back with new rings on our fingers!” (we were both taking the first two weeks of January off for vacation – I was heading to Florida for our Disney trip and he was off to Hawaii for his wedding). I laughed, but it was something I had considered…
As our trip went on, I pushed the idea farther into the back of my mind – it wasn’t going to happen on this trip. Then, on the second last day of our trip, it happened. We were walking along the pathway between Africa and Asia at Animal Kingdom, when Luke suggested we “go down here! Let’s check it out!”. I was not being very co-operative, I was dealing with a major psoriasis flare up (which I wasn’t diagnosed with for another month), and I was cranky because of my sore skin. I think I said something along the lines of “ugh, why?! There’s nothing down there!”, but I agreed because I love him. A photopass photographer was actually walking down ahead of us, just about to start his shift, so Luke suggested we get some pictures taken. I was so done with pictures at that point – I hadn’t been able to brush my hair in a few days due to the painful skin on my scalp, I was wearing a scarf to hide the rash on my neck (which I ended up on antibiotics for less than a week later), and I was tired (we were already a week deep in our trip). But, again, I agreed – after all, Luke agreed to the hundreds of other Photopass pictures I’d already made him take…
So, we got some cute pictures of the back-side of the Tree of Life. Luke was acting kind of weird, then he reached into his pocket, pulled something out and asked me if we should get more pictures taken with “these” and held out a Just Engaged button.
According to everything we’ve read, these buttons have been discontinued, and Luke knew that ahead of time. So he went on eBay and actually bought a set of them months and months prior to our trip (of course I didn’t find this out until afterwards).
Once my brain comprehended what was happening, Luke dropped to one knee and pulled out his Winnipeg Jets lanyard which had my grandmother’s ring attached – he had managed to get it out of the house and all the way to Florida without me noticing!
Of course I said yes! The Photopass Photographer had quickly realized what was happening, and had us move over slightly due to the sun affecting his photos. So, we don’t have the Tree in the background, but there’s also no glaring sun.
He took at least 20 pictures for us before being the first to congratulate us. Of course, I started checking my MDE app like crazy, waiting for the pictures to show up – and of course they hadn’t shown up 2 hours later, so we actually had to go to the Photopass store by the front gate at Animal Kingdom – we NEEDED those pictures haha. Of course once we explained to the cast members working at the Photopass store, they were so excited and were able to find out pictures right away. They even let us pick one of our favourites and they printed it off for us as a 5×7 – so nice!
I’m so happy Luke proposed in front of a photographer who was able to capture the entire thing <3