REAL PROPOSAL | Marie + Manolo | Surprising the girl who was EVER-READY…

Hey peeps!  It’s time for another REAL PROPOSAL!  I love these stories, and I’m so freaking glad you guys do, too.  I especially love how honest this next one is; no hiding the fact that she wanted it, and she wanted it YESTERDAY.  After all, he did promise. (:

Ok, today’s proposal story is filled with hefty amounts of frustration, anger, long distance dating, flirty friends, a business opening, huge promises, disappointment, tonsillitis, and hair and makeup… with just a dose of elation.  But a dose is all you need to wipe out everything that precedes it.  That’s the great thing about elation, wouldn’t you say?

I present to you, the story of Marie and Manolo…

Take it away, Marie:

Manolo and I met a little over 5 years ago at an airport on our way to the beach through his friend who was actually flirting with me.  I ignored the friend and was immediately drawn to Manolo, who’s first words to me after finding out I came from Germany were “Ich liebe Dich!” ( I love you) and thus began our love story.

We did the long distance thing for a while (I was in Germany, he was in the Philippines) until I eventually made the big leap of faith and ocean and moved to Manila.

We knew rather quickly that we wanted the same things in life – we enjoyed our jobs, valued family, wanted to get married and have kids of our own.  But as years passed, and I was getting increasingly impatient and anxious that he might never be ready to fully commit, he just continued to be his happy-go-lucky self.

Our friends were getting hitched one by one and clubbing nights were replaced by afternoon barbecues and children’s parties.  All the while, I still checked “single” on the immigration forms whenever I would travel.  He knew I was getting antsy; it wasn’t hard to guess how badly I wanted to get married and have children.  I would enviously attend wedding after wedding, talk about all the wonderful ideas I had for our own celebrations (many of which I found on The Knotty Bride) and drop hints whenever the opportunity arose.

He said he was ready and was simply waiting for the “right moment.”  What the hell was the “right moment?”  But he promised he’d propose before Christmas Day 2009 – that was last June.

I was ecstatic.  Every fancy dinner we had planned, I would have a manicure, get a blow-dry, pick out the cutest outfits; all in the hopes that this was The Day.  And every time, I’d be going home alone and disappointed.  Christmas came closer and closer and it meant less and less days to wait.  After all, he had promised me.

On Christmas Eve, he was so sick that he couldn’t even leave his house.  Tonsillitis had ruined my perfect dream of an engagement.  On Christmas Day, I visited him at home.  He was miserable and so was I.

We spent New Year’s Eve on the beach we had met 5 years prior.  This was it.  For sure.  It was the perfect setting…

… But of course, nada.  I felt like crying.

Another month passed, a dozen other occasions missed.  I was the crankiest person on planet Earth.  He wanted to surprise me.  I was expecting it every single minute of every single day.  It was a vicious circle.

I left for Hong Kong on a business trip on February 9.  This was a big project for me.  I work for a cosmetics company and was to open my first store abroad since my promotion to Global Markets Manager.  This was my baby.  I was busy the following days overseeing the launch.  I was hands-on unpacking products, merchandising, setting up the store for the big opening.  Needless to say I wasn’t at my prettiest me.  I flew back on February 11 after a long and exhausting day.

After the 2-hour flight, I was simply looking for a hot shower, a pair of fresh PJ’s and a bed.  Manolo picked me up from airport and we went to my apartment.  As soon as we got in, Manolo wanted to eat a late-night dinner.  I had eaten already on the plane and just wanted to go to bed.  I brushed him off and told him to cook himself or order in if he was that hungry.  I was mean.

He gave up and just sat on the couch while I was heading for my room.  I entered my room, ready to drop my clothes on the floor and get under the shower, when I spotted the little box open on the middle of the bed.  I didn’t even take another step.  I just stood there, frozen, by myself in my room, staring at my bed with the little box.  My hair messy, my manicure ruined, wearing my rattiest clothes.

I was speechless and just shook my head.  Without even taking a close look at the ring inside the box, I walked out just to find Manolo standing in the hallway with a huge grin.

I started crying and mumbled something like “look at me, why now? out of all days, why now?”  He just laughed, got the ring out of the box and slipped it on my finger smoothly stating the facts “I knew you’d be surprised. you didn’t expect it today.”  And he was right.  I cried some more.  Still in disbelief.  Then I offered to cook for him, feeling guilty of being so harsh to him just minutes ago.

There were no witnesses, no pictures, no big setup and drama.  Just us.  Plain and simple.  He had carried the ring with him for several weeks already, waiting for the perfect occasion that never came because of my impatience.  In the comfort of my home, intimate, with all that mattered: him. I know it doesn’t have the material worthy of a Hollywood movie, but in a sense it was a perfect engagement.  It felt right and it was us.

Now, I am officially in the planning frenzy. The wedding date is set to January 8, 2011. We’re expecting about 400 guests (yes, weddings here in the Philippines are that big!).

But moreover, I’ve learned through Manolo not to freak out too much about it and focus on what lies beyond the wedding day.  Our life together as a family.

Congratulations, Marie and Manolo!  Totally thrilled for the two of you.  You guys seriously make an absolutely gorgeous couple.  Thanks so much for sharing your story with us!!!

☛ So, what did you think of today’s story?  Chime in!

xoxo!  – Alison

*Submit your proposal story!*

Label(s): {Real Proposals}

Love all of this...


  1. claire gallam on August 12, 2010

    I LOVE love love that story :) It is so beautiful, simple and perfect.

  2. Jennifer on August 12, 2010

    How sweet! Congratulations!!!!

  3. Sarah @ Honeymoon Blog on August 12, 2010

    Aw, how sweet! I think he did it at the perfect time. It always means more when he still loves you when you look your worst. Beautiful story, I wish them all the best!!!

  4. TenThouBride on August 12, 2010

    Cuuuute story! :)
    He had ya at Ich Liebe Dich, eh?

  5. littlebea on August 12, 2010

    Way to go, Manolo! Congratulations to both of you! Where are you having the wedding? I am based in Manila and would love, love, love to feature your wedding in my humble blog.

  6. Nicola @ on August 12, 2010

    Brought a tear to my eye!

  7. Erin on August 12, 2010

    This couple is soooo sweet. Love this story! Love proposal stories in general. Can't wait for the next one =)

  8. on August 12, 2010

    Love her honesty! And this story is just too sweet! He did surprise her…when she was least expecting – kudos to him!!! More please!!!!


  9. Gigi on August 12, 2010

    What a great proposal story. He obviously loves her very much.
    All that mattered was being with her. No big set up. Just the two of them.

  10. Rachel on August 12, 2010

    being surprised was my favorite part of getting engaged. i was so caught of guard that i swore the ring box was empty because i didn't think the jeweler had finished the ring yet. way to go manolo!

  11. Kate Holland on August 12, 2010

    What a gorgeous story, a proposal doesn't have to be grand and hollywood like, when it's so honest and heartfelt.

  12. Larissa on August 12, 2010

    I am such a sap these days but this completely made me choke up. lol Congrats to the happy couple & Ich Liebe Dich!

  13. goodlifeevents on August 12, 2010

    Love the approach they're taking to planning, focusing on what lies after the wedding day. Sweet couple + sweet proposal!

  14. Ali on August 13, 2010

    Hi marie! I’m glad he proposed when you least expected it. I think it’s perfect! Give me a shout if you ever need anything on your suppliers. Hope to see you soon. Regards. :) …

  15. Ali on August 13, 2010

    Hi marie! I'm glad he proposed when you least expected it. I think it's perfect! Give me a shout if you ever need anything on your suppliers. Hope to see you soon. Regards. :) …

  16. Marie on August 15, 2010

    Oh my! Alison, THANK YOU. Everyone, thank you too! ;-) I’m just thrilled to see all the positive responds. I’m the luckiest bride on earth (not that any other bride would think that of herself!) – the perfect man by my side AND a feature on The Knotty Bride, who could ask for more?

  17. Sarah on April 4, 2011

    I love how honest Marie is. What’s wrong with being impatient? I love that he still managed to surprise you. Congratulations to you both.

  18. Lara on July 15, 2011

    I love this story, the honesty, the human-ness of it… I totally understand where Marie is coming from since I’ve been waiting- which seems is about to happily end soon :)

  19. elle on October 16, 2011

    i just read this! and it made me tear! love this proposal. have a great life together!

  20. Aayushi Sachdeva on December 6, 2011

    This is the cutest proposal I have ever heard!! love love it! <3


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