Choosing the perfect engagement ring

Choosing the perfect engagement ring

Engagement ringby Peter Minkoff

Once you have chosen your partner and decided to commit for the rest of your life, you might think you have made the most difficult decision ever. Although it is the most important decision, it is definitely not the most difficult one. That title belongs to choosing the perfect ring. So, whether you are shopping alone or taking your bride-to-be with you, there are some tips that will make choosing the bespoke ring easier.

Do your research

Before you go shopping for an engagement ring, do your research. Walking into a store full of diamonds in different shapes and sizes can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you are doing it for the first time. That is why it is important to try to learn everything you can about diamonds before you start searching for the perfect ring. Another option would be to get it tailor made for your beloved. The Internet is an amazing source of information, but you already know that since you are reading this article. Start browsing the Web, looking for rings that both you and your fiancée find interesting. Once you gather enough images of all the rings you like, try to see whether they have something in common. If all of the rings you like share a common feature, that is your perfect starting point.

Go for a custom design

Marilyn said it – Diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend! If you really want to find the perfect ring for your fiancée, have it custom made for her. When making a custom engagement ring you need to find a stone and a setting your fiancée will like and have it turned into a perfect ring. Often, you will find rings with beautiful settings or beautiful stones but they will seldom be combined. So, if you want to make sure that your fiancée will wear it with pleasure and pride, better go with a custom design. Engagement rings are very important in Australia, and you can find some of the most beautiful custom engagement rings in Melbourne. Engagement rings are very important in Australia and New Zealand, and here you can find some of the most beautiful custom engagement rings in Melbourne.

Learn the four Cs

The four Cs – color, clarity, cut and carat – are what every man going on a hunt for the perfect engagement ring must learn. The color is referring to the colorlessness of a diamond. Colorless diamonds are the most beautiful and the most valued. If you are looking for a good price you can also opt for a diamond that is not entirely colorless – they are still beautiful but also cost less.

The clarity of a diamond is actually referring to the number of its imperfections. Similar to the color, the most valued ones are flawless diamonds, but you can find nearly flawless diamonds for a good price. These diamonds do have some flaws, but they are not visible to the naked eye.

The cut of a diamond doesn’t refer to its shape, but to the skill with which it was cut and how that affects its sparkle. The greater the skill of the person cutting the diamond – the greater the brilliance.

Carat, on the other hand, is definitely something you have heard of even if you have never looked for a diamond before. It refers to the weight of the diamond. Although it might seem that bigger is better, taste is what matters the most. Think about your fiancée’s style when you are deciding about the size – not every girl likes the same thing.

Choose the shape and the setting

Diamonds come in all kinds of shapes and you should definitely have something in mind before you step inside a store. Consider your fiancée’s style of jewelry when choosing the ring. When choosing the setting think about the metal and the style that will present the stone in the best possible way. Custom diamond engagement ring designers will offer invaluable insight when it comes to that choice.

 

Top 10 places to propose

Top 10 places to propose

Top 10 places to proposeTop 10 places to propose

1. Memories at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

Share a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower in one the world’s most romantic cities, like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. This famous landmark offers incredible views by day or night, making it truly an ideal spot to capture the moment.

2. Picnic in Central Park, New York

Pack a gourmet picnic lunch and take a stroll through Central Park with your partner. Pick a quiet spot to pop the big question, or if you’d like to create a scene from a movie, drop down on one knee at the famous Bethesda Fountain. The fountain is one of the largest fountains in New York and has appeared in more movies than any other monument in the park.

3. Romance in a gondola, Venice

Serenade your partner with sweet love songs in a traditional gondola along the canals in Venice. Italy has a reputation for being romantic and nothing sets the scene better than a backdrop of grand architecture, aromas of Italian cuisine and melodies sung by real Italians.

4. On the beach or in the air, The Whitsundays

For ultimate privacy, escape to Whitsunday Island and walk hand-in-hand along the incredibly secluded stretch of sand at Whitehaven Beach. At the northern end of the beach there is a cove, where the tide shifts the sand to create a fusion of colours. Or book a seaplane flight over Heart Reef, a heart shaped island in the middle of the ocean.

5. Sailing in a yacht, Greek Islands

Pack a chilled bottle of champagne and sail around the Greek Islands aboard a yacht. You can organise a private skipper to navigate a path, while you and your lovebird enjoy quality time together on the water under the sun.

6. Sunset in an African game reserve, Tanzania

Follow the lead of Prince William by asking your princess to marry you at an African lodge. Adventurous types can take their proposal one step further and organise a game safari through the plains to spot the big five in the wild and enjoy the serenity of nature.

Top 10 places to propose7. Sunrise at the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo

Wake up early and take your partner to a vantage point to see the sun rise over the Pyramids of Giza. The pyramids are famous for being one of the original Seven Wonders of the World and the most visited tourist attraction in Cairo. Egypt has sun all year round, but the best time to visit is from October to May.

8. In a coloured reef, Fiji

Plunge into the azure waters off the coast of Fiji on a deep sea diving or snorkelling adventure with your loved one, and then surprise them with a lovely ring when you rise to the surface. The coloured coral and reef fish make a beautiful backdrop for a proposal.

9. Helicopter flight over Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Discover glacier country from above in a helicopter flight, where you’ll enjoy stunning views of surrounding farms and NZ’s highest peaks, including Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Or, for a grounded experience, enjoy a guided glacier walk on Fox or Franz Josef Glacier.

10. Harbour and city views, Sydney

Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, enjoy a candlelit dinner at Circular Quay or go for a stroll at Darling Harbour. The vibrant city of Sydney offers plenty of romantic options and great views of our very own Aussie landmarks.

Start planning your romantic getaway and proposal ♥

 

Top 10 places to propose

Top 10 places to propose

Top 10 places to propose

1. Memories at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

Share a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower in one the world’s most romantic cities, like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. This famous landmark offers incredible views by day or night, making it truly an ideal spot to capture the moment.

Top 10 places to propose2. Picnic in Central Park, New York

Pack a gourmet picnic lunch and take a stroll through Central Park with your partner. Pick a quiet spot to pop the big question, or if you’d like to create a scene from a movie, drop down on one knee at the famous Bethesda Fountain. The fountain is one of the largest fountains in New York and has appeared in more movies than any other monument in the park.

3. Romance in a gondola, Venice

Serenade your partner with sweet love songs in a traditional gondola along the canals in Venice. Italy has a reputation for being romantic and nothing sets the scene better than a backdrop of\ grand architecture, aromas of Italian cuisine and\ melodies sung by real Italians.

4. On the beach or in the air, The Whitsundays

For ultimate privacy, escape to Whitsunday Island and walk hand-in-hand along the incredibly secluded stretch of sand at Whitehaven Beach. At the northern end of the beach there is a cove, where the tide shifts the sand to create a fusion of colours. Or book a seaplane flight over Heart Reef, a heart shaped island in the middle of the ocean.

5. Sailing in a yacht, Greek Islands

Pack a chilled bottle of champagne and sail around the Greek Islands aboard a yacht. You can organise a private skipper to navigate a path, while you and your lovebird enjoy quality time together on the water under the sun.

Top 10 places to propose6. Sunset in an African game reserve, Tanzania

Follow the lead of Prince William by asking your princess to marry you at an African lodge. Adventurous types can take their proposal one step further and organise a game safari through the plains to spot the big five in the wild and enjoy the serenity of nature.

7. Sunrise at the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo

Wake up early and take your partner to a vantage point to see the sun rise over the Pyramids of Giza. The pyramids are famous for being one of the original Seven Wonders of the World and the most visited tourist attraction in Cairo. Egypt has sun all year round, but the best time to visit is from October to May.

8. In a coloured reef, Fiji

Plunge into the azure waters off the coast of Fiji on a deep sea diving or snorkelling adventure with your loved one, and then surprise them with a lovely ring when you rise to the surface. The coloured coral and reef fish make a beautiful backdrop for a proposal.

9. Helicopter flight over Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Discover glacier country from above in a helicopter flight, where you’ll enjoy stunning views of surrounding farms and NZ’s highest peaks, including Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Or, for a grounded experience, enjoy a guided glacier walk on Fox or Franz Josef Glacier.

10. Harbour and city views, Sydney

Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, enjoy a candlelit dinner at Circular Quay or go for a stroll at Darling Harbour. The vibrant city of Sydney offers plenty of romantic options and great views of our very own Aussie landmarks.

Start planning your romantic getaway ♥

Titanium: Beauty in Strength

Titanium: Beauty in Strength

Titanium: Beauty in Strength

Titanium: Beauty in StrengthIn years gone by, couples tended to buy their engagement ring and two wedding bands as a set, sometimes even including an eternity ring in the mix.

More often than not, the engagement ring was a solitaire of varying size, and the bands were usually fairly plain and made of yellow gold. Things are very different today. Individuality is the key to current trends, with many opting for custom designs and there’s a big push for white metals such as platinum, white gold, palladium and titanium.

Your wedding band should be a reflection of you, much as your engagement ring should. It’s not a given to have a matching his and hers set, and there’s no rule that says you can’t each have different metals or stones.

Titanium has long proved it’s worth in terms of durability and strength, having the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. Being tough doesn’t mean it has to be unattractive, as I discovered with the range at Artifact.

It has a similar colour to platinum, a smokey grey that’s very on-trend. It blends well with the addition of other metals and stones so that your individuality can shine through. I also love that it’s hypo-allergenic!

Something that really attracted my attention was the ability to anodise the metal to create a range of patterns that would be nigh impossible with most other metals. Let’s say your man fancies a ring with a difference, but perhaps works with his hands all day and doesn’t want to risk losing an inset diamond. The team at

Artifact can create beautiful patterns directly on the metal, simply by heating it. Shades of blue, purple and black can be achieved.

Two-toned bands are very current, and this can be achieved in titanium, simply through heating. There’s no need for an inlay, although this can be done if it’s what you like!

Whether you prefer a polished, brushed, satin or matt look, it can be achieved in titanium … or you could opt for a combination of, say, polished and matt which will give you a point of difference without any actual colour or the addition of stones.

Artifact can also machine-engrave patterns onto your ring and these can be to your specific design – a family crest, for example.

Your wedding date or names can also be engraved inside the bands.

For something truly different, check out what Ted and his team are doing with Mokume and Damascus techniques! Mokume was developed by Japanese masters in the 17th Century. Thin layers of metals are fused together and manipulated to create patterns that resemble the grain of wood. Damascus involves fusing multiple layers of two or more steel alloys to make a solid piece which is then twisted, ground and manipulated to form patterns. If it’s individuality you’re after, this might be for you as no two pieces can ever be the same!

While based in Dunedin, Ted’s database of happy customers crosses international boundaries. He’s quite adept at working with clients who can’t get in to see him in person, so don’t let that put you off.

Head to the website, have a look around, ask any questions that haven’t already been answered … then sit back and wait for the ooh’s and aah’s when you sport a ring that’s truly unique, truly you! ♥

www.artifact.co.nz

Wilshi … or won’t she? Proposal rings

Wilshi … or won’t she? Proposal rings

Wilshi … or won’t she? Proposal ringsWilshi … or won’t she?

A proposal ring is quite different from an engagement ring. It saves guys having to spend hours choosing a ring that may not be quite what she wants or perhaps doesn’t fit properly.

I know some of you will find the idea a little off-putting, but even celebrities are choosing Wilshi Proposal Rings to avoid unnecessary drama … heaven help you if you pick the wrong style or colour stone! Even Dan Carter used one when he proposed to Honor!

A “Wilshi Proposal Ring” relieves the pressure to pick a rock that matches the love and devotion that culminates in a marriage proposal. It allows you both the time to plan your ring purchase together, perhaps having something made especially for you!

Guys love the solution to their proposal dilemma; girls love the look.

The Wilshi Proposal Ring comes in a number of designs. From tear tabs and sea shells to classic and simple, they’re all engraved with the key words “Will You Marry Me”.

Whichever style you choose, we recommend you still verbalise the question, preferably on bended knee.

Purchase your Wilshi ring from Steve Haywood and Steve will deduct the cost of the Wilshi ring from your engagement and wedding ring order. Steve is a master jeweller who loves nothing better than working with you to create stunning words of art that you can truly call your own! ♥

www.wilshi.com

www.masterjeweller.co.nz

A heart-stopping proposal

A heart-stopping proposal

A heart-stopping proposal

A heart-stopping proposalStuck for a novel way of proposing to your loved one? Why not consider something that involves a little rush of blood to the head, a few moments of intense heart pumping and perhaps even a sweaty palm or two?

We’re talking skydiving, of course! The team at NZONE Skydive have helped a few proposals get underway and are rather adept at setting the scene for your big moment.

A heart-stopping proposalPicture this …. You book in a tandem jump for each of you, either in Queenstown or Rotorua. On the day of the jump, you’ll be flown unsuspectingly up to 15,000ft.

You’ll witness spectacular scenery that both jump locations are renowned for, before taking that leap of faith and plummeting earthwards at some 200kph.

As if that’s not enough to set pulses racing and hearts beating furiously, on nearing the landing zone, your loved one will spot a large banner on the ground. The expert jumpmasters will have them landing as close to it as humanly possible – if not ON it!

That’s your cue to pop the ring out of your pocket, get down on bended knee and ask the big question.

Having said “I did it” in regards to that leap from the aeroplane, there’s almost no chance of your not getting an “I do” from your partner!

A freefall photographer can jump with you, camera or video attached, so you’ll have a record of the entire exciting event and you’ll be able to share the whole thing online with friends and family.♥

www.nzone.biz

Throwing an Engagement Party

Throwing an Engagement Party

Throwing an Engagement Party

By Erika Unbehaun

Throwing an Engagement PartyWhat better way to show off your gorgeous new fiancé than with an engagement party! They’re fun, social, and give you an opportunity to introduce your other half to your friends and family, and to showcase your personal style. The engagement party should happen within a few months of the proposal as the event is the official announcement of the engagement. In fact, some couples keep the news a surprise and wait until the engagement party to make the announcement!

There are no set rules when it comes to hosting an engagement party. Many couples are throwing their own parties, just as they are their weddings, but others are following a more traditional path having parents or relatives play host. Whoever does offer to be host will need to check with both the bride and groom to-be and their respective parents just to ensure they weren’t planning something. If the families live in different locations, you may be in for two parties; one hosted by the bride’s family and one by the groom’s!

Most engagement parties happen close to the couple’s home or in the hometown of one of their parents. Whichever venue you choose, hold true to your style and budget – but don’t let the engagement party compete with the wedding that lies ahead! Many couples rent out a room in their favourite restaurant or hotel, but the options are endless.

You should be surrounded by your closest family and friends at your engagement party. While these affairs are traditionally intimate celebrations, the guest list is up to you and can be anywhere from 5-500 people. However, you must note that EVERYONE invited to your engagement party MUST receive an invitation to your wedding! People who are invited to an engagement party will think they are close enough to the couple to receive a wedding invitation somewhere down the line.

As with your wedding, you need to decide what kind of party you’d like to host. Do you want it to be formal, informal, big or small? Then you should decide on a theme – a cocktail reception with drinks and canapés, an outdoor BBQ, a 3-course meal; do you want to rent a log cabin in the mountains, or do you envision something completely different? You name it, it’s yours!

Come up with a theme or colour scheme and tie this into the flowers, dessert, stationery and any other décor you may have. Invitations should be sent out three to four weeks in advance. Your host could phone the guests, but a printed invite will be warmly received.

As long as you provide your guests with food and beverages, no real disasters are likely to strike. If you plan on having a sit down dinner at your wedding, you may want to have canapés or a buffet at your engagement party just to mix things up. If you opt for a sit down meal, it’s a good idea to have assigned seating so guests don’t argue over who sits where. It’s also a good idea to have separate washrooms for the men and women.

Try to have some background music whether it’s a live band or an iPod plugged into a computer. Music is the soul of an event so plan your playlist around the event theme and your guest list. As for speeches and toasts, the father of the bride should be prepared to say a few words about his daughter’s engagement.

Traditionally gifts are not given at engagement parties; however, times are changing and many guests bring a gift regardless of their relationship to the couple. If you don’t want a gift, have your host put “no gifts, best wishes only” on the invitation. If someone does bring you a gift, do not open it at the party as you will embarrass those who didn’t!

Lastly, think about the event from your guests’ perspective. Will they need a place to hang their coat? Where can they put gifts? Where can they park their car?

Congratulations on your engagement. Once you’ve got this party out of the way, there’s an even more important one to begin organising! ♥

Infinite Proposal Possibilities…

Infinite Proposal Possibilities…

Infinite Proposal Possibilities…

Infinite Proposal Possibilities…Your Wedding Day may seem but a faraway fantasy for those who are yet to pop or be posed the ultimate question. Alleviating the pressure of creating, concealing and then delivering an extraordinary marriage proposal, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas presents unexpected scenarios that are luxuriously surprising, cleverly clandestine and truly one of a kind, in the most romantic destinations on earth.

Mastermind a legendary proposition at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa in northern Thailand, commencing with a unique arrival experience by boat and concluding with a baby elephant ring presentation. A traditional welcome aboard a longtail boat takes you along the Mekong River towards a landmark golden Buddha before you enjoy a gentle elephant trek through 160 acres of vivid jungle and countryside. As sunset descends, enjoy a romantic Dine by Design in any number of intimate settings; from a secluded terrace to a moonlit hilltop with three country views, or a picturesque rice paddy field with baby elephant companions. Phil, the baby elephant, will assist in the romantic events of the evening by doing his best to offer an elegant bouquet of flowers in his trunk or a bow-tied gift box around his neck with the engagement ring hidden inside. All that remains is to pop the question!

At Anantara Kihavah Villas, unforgettable Maldivian impressions invite a proposal that seems exceptional even in the world’s greatest paradise. Signature dining at Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky is a unique under and over water gastronomic concept featuring four remarkable venues. Descend to Sea’s secretive depths, where a sole table awaits you in the underwater restaurant, and only a circular glass wall separates you from the mesmerising marine life of the Indian Ocean. With graceful sea creatures as an audience, present the engagement ring in a coconut shell filled with Maldivian sand and a beautiful coral from the beach.

In Thailand, swim into a hidden world reminiscent of the film “The Beach” and emerge into an epic engagement scene; not courtesy of an underwater proposal, but with an offer of marriage pronounced on hidden sands that can only be reached through a mysterious swim-through cave. At Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, just an hour south of Krabi in Thailand, the Andaman’s innocent beauty reveals authentic gem islands. Set off bright and early across the Andaman Sea, heading for the resort’s private Koh Kradan island beach club. At the Emerald Cave the crew will drop anchor alongside beautiful sheer cliffs. Jump overboard into warm, clear turquoise waters and follow the guide as he shows the way into the cave; as it becomes a dark channel, torches are turned on to illuminate the mysterious journey. Swim towards the daylight where a tropical beach is enclosed by a vertical cliff face. Here an exclusive champagne picnic is laid out on the golden sand, while an abundance of natural hiding places provides endless ideas for where the engagement ring can be concealed.

The greatest proposals come out of the blue. Sell her on a holiday in Thailand then promise her the world! ♥

www.anantara.com

Best Proposal Destinations

Best Proposal Destinations

proposalBEST PROPOSAL DESTINATIONS

ASKING YOUR PARTNER TO MARRY YOU IS ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE, YET ANXIOUS TIMES IN YOUR LIFE, SO YOU WANT TO BE SURE YOU HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE TO GIVE THE OCCASION THE ULTIMATE ‘WOW’ FACTOR.

Since it’s become quite popular to get engaged while on a holiday, we’ve provided ten of the most popular proposal destinations to help lovebirds decide on the perfect backdrop for that big moment.

  1. Share a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower in one the world’s most romantic cities, just like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. This famous landmark offers incredible views by day or night, making it truly an ideal spot to capture the moment.proposal
  2. Pack a gourmet picnic lunch, take a stroll through Central Park in New York City with your partner and pick a quiet spot to pop the big question. Otherwise, if you’d like to recreate a scene from a movie, drop down on one knee at the famous Bethesda Fountain. It’s one of the largest in New York and has appeared in more films than any other monument in the park.
  3. Serenade you partner with sweet love songs in a traditional gondola along the canals of Venice. Italy has a reputation for being romantic, and nothing sets the scene better than a backdrop of grand architecture, aromas of Italian cuisine and melodies sung by real Italians.
  4. proposalFor ultimate privacy, escape to Whitsunday Island and walk hand-in-hand along the incredibly secluded stretch of sand at Whitehaven Beach. At the northern end of the beach you’ll discover a cove where the tide shifts the sand to create a fusion of colours.
  5. Pack a chilled bottle of champagne and sail around the Greek Islands aboard a yacht. You can organise a private skipper to navigate a path, while you and your lovebird enjoy quality time together on the cerulean water beneath an equally azure sky.
  6. Follow the lead of Prince William by asking your princess to marry you at an African lodge. Adventurous types can take their proposal one step further by organising a game safari through the Tanzanian plains to spot the big five in the wild and enjoy the serenity of nature.proposal
  7. Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, enjoy a candlelit dinner at Circular Quay or go for a stroll at Darling Harbour. The vibrant city of Sydney offers plenty of romantic options and great views of well-known landmarks.
  8. Wake up early in Cairo and take your partner to a vantage point to see the sun rise over the Pyramids of Giza. One of the original Seven Wonders of the World, they’re the most visited tourist attraction in Cairo. Egypt has sun all year round, but the best time to visit is from October to May.
  9. proposalPlunge into the crystal clear waters off the coast of Fiji on a deep sea diving or snorkelling adventure with your loved one, and then surprise them with a lovely ring when you rise to the surface. The coloured coral and reef fish make a beautiful backdrop for a proposal.
  10. Discover New Zealand’s glacier country from above in a helicopter flight, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of New Zealand’s highest peaks, including Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Or, for a grounded experience, enjoy a guided glacier walk on Fox or Franz Josef Glacier.

    Take off on your very own romantic getaway. When deciding on how and where to proposalpop the question, it’s best to consider what is meaningful to both of you. Getting engaged is a special time, and the story behind it is one that will be repeated several times over, so you want to be sure that the location is unique and personal.

Lights, Camera, Action

Lights, Camera, Action

lights, camera, actionLIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

I AM 26 YEARS OLD FROM HAMILTON AND HAVE BEEN WITH MY PARTNER, ALEXANDER KANE, FIVE YEARS. WE HAVE A 2.5 YEAR OLD AND AN 18-MONTH OLD DAUGHTER. IN 2011, I WON A COMPETITION THROUGH SACRIFICE. LOVE. BEAUTY, AN ONLINE NON-PROFIT ORGANISATION WHO AIM TO CELEBRATE AND MOTIVATE MOTHERS. THEIR LATEST COMPETITION WAS ‘MORE THAN A MOMMA’ OFFERED PRIZES TOTALLING ALMOST $3,000

All I had to do to enter was email Bex my details and a photo, pick out a dress from Bella Brides and shoes from Gondwana Heels – the main prize was a photo shoot with hair and make-up up in Auckland and a stay at the Sky City Grand Hotel.

We had to be there at 10am for my make-up and hair, so left Hamilton at 8am with my parents babysitting our daughter. Soon everyone else was arriving at Sandi’s, including the photographer, videographer, Rebekah and her sister, Ceara.

They had asked if I would like Alexander included in the shoot which I did, so he was all dressed up in his suit. I put on my new dress and shoes, and looked amazing. The 1950’s theme was a bit of a shock to me, as I don’t really wear makeup.

We headed across the road to Alberton House where some of the photos were to be taken. Thankfully the rain held off, but there was a bit of a wind blowing. We walked around the garden and buildings, heading for balcony and a Marilyn Monroe type bright red seat. The photographer asked us to ‘take our own direction and just be normal’ – pretty uncomfortable when you know everyone is watching you.

I was a bit awkward, as was Alexander. He stood up and told me to look at the second photographer – I now know this is when he took the engagement ring out of his pocket!

I turned back to see him on his knee. He’s a real joker on a daily basis and, not seeing the ring in his hand, I figured he was mucking around to get some funny shots. All this was being photographed and videoed – I found out later he was wearing a wire! He then said ‘Will you marry me Emma, you are my soul mate’ – that’s when I noticed the ring.

Tears welled up. Of course I said Yes, and we kissed. I so didn’t expect anything like that – I didn’t even know he had a ring. Everyone else knew what was happening; he’d been planning it with them for weeks.

I was unbelievably overwhelmed, trying to take it all in. There were more photos before we went back to the hotel where I received the rest of my prizes, before my now fiancée took me out to dinner at Orbit.

Image credits: www.mistralphotography.co.nz

Engaged couple: Emma Ranson & Alexander Kane