A love so strong it requires two proposals; each completely unique and special. We all dream of the perfect proposal and Becky and Ciara surely know how to make magical moments that they will cherish forever.
Let’s talk to Becky as she shares her #JMJLoveStory with us…
Firstly, we must ask, how did you and Ciara meet?
“The course of true love never did run smooth and we were no exception to that rule. When we first started dated and people asked us how we met, we usually said we met in the bar that Ciara worked in, or if you were my mother, then Ciara was my mate that I met through a friend. We do laugh now that she knows the real truth!
“We actually matched twice on Tinder. The first time we spoke it didn’t last very long, but the second time we did, it made us realise that there was a spark between us. After texting back and forth for days until the wee hours of the morning, we arranged to meet on a Sunday. However, fate had other ideas. The night before, I was driving myself and a couple of friends to Belfast for a night out in Limelight. Ciara had messaged to say she would be finished her bar shift before 1am and if I was free, I could meet her in Kremlin nightclub next door. We parked up outside a friends’ house to wait on her and just as I replied to Ciara to say I wished I could but alas I was going elsewhere, a voice from the back seat said “Becky do you fancy going to Kremlin instead?” Needless to say, I didn’t have to be asked twice. I abandoned my car outside Kremlin, made my way inside and stocked up on some (more like a lot) of dutch courage and text Ciara the good news.
“To this day I still don’t know how she puts up with me, but my goodness I tested her patience from day dot. Come 1am, it ended up like a weird game of cat and drunken mouse. Every time she asked where I was, I replied, she went there and I was gone. I found myself on the stage dancing and got told to stand there and not move. Soon Ciara eventually found me on the stage and as I went to go to her, I fell off it (thankfully she caught me) and before she could say anything, I kissed her. Talk about a warm welcome!
“As they say, the rest is history!”
After quite literally falling into Ciara’s arms, we’d love if you could share your proposal story?
“Firstly, I want to say that this wasn’t our first rodeo as such. I actually proposed first to Ciara back in December 2019. Everyone assumed Ciara would be the one to propose to me first and as such, she resigned herself to that fact. I, however, felt this was unfair and I wanted her to have the big moment. I had many plans about how I wanted to do it but when the moment came, almost all went out the window! I proposed in our living room, with our two dogs running around and the football on in the background (anyone that knows Ciara, knows this is a given). She was shocked to say the very least and after many tears eventually remembered to say YES! We went back to a restaurant that we had one of our first dates in to celebrate and then spent the night in the stunning Culloden Hotel.
“That first proposal, the one that upgrades your status from girlfriend to fiancée is the most important. Regardless of what happens after that, you’re an engaged couple. But I will say that Ciara also proposing to me was just as important. We’ve had the “I’m confused, aren’t you already engaged?” from lots of people and the answer is of course yes. But the difference is that Ciara wanted me to experience being proposed to as well as it was something I’ve always dreamt of. We had talked about what happens in a same sex relationship. Do you propose twice? Do you propose at all? Who proposes to who? What we realised is that we get to create our own rules. In actual fact, every couple gets to if they want to.
“So how exactly did Ciara propose? Well, it started with a 5am wakeup call on the morning of our six-year anniversary together. Exactly five years ago on our first anniversary, she dragged me up to the scenic Orlock Point on the Donaghadee coast for sunrise. On that morning five years ago, we took a photo together and she had convinced me to recreate the photo this year. I was aware that at some point Ciara was going to propose to me with a ring, I just didn’t know when. As such, I had her tortured that week leading up to our anniversary, constantly asking her if she planned on doing it that weekend. Her reply? “You’re stuck to my hip, when the hell would I have had time recently to get a ring?!” Satisfied with her quick response I had come to the conclusion that I’d have to wait a little longer for my moment. Not even Ciara offering to paint my nails the night before triggered any alarm bells.
“Ciara’s alarm blared at 4.45am and she crept out of our room and saw nothing but rain, rain and more rain! Back to sleep she goes and hopes the next half hour brings about a miracle. By 5.30am we’re walking out the front door dressed and with one half of us semi willing to go. I’m not a morning person and Ciara knows this, but I put a smile on my face and started taking little video snaps to create a cute reel for our Instagram page.
“A short journey to our destination (captured by yours truly!) and the rain had stopped. As we walked and trekked the steps up to the top of the cliff at Orlock Point, we couldn’t help but notice the sheer silence all around us. It was like a vacuum. Until a noise made me look out to sea. At first, I thought it was just a wave against the rocks, then I realised it was a fin! Two fins! Two dolphins! We couldn’t believe it. In my head, all I could think was that this moment would have been absolutely perfect for a proposal. Alas it wasn’t to be and we marched on, joined by some rabbits and a playful seal that had obviously heard us talking and decided to follow us around the coast. It was heaven. We got to the point that we took the photo on our first anniversary and Ciara placed a picnic blanket down and pulled out a bottle of prosecco with two flutes before putting some Foy Vance music on her phone. We sat down and talked for a while before she suggested we get up and recreate the photo (I’m still convinced we were sitting down in the photo but up we got regardless). I was standing waiting as she changed the music to ‘She Burns’ by Foy Vance, our song and I still never twigged. She’s rummaging in her backpack for something and I did think for just a moment, is she going to do it? Flashback to her convincingly telling me that she has had no time away from me to get a ring, so slightly disheartened I told myself off and looked out at the sea. Ciara eventually came over to me to take the photo and I realised she had something in her hand. Before I knew it, she had dropped to one knee. I don’t remember a lot in the next moment or two, what I do remember is her telling me to just take a moment and take it all in because she wanted me to remember everything about the moment (the pros of already having experienced it yourself).
“I thought I wanted a Disney proposal. What I got was so much more special and intimate. The way it should be. Ciara planned that morning to perfection (the dolphins were the cherry on top) and the surprises didn’t stop there. Later in the week I was whisked away to the Fitzwilliam Hotel where we enjoyed Prosecco, cocktails and a dinner in Six by Nico. So, as they say, if Carlsberg did proposals!”
Tell us about your rings…
“Our rings are very different; they reflect us in a way. They are also very different to what we each thought the other had wanted. Ciara’s ring was a one of a kind and made back in 2018. It’s the first one I looked at in the jewellers and I knew it was Ciara’s right away. It’s a vintage style oval sapphire surrounded with diamonds. It also has small diamonds either side and a thin, delicate white gold band. It is so unique and suited Ciara perfectly. The fun part was getting her ring size, which I did by bringing a drawing of a ring she already had and telling the consultant I needed it to fit inside the drawing. It fitted perfectly.
“For me, I was always obsessed with the emerald cut Cartier ring from the 1994 Miracle On 34th Street movie. One of my all-time favourite films. I knew I loved a vintage art deco style ring. Something beautiful and elegant. The only thing I asked for was emerald cut. Ciara couldn’t have picked any better and from what she’s told me, the help and professionalism from the team at Jack Murphy Jewellers was second to none. She especially wanted to thank Gemma for her help in finding my dream ring. It has a white gold band with baguette and square diamonds to make up an emerald cut centre within a halo of diamonds. The shoulders have 3 small circular diamonds that look like triangles. I have never seen a ring that glitters and shines so much in the sunlight! We may live in Donaghadee, but Ciara wanted my ring to come from Jack Murphy Jewellers in Newry so that I would have something from where she is from. That part meant the most to me.
“We’re looking forward to coming back in to Jack Murphy Jewellers to work with Gemma and Corinna. We can’t wait to pick wedding bands that complement our engagement rings.”
How are you enjoying wedding planning so far, and do you have any exciting plans for the big day?
“We have actually really enjoyed the planning process and got the ball rolling straight after the first proposal. We’ve talked about our wedding from the start of our relationship, which has actually made the whole process smoother. I’m obsessed with all thing’s weddings, so finding vendors and suppliers has been a dream come true. The problem is that there are so many fantastic options and it was hard picking only one. Covid restrictions and lockdowns allowed us the time to sit and think about what we truly wanted for our big day, rather than diving right in and picking the first thing.
“Music is a key part of our relationship. Whether that’s listening to music in the car, jiving to country music in our living room, sweating it out at a rave or going to concerts, we love it all. We have booked an amazing musician called Seán Magee who incorporates modern and trad music together. Which matches the feel of our day perfectly!
“The great thing about our magical venue Segrave Barns in Dunany, Co Louth, is that we have it for three days from the Friday right through to the Monday. We’re looking forward to getting up the morning after our wedding as newlyweds and celebrating our second day with our friends and family.
“One of the most important things about our wedding is that we have agreed on not being influenced by other people’s opinions. That is always our first piece of advice to any couple planning their wedding. Our day is about us and no one else. It will be so personal to us, with a ceremony that will reflect our life together so far, complete with traditions and cultures from both of our backgrounds. You’ll get to see what makes us…well…us!
“If you want to see what else we are planning or want to know more about our big day and being a same sex couple, follow us on @BridesByTheSea_NI on Instagram.”