The Unexpected Proposal

by | Inspired Engagements, Weddings




How we met:

Before Tinder there was Compare Hotness on Facebook. Several times I clicked that this man in a suit was hotter before I noticed he had a very similar surname to me – just 1 letter difference. Even more coincidental, his name was Jon Gardiner and my grandfather and uncle are both John Gardner’s. We started chatting, jokingly calling each other hubby and wifey and began getting to know each other via Compare Hotness.

Six months later we met in person when he was on holidays in Brisbane (from Sydney). That night when I went to bed I distinctly remember having a moment when I thought to myself “remember this night, this is the man I will marry”. Since then we have been in a long distance relationship for 25 months, lived in Sydney together with his mum for 18 months, lived in Brisbane with my parents for 12 months and then bought our own home in December 2013. We’d been together 5 1/2 years when he proposed on 21 November 2014.

About the proposal:

Jon graduated from The QLD Corrective Services Academy on 21st November 2014 and I attended to watch him graduate as an officer. After the graduation he told me that his class was coming back into the gymnasium for a class photo and a hat toss.

Since I’m a photographer, he asked me to stand on the stage and photograph it. He said that there would be 3 beats of the drum and they would throw their hats. Instead, to each beat of the drum, a hat was revealed with another letter spelling out “Will You Marry Me Nat?”. He then marched toward me and took me to the centre of the room. With my parents, his parents, my sister, his fellow officers and their families watching, he got down on one knee and proposed.





He had bought the most stunning ring that he had helped design from the pictures I had sent him. He picked a stunning colourless white diamond that shines as brightly as my love for him.

Jon had always said he was going to propose when I least expected it… And I definitely did not expect it on his graduation day!!!

In the 5.5 years we had been together I had (not so subtly) dropped hints about the proposal. I had gushed about how amazing a public, unexpected proposal would be and how wonderful it would be to have a photographer capture it. I never expected that he would get ME to photograph my own proposal. As well as that, he had the Corrective Services photographer photograph it. And it was very public!

My sister captured the video of the proposal:


The evening of the proposal, I was in wedding planning mode – within two weeks the wedding was planned! Now the long wait until July…

Ms Gingham says: Congratulations Nat! How amazing that you have your proposal caught on film for you to show future generations! I can’t wait to hear more about the planning and the wedding!

Nat says: “We have planned a country DIY wedding at beautiful Branell Homestead in Laidley with some amazing vendors!”



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