Engaged! Part 3 (Final) Telling her Family, Friends, And The Sneaky Plans (Ben)

10:07:00 PM

After breaking the news to my family members, it was time to "ask for permission" from Mel's parents. I had previously told her mum that I was looking around for an engagement ring, while we were walking back from church without Mel around. Now I just had to find a chance to tell her about the proposal, which I managed to while Mel was bathing one night. She was really happy and asked to take a look at the ring, but it was not ready for collection yet.

On that very same night, as Mel's mum was packing some clothes in the storeroom, she stumbled upon her Chinese Wedding Gown and decided to show it to Mel and got her to try it on.

Wow, you wouldn't imagine how nervous I was when she did that!!! For a moment, I thought the surprise would have just ended there. Hahaha. Thank God it didn't!

The next day while Mel left the house to teach, I tried gathering courage to break the word to Mel's Dad. I was feeling kinda nervous and was pacing up and down till I decided to just go for it!

So I sat down and said,

"Uncle, are you free to talk?"

"Yeah, sure.."

"I've bought the engagement ring and I'm planning to propose to Mel soon..."


- awkward silence for 20s -

Finally he broke the silence and started talking about how Mel and I should work together for our future and approach him if we ever have any financial problems. He also spoke about how he was hoping that either one of us could take over his clients when he retires in possibly 5-10 years time, then ended the conversation by congratulating me and an "awkward" handshake. Haha.

The Sneaky Plans

I had about 1 month to prepare for The-Day and while I have always had ridiculously romantic (self-proclaimed) ideas since young, like parachuting off a building with "Will you marry me" written on my parachute, dive down Underwater World and propose to her etc.. , it was absolutely not practical and even ridiculously expensive. I had already shared some ideas with my friends who had used them for their proposal, so I was left with not much ideas (damn...should have been a little selfish on this. haha!).

While I had a budget for the ring, I also had a budget for the proposal. I knew Mel didn't want me to spend too much on the entire proposal and the ring so I had to work within a budget. Yet I wanted it to be really unexpected for her.

The opportunity arose when I accidentally found out from Mel that she was planning to meet her 2 ex-colleagues so I took the chance to message them on Facebook and get their numbers so I could call them and break the news to them. Least did I know that they were so excited and immediately arranged Mel to meet up on the day of the proposal at Tampines Mall.

I got a shock because I knew that while Mel doesn't mind a public proposal, she wouldn't want it to be too big a scale like in a crowded mall.

I first planned to spend between $300 - 500 on decorations and food and had the idea of holding it at her house but the more I planned it that way, the more it felt like a birthday surprise and eventually eliminated this option. As the limited budget was causing me to run out of ideas, I further increased my budget to work between $500 - 800 and so, sourced for a new location.

With the new budget, I suddenly had the idea of hosting it at our favourite cafe in the East - Bark Cafe at Changi area.

The food there is generally quite pricey (usually the 2 of us eating there costs us about $60-80 inclusive of appetizers, 2 main courses, desserts and drinks. So I thought of keeping this small by inviting her closest friends. But the more I consolidated the list, the more shocked I got. 26 Pax. How was I going to fit that into my budget?!?

I then picked out some food items that Mel and I liked from the menu and printed out a pretty looking menu for the guests to choose from. I overshot my budget by about $170 but think I did relatively well in terms of budgeting!

The Actual Day

On the actual day, it was really nerve wrecking. I had to keep telling lies and had to fool her that I had lessons till 4pm. That gave me enough time to collect flowers and head down to Bark Cafe to test out the sound system. All thanks to my family and friends who ferried me and even went down earlier to do up the decorations!

The proposal was 8pm and by 5pm my heart was racing so fast that I was occasionally nauseous. Somehow all seemed to be going according to plan and she didn't suspect a thing as she wore very casual clothes and turned down my suggestion to wear a dress. But a situation happened in church when one of her friend's mum walked past us and whispered "Congrats" to me. I got a shock of my life when Mel turned to me and asked, "Did she just say congrats?"

I tried to put on my poker face and answered "Congrats? No la, not sure what she said."

- Cold... Sweat...!!! -

When service ended, she went to "meet" her colleagues who were "late" so she offered to wait with me till my friend came to pick me up because he was "nearby". I quickly thought of a cover-up and lied to her that I had a "stomachache" and had to hurry to the toilet, asking her to leave first. Once she left, I ran all the way to the carpark to meet Mel's parents who were waiting to leave with me for the cafe.

So at the cafe I rehearsed with the guests and just waited....

And here's what happened if you haven't seen it:

 View the Proposal

In summary of this really long post, other than sharing the interesting moments that I encountered along the way, the main takeaway would probably be the budgeting of the proposal. Like previously stated in my previous posts, I don't advocate spending too much on the ring and proposal. Though everyone has their own definition of "spending too much", I feel that it having to be worth "3 months of your salary" is ridiculous, because you can spend your money on more important things like your future house and marriage. I'm glad that Mel had the same thinking all along and she kept telling me how angry she would be if she ever found out if I overspent! Haha. My budget wasn't pegged to any salary or whatsoever, it was more pegged to how much I was able to afford while not hurting my savings too much.

To me, I wanted everything to be affordable, and at the same time, for the proposal to be "Unforgettable and Magical".  

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