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Priscilla & Sarah – One Surprise Proposal Each

Priscilla & Sarah – One Surprise Proposal Each

Ethan Lowry Photography New Zealand North Island beach lesbian gay same-sex love couple engagement proposal Dancing With Her magazine

Their proposals couldn’t have been any more different, both perfectly unique and wonderful.

Sarah and Priscilla secretly planned an elaborate surprise proposal for each other during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Priscilla and I are quite organized, practical people. We both knew early on that this relationship was the genuine article, so after we’d been dating a year or two, conversations about marriage, rings and life planning naturally followed on. It was important to both of us that our rings were exactly right, so we asked a local goldsmith, Benjamin Black, to design and make a pair of beautiful custom engagement rings to our specifications. Priscilla’s is platinum with a salt-and-pepper diamond, and mine is yellow gold with a green sapphire and some white diamonds re-purposed from a family piece.

Like us, they’re different to one another but totally complementary.

Once Ben had finished the rings, it was like a race to see who could propose first, despite New Zealand’s first lockdown. I put my plans together and asked Priscilla not to book any work for a particular weekend. She requested I keep a later date free, but this turned out to be a red herring – she had something else in mind. Instead of making plans on the day she’d told me, she casually announced one afternoon that she was going to do a sound tech job for a band in Raglan for the weekend, and invited me to come along. When we pulled up outside this gorgeous rustic glamping tent, I wondered if she might have decided to switch things up, but she assured me the cute accommodation was just a fun surprise for me.

She dragged out the suspense by arranging a picnic dinner at sunset above Ngarunui Beach.

At the time, I couldn’t help but think wistfully that it would have been a lovely place to propose. There wasn’t time to dwell, however, as the gig was about to start, and Priscilla announced that she’d left a key piece of equipment back at the tent. We drove there in a hurry, and, on arrival, I was alarmed to see a blazing fire in the garden outside. It was only when I leapt out of the car that I saw the rose petals strewn around the fire pit, the bottle of champagne, and two flutes. “Surprise! There is no gig,” Priscilla said gleefully, and got down on one knee.

A few weeks later, it was time for me to surprise Priscilla right back. She’s adorable with surprises – loves them and hates them at the same time – and all I’d told her was that we were going to the airport at 7am.

When we got to the Barrier Air kiosk, all was revealed.

We took a tiny Cessna across the Hauraki Gulf, and she drove our rented 4WD through windy, narrow gravel roads to a wonderful cliff-top apartment with amazing 180-degree sea views.

That evening, I convinced her we were staying in for the evening, so we poured a gin and settled on the couch. Just when she thought there were no more surprises to come, there was a knock at the door. Great Barrier is one of only a few dark-sky reserves in the world, and Priscilla is super passionate about star-gazing. I’d booked a private star-gazing session for us, and once Priscilla had taken in planets, galaxies, and star clusters, I asked her to marry me.

We’ve spent much of the COVID-19 lockdowns planning our wedding, which is in March. Fingers crossed, it’s going to be magical.


Photography by Ethan Lowry Photography

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