It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which also happens to be the season for proposals! Five recent brides and brides-to-be tell us about their festive engagements

Seen as a time to celebrate with loved ones against a backdrop of twinkling lights and festive magic, it’s no surprise that many people get engaged over Christmastime. But did you know that it is actually the most popular season for proposals across the world?

What time of year do people get engaged the most?

December is the most popular month for engagements according to The Knot‘s 2023 Global Wedding Report, with 19% of UK engagements taking place during this period.

Bridal designer Katherine Tash echoes this, adding: “‘Engagement season,’ the time of the year that stretches from Thanksgiving until Valentine’s Day, accounts for nearly 40% of all marriage proposals.”

So if you’re with a long-term partner and think there might be a proposal on the horizon, it’s time to get a nail appointment booked ASAP!

Christmas engagement stories

We heard from some real couples who had Christmas proposals. So, whether you’re looking for some proposal inspiration or you’re reminiscing about your own special day, here are five festive proposal stories to melt your heart.

Gemma and Stewart

Stewart surprised Gemma with a Christmas proposal in 2022, after 18 months together. Gemma told us how it happened: “We were opening presents on Christmas morning in our matching pyjamas. Stewart had opened all his presents then it was my turn. I was sitting on the couch and he was carefully giving them to me in order to open. It got to the final present which was a large box – I opened it and it was a jewellery box – the only present I had asked for.

“I struggled to get the clasp open, so this gave Stewart ample opportunity to bend down and help me. As I started looking at it, he stayed crouched down. I thought there must have been a bit of jewellery in it – not for a minute thinking it was a ring! As I started looking through the compartments, I pulled one down and there was the ring – I let out a huge gasp, it took my breath away! Stewart then dropped one of his knees and asked me to marry him.”

The gorgeous Emmy London ring from H. Samuel fits the lovely Christmas decor so well

The pair had an engagement shoot with their wedding photographer Natural Weddings (Suzanne Hodgson Photography) which included their dog Rusky. “We wanted to have pictures taken with our wee dog Rusky who was 16. Sadly he passed away in August and won’t be at our wedding, so we are super grateful to have got them done. He was the star of the show!

“When we had been out shopping a few months prior, I had joked about going into a jewellers to find out my ring size. I tried on a few rings and found the perfect one – nothing else lived up to it. I even took a picture of it and kept looking and showing it to people. Little did I know that Stewart went back to the jewellers the following day and bought it. It was then stored under the bed and I had no idea.”

Gemma and Stewart were joined by their dog Rusky on their engagement shoot. (Photo: Natural Weddings (Suzanne Hodgson Photography))

The happy couple will be tying the knot in July 2024 at Torrance Hotel. “I love to plan and I’m a bit of a control freak! So we are super organised, with only a few small things left to sort. We have loads of surprises set up for our guests on the day and want to ensure they have the best time. We will also be flying out to Cyprus for honeymoon the day after the wedding, so we can’t wait for that.”

Ashleigh and Jamie

Jamie and Ashleigh’s proposal featured a confetti cannon when she said ‘YES’!

When Jamie asked Ashleigh to marry him it was a lovely (and confetti-filled) surprise. She told us: “We were together a year and eight months before getting engaged. When you know, you know.

“The engagement was in our home as we hosted Christmas Day dinner for our closest family. I had no idea but everyone else knew Jamie was going to pop the question!” Jamie had some help pulling off the proposal, with their family getting involved: “I was totally unaware my sister had been recording little video clips on the lead up to it and put it together into a beautiful video I’ll cherish forever.

“After dinner, Jamie caught me completely by surprise, his sister started to play the song I always said I’d walk down the aisle to and when I said “YES” a huge confetti cannon went off! I always wanted it to happen surrounded by family, and it was perfect.”

The pair spent just over two years planning their wedding, and during that time they welcomed a baby girl. “A month after getting engaged we found out I was pregnant with our beautiful daughter. Our next year was spent preparing for our life ahead, so we delayed our wedding a year further than we would have originally liked to, but it made it all the more special our daughter shared our day.

Ashleigh and Jamie on their wedding day (Photo: Megan Brown Photography)

“Our first four years together have been spent buying our first home, bringing home our little dog, getting engaged, and having our daughter. Then we spent our four-year-anniversary month getting married.”

(Photo: Megan Brown Photography)

The pair fell in love with The Busby Hotel‘s traditional look and welcoming atmosphere and got married at the venue in March 2023. Their day incorporated a few surprises, including secretly selecting ten of their guests to have a shot of Tequila Rose with them as they drank from the quaich.

Lesley (Lexy) and Fiona

After being together for one year, Lexy cleverly surprised Fiona with a proposal under the guise of a final Christmas present on Boxing Day. She explained to us how she managed to pull off the surprise: “I booked a log cabin in Drymen, however the second lockdown happened and it had to be cancelled. So my best friend and I hatched a plan to do the engagement at my house. We were over at Fiona’s parents’ house and little did she know, my friend Nic was covering my house with candles (fake ones for safety purposes) and rose petals. Nic was hiding in the bush, so when we drove up, Fiona and I’s song (‘Beautiful Crazy’ by Chris Stapleton) would be playing when we walked in the door.

“I led Fiona into the bedroom for one last Christmas gift. I arranged for a box to be made and I pretended it was a box of high heels because she loves her shoes! I said: “This is the last gift, use this to walk beside me for the rest of my life.” She opened it and in the box was the ring, and on the inside of the box it said ‘Will you marry me?’. It also had two glasses which were personalised and a Christmas bauble with the date on it. I asked her to marry me and she cried and said: “Of course I will”.

Fiona walked into a beautifully set up proposal

Following their sweet engagement, the pair got married on the 18th of November 2023, at the Lodge on Loch Lomond. “We choose this venue because of our time spent there; we always go for overnights for our birthdays. We have always wanted to get married at the water and the view is just beautiful. To say you have been married on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond is something else.”

Lexy and Fiona’s wedding day (Photo: Scottish Happy Snapper)

Sharing some details about their wedding, Lexy explained: “It was really important to us to have charity somehow through our wedding. We gave Breast Cancer Now pins as part of our favours and donated money as my sister recently went through chemotherapy and is now in remission. We also had a singer during the canapés and part of their fee went to Parkinson’s UK Scotland.

“Fiona unfortunately lost her dad three weeks before the wedding. We got part of one his favourite shirts sewed into the hand tie, so we knew he was there with us. It was such a magical day and a day that we will never forget. As as my wife said in her speech, ‘our jigsaw puzzle is complete’.”

Katie and Charlie

Katie and Charlie show off the stunning Vera Wang engagement ring from Ernest Jones

Charlie popped the question after he and Katie had been together for 11 years. He proposed on 17th December 2021, and the wedding planning is well underway.

Katie shared how the magical moment came about: “It was in our first home that we bought together by the Christmas tree, as he knows how much I love Christmas! He made a slideshow of pictures of us together through the years. I literally had no idea, it was a complete surprise.”

This wasn’t always the plan though, with Katie revealing: “He did change his mind about where he was going to do it last minute. He had a table booked at a rooftop bar in London as we were going there that weekend but he decided I would probably hate having lots of people around. I definitely preferred the choice he picked.”

The couple have their wedding date set for August 2024, and will be saying ‘I do’ at Crossbasket Castle. “We’re so excited to spend the day with our family and friends! We loved the venue as soon as we saw it, we viewed about 12 venues in the space of three days and Crossbasket Castle was the last one we saw and we loved it.

“We have also booked most of suppliers which is really exciting, we’re particularly excited about our cake from Classic Touch Cakes in Wishaw and balloons from Classic Touch Balloons. I have also bought my dress which is a Justin Alexander dress, but we’re still on the hunt to find Charlie’s trews. We are really excited about our photographer (Olive Alexander), videographer (Rizzo Films) and music choices! I also feel I’ve found the perfect make up artist (ARK Bridal) and hairdressers too! We can’t wait for our day.”

Lauren and Matthew

Lauren and Matthew rang in the New Year as an engaged couple!

Matthew popped the question to Lauren on New Year’s Eve in 2017. The magical moment took place at The Refinery in Edinburgh (which has now sadly closed down). Recalling the day, she explained: “We had the best table overlooking the ice rink in St Andrews Square and I was completely taken by surprise. After our meal he got down on one knee and then the waitress brought over my favourite cocktail and a huge bouquet of red roses – it was a replica of the first bouquet he ever bought me when we were just 16.

“The whole restaurant gave us a round of applause and it all felt so surreal! Afterwards walking through the streets so many people congratulated us and wished us a happy New Year. We took some photos in front of The Dome as it has the most beautiful Christmas lights.”

The celebrating wasn’t over yet, as the pair returned to the meaningful venue to celebrate with their loved ones. “We had an engagement party at The Refinery to celebrate a few months later and it was so much fun. We knew we’d be waiting a couple of years for the wedding so it was really nice to have the party.”

Telling us about her engagement ring, Lauren beamed: “My ring is from Chisholm Hunter, it’s quite an unusual design with the flower shape and I absolutely adore it. People say you should choose something ‘timeless’ but six years later I still adore it as much as the first time I saw it!”

Lauren and Matthew had a beautiful wedding at Ednam House Hotel in September 2022, after the pair secretly eloped in Edinburgh the year before. She revealed: “Our favourite moment was exchanging vows again. They felt even more meaningful the second time and it was so emotional.”

Congratulations to all of these happy couples!

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