"I had a few mental check-boxes on what I was looking for in a partner and within just a few days she'd ticked them all and added to the list too!"
HOW THEY MET...
We met through mutual friends in summer 2012. I was interested in participating in triathlons and Lucy worked for a sport events company, so I figured she could give me some pointers. I worked with her on a bunch of events over the summer. We gelled and we started spending more and more time together. I joke that we fell in love putting up signage around West Lakes. By the way, I did end up doing triathlon - for four years - and Lucy has never missed a race.
WHEN SHE KNEW SHE WAS 'THE ONE'...
I always thought relationships worked best when they grew from friendship and wasn't much of a believer in instantaneous connections. But Lucy has a big smile and she couldn't keep it at bay around me which made me gush in turn. I had a few mental check-boxes on what I was looking for in a partner and within just a few days she'd ticked them all and added to the list too! I remember thinking it was a bit too good to be true, as I sensed early on that we could have an incredible life together. What has amazed me is how we've both grown and evolved each other over the past five and a half years. Still so full of fun and surprises.
HOW SHE ASKED 'WILL YOU MARRY ME?'...
It was one of my most elaborate plans to date. I started thinking about it around March and then in August I started to put everything in motion. We go away a lot on weekend trips, Lucy's Birthday is October and I asked her to take leave so we could go away to the Gippsland for a long weekend.
As tempting as it was to load up the car and detour to the airport, I gave her a week's notice that we were instead going to Uluru - we'd spoken about wanting to see the Field of Light art installation, and heard raving reviews about the spirituality of the place. With Lucy still thinking it was a Birthday present we jumped on the plane on the Friday and flew across the most incredible landscapes to Ayers Rock Airport.
The second secret - that we were to stay at one of the country's most incredible lodges - was only revealed when we went to check in. We had a whole weekend itinerary mapped out for us - we just had to turn up.
I wanted to propose to Lucy without anyone else present, and in a space where she could see the sparkle of the ring I had made by Pure Envy. So we took a early morning self-guided tour around Kata-Tjuta National Park and we found a ledge to sit on. I had written a few things down but had a lump in my throat already and couldn't muster the words. So asked her to read it for me, and gave myself a segway to ask that magical question at the end, as we looked out over some of Mother Nature's best work. Her response was "yes, one hundred times yes!" which made me gush, once again.
It took an army to pull it off but the whole event far superseded my expectations. Uluru will forever be a special place in our hearts and is now somewhere we can revisit in years to come.