I met Vanessa when we were both 18, at a time when we were both immature and still trying to find and cement our place in life. Suffice it to say, we have been through many ups and downs in our 9 years together, but despite such trying and testing times, I always come back to her. I yearn for her. The good will always outweigh the bad. She makes me happy, and she is the one I have chosen to love. Early this year, I decided that I wanted to make her mine.
Given that I was only ever going to ‘pop the question’ once in my lifetime, I wanted to do it right. I wanted our engagement to be unique, beautiful, captivating, and worthy of Vanessa’s beauty. After extensive research into the most picturesque locations around the world, I was adamant to ask for Vanessa’s hand in marriage in Santorini, Greece. I also wanted my proposal to be documented in order to give Vanessa a remarkable souvenir.
Two months before our European holiday, I contacted Nick (owner of Fifteen Photography) to discuss the possibility of him flying to Santorini to photograph my proposal. I chose Nick because I was drawn to his work: his photos were always full of life, they captured the couples’ personalities, and they also encapsulated what it was like to be in love. After a few emails and meetings, Nick found himself on a flight to Santorini, ready to capture my proposal.
In order to throw Vanessa off, Nick and I came up with a plan: Nick was flying to Santorini for a wedding. But given Vanessa and I will be at Santorini at the same time, Nick agreed to meet up with us over two days to capture some ‘romantic’ shots which he could add to his portfolio. I showed Vanessa Nick’s website, and immediately she was sold to the idea.
I had planned a two-day marriage proposal, involving everything that Vanessa loves doing. Not only was I going to wine and dine her at Santorini’s most exclusive restaurants, pamper her on the island’s most private resorts, but we were going to jump off cliffs, ride quad bikes and donkeys, and chase the sunrise and sunset. Yes, not only is Vanessa’s beauty worthy of the finest things in life, but she also had a down-to-earth nature and adventurous attitude. After over 200 emails organising my proposal while I was in Australia with hotel managers and restaurateurs in Santorini, and the creation of numerous PDF documents entitled ‘Brennan’s Proposal’ (Yes, I am a control freak), I believed everything was firmly in place.
On our first day in Santorini, I took Vanessa to Amoudi Bay. Not only were we there to admire its beauty, but we jumped off a 10 metre cliff and relaxed in its cool blue waters. Our love of food was also not going to be ignored. Described as a restaurant ‘where chefs eat’, we were sat on a table delicately placed along the ocean’s edge, ready to devour the finest Greek cuisine. After a donkey ride up Amoudi Bay’s great steps, Vanessa and I were ready for an enchanting evening under the stars.
That evening, I took Vanessa to a private terrace, which had been exclusively set up by Dana Villas, for a private three course dinner. The location was like no other. It was truly ‘Heaven on Earth’. No amount of descriptive adjectives can do it justice, so I will let the photos speak for themselves. As the magical Santorini sun set into the Aegean Sea, and as the candlelight exuded its warmth stroked our cold hands, I felt extremely excited that by this time tomorrow night, Vanessa would ‘hopefully’ be mine.
Day two of my plan started early. At 5am, we jumped on our quad bikes and rode to the other side of the island in order to witness the amazing sunrise from Santorini’s volcanic Black Beach. Although we got lost, nothing in the world could have come between our plans, as we managed to find Black Beach two minutes before sunrise.
That night, I led a blindfolded Vanessa to a table perched on top of one of the highest cliffs in Santorini (at Andronis Luxury Suites), ready for our three course dinner that I had planned three months before our trip. In Vanessa’s own words:
“I was nervous, teary, but excited. He un-blindfolded me and the first thing I saw was Nick (after he had said goodbye!) with a big grin on his face, teary-eyed, taking photos. I then looked down, and Brennan was on one bended knee. For the first time, he was speechless. He softly then said, “I love you, will you marry me”? I said YES!
I was amazed, excited, surprised, and terribly in love. I still am.”
Thank you Vanessa for making me yours.
Photos by Nicholas Wong - Fifteen Photography
Ms Gingham says: This is just magical. Vanessa you are a lucky girl!
About Brennan: “I am 28 year old lawyer from Melbourne, Australia.”