“I’ll always remember that. Jon at the top of the stairs, looking smart in his suit, and thinking ‘this is it’”.
After a first date that unexpectedly lasted almost half a day, Jon and Hayley embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime romance that’s cumulated in a unicorn-inspired engagement ring. Never losing sight of the magic of their relationship, they tell us the story of their proposal, which sounds like it was taken from the pages of a fairy tale—because in a way, it sort of was!
How did you meet?
J: We met online almost five years ago.
H: We met, originally, for coffee. Then coffee extended into lunch, which extended onto a walk, then drinks, then dinner. So our first date was eight hours long. And yeah, from there we went on some more dates.
J: Shorter ones! *both laugh*
This year we bought a house and got engaged… It’s all happening!
Was there a moment you knew you had found ‘the one’?
H: I can remember the first time you told me you loved me. We were at V Festival and Jon went to get some Thai food. When he got back I asked if I could have some and Jon said “yes, because I love you.” And I thought to myself, he told me he loved me over food – I’ve got a keeper!
J: I think for me, the moment I realised I wanted to propose to Hayley was at an airport in Denmark. I was heading home from a business trip and I saw a diamond specialist store so I thought I’d take a look. From there I made the decision in my mind that I was going to ask the question.
Do you have any favourite memories that you’ve shared together?
H: When we were first dating, we walked up Snowdon for Jon’s birthday. I carried a bottle of champagne with me and hid it in my backpack. I was so worried it was going to pop because of the air pressure!
J: I think a nice memory was for one of our anniversaries, I planned a picnic on top of a hill overlooking the countryside while the sun was setting. We were just thinking about moving in together so I’d bought some proper crockery, thinking this could be the crockery for our own place.
What is it about each other that makes you smile?
H: You’re easy on the eye.
J: I think for me, she doesn’t know I do this but sometimes when she’s doing things that she absolutely adores, usually watching Disney films, I look over at her and there’s so much joy and happiness in her face. I like seeing her that happy I guess. She has a lot of love for life… and Disney films.
How did you go about creating the ring?
J: So Hayley loves unicorns.
H: I don’t even know how it happened. It’s just always been a thing.
J: Because she loves unicorns so much, I thought it would be nice to get a ring featuring them in some way. My design consultant was receptive to the idea. I don’t think she quite knew what the hell I was on about, but she was willing to help.
I saw that I could include the detail underneath the stone and thought that would be just right. Even though I knew Hayley would love knowing it was there, I didn’t want it to be prominent. The unicorn horns are nicely tucked away so that’s what appealed to me because it’s almost like a secret hidden feature.
How did you propose?
J: So it took me a month to design the ring. Then it took three months to plan the proposal. I wanted it all to be as much of a surprise as possible where Hayley would meet me and I’d have everything prepared. Eventually, I decided on a treehouse in Dordogne, France.
Hayley actually thought she was going away with her sister so they were staying near the airport, and in the morning her sister told her that she was travelling alone and gave her a big pile of envelopes to open throughout the day.
I sent Hayley to a spa so she could relax for the day and she had an envelope that detailed a taxi would collect her in the evening.
H: It was such a lovely day, really sunny. I pulled up to the spa and it was like a castle with the lake and views. I kind of knew at this point that he was going to do it…
J: She hadn’t seen anyone since she said goodbye to her sister in the morning. While Hayley was at the spa, I had been driving around all day, buying props, decorating the tree house, buying flowers. When she was finished, a taxi collected her and took her to a restaurant where I finally met her.
H: So we’d had dinner and pulled up to the treehouse where Jon told me to wait in the car for a few minutes. He came back and handed me some silver sequinned dolly shoes and a torch and I was like “where is this going?!”
Then I walked up to the tree house and he gave me another envelope. When I walked in, the music from Cinderella was playing and that’s when I started bawling. I didn’t stop until afterwards.
I’ll always remember that. Jon at the top of the stairs, looking smart in his suit, and thinking “this is it”.
He’d bought a projector as well which projected stars onto the ceiling. All these little details which were so thoughtful and that’s something I love about Jon. He’d even wax sealed all of the envelopes. So many little touches that I was impressed by.
What are your plans for the future?
H: Jon went to Norway a couple of years ago with his mum to see the Northern Lights and that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. So that’s something I’m really looking forward to seeing with Jon.
Unicorns and glass slippers may be a thing of fairy tales, but that doesn’t mean your proposal you can’t have them as a part of your proposal! What we love about these two is how authentic they are about their love for each other and their love for life. A massive thank you to Jon and Hayley for sharing their story on how their magical platinum engagement ring was inspired and brought to life.