Dan & Rhianna

Dan & Rhianna

1) How did you meet and fall in love?

We met 7 years ago through a mutual friend and hit it off straight away. We were kids when we met, early twenties and a lot of love to give. We had huge amounts in common, including our desire to see the world.

So, we packed up and left England a couple of years back, travelling through many countries, eventually finding ourselves settled here in New Zealand.

This ultimately told me all I need to know, which was that we had a strong bond and were able to spend huge amounts of time together without it impacting our relationship.

Leaving our comfort zones helped us to grow as a couple, and fortunately for us, we grew together.

2) Tell us about your proposal? 

We're both very laid-back people, me more so, hence why it took so many years to pop the question. It was probably February this year when I first started to consider proposing. Eventually in July I found the courage to ask her!

I got us a great room in Queenstown overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The weather wasn't looking great that week, however the sun stayed out for us on the day I proposed, so I believe it was meant to happen.

Cyril at Nolan and Vada, was able to have this ring delivered to our lake house (on such short notice too! Thanks Cyril!) and have one of the staff hide it in the room. It was then my job to locate the ring, ensure that Rhianna didn't go snooping around the room and find a very unexpected package, and then when she wasn't looking, hide it somewhere until later than afternoon.

I don't know how she didn't know what was to soon happen, between the beautiful lake house we were in and the tripod for our camera I had purchased a couple of days before, she didn't have a clue.

After chugging some white wine to calm the nerves, I asked her if she would step out on the balcony so I could take a photo with our new tripod. The rest is history.

2) Tell us about your Nolan and Vada engagement ring and why you chose it? 

radiant cut pink sapphire engagement ring three stone

We had spoken about engagement rings some time prior to all this, and we were really interested in a ring which wasn't a diamond. We wanted something that was both ethically sourced, and didn't conform with the norms.

A sapphire ring. Although I'd told Rhianna that it would certainly be a diamond, to keep it all the more surprising when I'd finally seal the deal. When it came to choosing and designing the ring, I went for a teal sapphire.

Teal embodies tints of green, representing the jungles and forests we tramped and hiked through, and the blues of the many oceans and lakes which we swam in, throughout our travels.

It encapsulated the journey we had been on together, and was a symbol of our strength, determination, and our love for Papatūānuku - mother earth.

More than all of this, the sapphire which I chose for our ring was sourced from a very small village in southern Sri Lanka, about half hour away from the exact place that we started our travels together. I did not know this until we read the certificate. Surely then, it was meant to be.