The best part about creating alternative engagement rings is the super cool, ultra chill people I get to design for! Meet Luke and Alicia, whose stories make me smile every time I read them!
Luke works for the ABC on a new comedy news show which is currently under wraps. Alicia works at Taste on a partnership project with the Coles magazine that absolutely changed my eating and shopping habits (I think I fan girled a little bit when I first met her).
They have a rescue pup called Lupin who came to them with bald patches all over her body. They were told that her hair would never grow. She now has luscious flowing locks and is an absolute rascal.
As Luke needed the ring quickly, he decided to use a proposal ring (the Isla Trilliant) so they could design the engagement ring together.
He popped the question on the top of a lookout in Hawaii. Later on he messaged me on Instagram and told me “she said yep”! At which point I high-fived myself (because there was no one else in the room) and brimmed with pride!
In their own words, Luke and Alicia explain how their desire to one-up each other ended with them celebrating their engagement atop a Hawaiian volcano, surrounded by cheering strangers.
Luke’s side of the story
“Alicia and I have kinda been trapped in a ‘gift battle’ for years. She’d buy me something incredibly thoughtful and awesome for my birthday, and then I would try (and often succeed) to outdo her for her next birthday. You know – romance peppered with bravado and spite. This year she bought us a holiday in Hawaii for my birthday, which totally blew everything else out of the park, and I just couldn’t have that hanging over me until next year.
I already liked it, so as a great philosopher once decreed, I decided to put a ring on it. (Truth is, I’d been trying to think of the right time and place for at least two years and the destination fulfilled both my romantic and vengeful requirements).
When we got to Hawaii I pretty much just picked the highest point visible from Waikiki and decided that was my spot. I’ve known Alicia for a long time, so I knew getting her to agree to hiking to the top of Diamond Head would be my biggest hurdle. After some initial trepidation she agreed, and we set off, proposal ring in my backpack, with her totally unsuspecting.
Almost at the summit, we hit this massive flight of stairs, short of breath. We had a little rest and Alicia started moaning and wanting to call it in. A great deal of gentle encouragement followed, but eventually we pushed on and made it to the top. Then there were some more stairs. Another little rest, another push on, and we hit the top. The spot was perfect – a panoramic view over Waikiki, the Pacific Ocean, and all the way to Kahala.
I scoped around for other tourists and wannabe hikers. Neither of us really like to make a big fuss of ourselves, and besides, this should be a private, beautiful declaration of love everlasting, an earnest moment of reflection and speculation on a life to be shared. I was way more nervous than I thought I’d be as I fumbled around blindly in my bag, looking for the ring. I found it, and then immediately realised I probably should have thought about what I was going to say before this moment.
It was probably very eloquent, but to be honest, I was kinda freaking out and can’t really remember what I said. Alicia didn’t believe me at first. I spent some time convincing her, she said something to the effect of yep, no worries, and we had a sneaky smooch.
At this point I noticed some bloke looking at us, and more people had gathered around our spot in the meantime. ‘Don’t do this, mate’ I thought, but it was too late.
‘Did you two just get engaged?! Congratulations!’ he said, too loud, and before we knew it, we were surrounded by applauding strangers taking snaps of us on their smartphones. Damn.
At this point I realised there was another small flight of stairs leading to the actual summit. I blew it. But I think it’s ok, because Alicia still seems to love me, and her ring.”
Alicia's side of the story
“Luke and I have been together for over 7 years and there hasn’t been a time where we thought we wouldn’t go the distance. You know, until death do us part – or something like that.
But to be honest the idea of actually getting married hadn’t really been hugely important to us. Why? Because we’re happy and already living an awesome life together.
In recent years though, our friends have had the funnest weddings and it has been our duty to dance the shit out of a wedding venue dance floor. Seriously, people should start hiring us. Not because we’re any good, we just have a really fun time.
We would joke around from time to time about what songs we’d have at our wedding if we ever had one, if we could get a cover band together with all our mates and most importantly, we’d need to find a choreographer. Jokes aside, I wasn’t expecting a proposal any time soon.
A couple days into our trip to Hawaii we decided to do the hike up Diamond Head. It was always the plan to do lots of activities though truth be told, I can be super lazy. So we planned a day to do that and I remember making up some excuse about it being too hot. Luke convinced me we should tick it off our list.
So we walked up, and up, and there were stairs and more stairs and my legs were jelly. I really wanted to give up but Luke kept pushing me. It was my survivor moment.
By the time we got to the top I was just catching my breath and taking in the view and I turn around seeing Luke zipping up his backpack. All I remember is he mumbled a few words and I heard the word ‘marry’.
My body was shaking (I actually think I just needed a Powerade after all that walking) and I saw a ring! He was seriously proposing, on the top of Diamond Head in Hawaii!
And I responded in classic form. “What? Yes. Wait, are you joking?”
Some guy overheard us and then decided to share the news with about 50 other people up in the same spot and everyone started congratulating us and applauding.
It was kind of a weird feeling but it was nice. So we decided to milk that feeling for what it was worth and went out to dinner at a super fancy Italian restaurant to celebrate – mentioned the word ‘engaged’ during dinner and bam – free dessert!
Luke confessed to me that my ring was a proposal ring and I would be able to design my engagement ring when we got back home to Sydney so I said, “Oh. So I have to give this ring back?” He just laughed.
I absolutely love both my rings and the whole experience has been awesome thanks to Fairina. Oh yeah, and my fiancée (still sounds weird), Luke.”
The engagement ring
In true rule breaker style, Alicia spied a geometric tourmalinated quartz on Instagram, and had to have it.
It was part of a small collection of one-off jewels in my treasure chest. Bold, dark and beautiful, this hexagon-shaped gem featured needles of black tourmaline shooting through clear quartz.
This is Alicia’s ring and she absolutely rocks it.
Want to create your own rule breaking engagement ring?
If you’re looking to plan your very own engagement surprise (and are feeling a bit clueless about the process) I’ve created something specifically for you. Click here to access The Ultimate Toolkit to an Amazing Secret Proposal!