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Friday, June 2, 2017

Hot Air Balloon Engagement Proposal: Jamie and Tom’s Unforgettable Trip To India

Jamie in front of the Taj Mahal with her round diamond solitaire engagement ring

By Chris Benham, co-founder and director of Inspired Jewellery Ltd., and Angelka Vegar, marketing coordinator of Inspired Jewellery Ltd.

After a couple of years talking about it, Jamie and Tom finally decided that 2017 was the year they would move their lives to London. Tom also decided that it was the year he was going to ask Jamie to marry him. 

Before flying to London, the couple set their sights on India with a month long trip exploring the “famously chaotic” country. “Truth be told”, says Jamie, “India wasn't next on my must-see list. In fact, it wasn’t on there at all. But it was first on Tom's bucket list so we booked tickets." 

Tom readies to propose to Jamie at sunrise on a hot air balloon

The date was set, the bags were packed and Jamie was unsure what to expect but if one thing was for certain it was that an adventure awaited. Little did she know, Tom had been working with the team at The Village Goldsmith to design and craft the perfect engagement ring to come along for the ride. 

In fact, Jamie had no idea that Tom was planning to propose until the very moment he dropped down on one knee.

“He did an incredible job at keeping it hidden from me. He had already asked my Dad for his blessing before we left New Zealand and the ring box was couriered to him when he knew I would be at work.

“The ring itself was sent to Auckland Airport in a peppermints container so when he wandered off and came back with a book and mints for the plane, I didn’t think anything of it.

“He also managed to stay cool, calm and collected for a whole two weeks every time I kept going near and getting things out of his suitcase (and probably being a few millimeters away from finding the box.)”

Tom had his work cut out for him to try and make sure everything went to plan. He, and Jamie, quickly learned that, “you may have planned the trip but India is the one in control”.

“I had always joked to Tom that he was never allowed to propose unless my nails had been manicured so while we were in Pushkar, Tom and I both went to have a pedicure and he incredibly subtly enticed me into getting my hands done too. They did a terrible job though so I went back to the room incredibly grumpy that my “nails had been ruined” (drama queen). That wasn’t exactly part of Tom’s plan but, as he said, at least he tried and it wasn’t his fault.”

Tom proposed to Jamie two weeks into the trip in Jaipur, the Capital of Rajasthan, also known as 'The Pink City'.

“When we were researching India before our trip, we had read that doing a hot air balloon ride in Jaipur was meant to be spectacular so we arranged to have a private balloon ride over the Jaipur countryside to watch the sunrise”. 

Tom and Jamie were picked up by a driver at 5am for the hour-long ride to the hot air balloon launch site but, after all the preparation and inflation of the balloon, the ride was called off at the last minute because the wind conditions had changed.
 
The hot air balloon launch site in Jaipur

“Poor Tom had already had a sleepless night (all the anxiety and excitement of the proposal) and now he had to wait another long 24 hours before we could give it another attempt."
 

Luckily, the next morning was the most perfect morning; the couple successfully took off and watched the sun rise over the mountains from their hot air balloon. 

“Floating in a balloon surrounded by pink skies and mountain tops was already the most surreal experience and then Tom asked the pilot to take some photos of us. He quickly leant down to ‘have a drink of water’ while I was staring out at the view, and then when I turned around, at 3150 ft in the air, Tom got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. 

Tom on one knee with the diamond solitaire ring asking Jamie to marry him high above the city of Jaipur

"Apparently, I said “of course I will” before I even looked at the ring - and while I absolutely adore the ring, Tom joked that my answer meant even more because it wasn’t dependent on whether I liked what was in the box.

“What I hadn’t realized until afterwards was Tom had put together a playlist of all our favorite songs which was playing for the duration of our balloon ride. 

“The proposal was a truly magical moment - one that still feels very surreal and out of a fairytale."

“Tom took particular amusement in the fact that I stubbed my toe the other day because I was too busy staring at the ring instead of looking where I was going.”

The happy couple celebrating 4,000 feet in the air

Both Tom and Jamie agree without a doubt that India was the most incredible country that they have been lucky enough to explore. With a marriage proposal thrown in the mix, it’s a trip, and a place, they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. 

Read Jamie’s latest post on her blog, The Blondini Chronicles - India as Female, Foreign and Fair-headed - plus travel tips and amazing photos from each Indian destination

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork

 

 


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