After dating throughout high school and then staying together long-distance in college, Neely and I were more than ready to make up for lost time. For months leading up to graduation, we planned a backpacking trip to Greece and Italy. While both of us thought that we would end up together in the long run, Neely had no idea that this trip would be more than a European adventure.
The first part of our trip led us through Athens for the summer Olympics and then to a few of the Greek Islands. Then we went to Italy to take part in an internship at a 13th century castle. The castle was as amazing as we had dreamed and was inhabited by just one guy who kept it up and ran art shows and music concerts in the main hall. Although much of the castle was crumbling to the ground, we learned to love the many rooms still standing and the beautiful 12-story tower that looked over miles and miles of Italian countryside.
Our 7-year anniversary fell on the last weekend at the castle and I had been planning for this day for over a month. The planning started before coming to Italy when we were on the Greek Island of Corfu. While window-shopping along the island’s cobblestone streets, an owner of a jewellery shop asked us if we would like to try on any of the rings we were eyeing. We each picked out our favorite ring from the display and Neely blushed when she tried on the one I picked out.
We left the store on a high and I knew that the ring was perfect. Later that night while Neely was sleeping I sneaked out of our hotel room and bought the ring!
Over a month later, on the night of our anniversary, we planned to have dessert and wine up in the tower of the castle. Without her knowing, I lined over 100 stairs with little candles and set up a table for two by a window in the very top room of the tower.
I told Neely to lead the way up and she loved the candlelit staircase and the room with a romantic table looking out at the rising moon. I had the ring in my pocket and was waiting for the perfect moment, but it always seems that things do not go exactly as planned. Right when I was getting ready to propose, Neely started feeling sick, so we walked to the balcony of the tower to get some fresh air. We brought out a single candle for light and as she started to feel better, I
realized this was the perfect moment. I told her how important she was time and my heart started pounding wildly as I got down on one knee. Her eyes were so wide and caring as I asked her if she would marry me. She grabbed me and kissed me as she replied, "Yes, Jamie, yes I will marry you!"
Proposal Story By:
River Forest, IL