Steph’s Bride Diary: The best Christmas present ever!

The bride diaries

Digital editor Steph got engaged to her partner of nine years, Rab, on Christmas Eve 2017. Here’s how it happened!

Steph's Bride Diary 1

Steph + Rab a few days after their engagement at Bothwell Castle | Image by Val Boyle


I’d hoped for a wee shopping trip into Glasgow to soak up the festive atmosphere, but here I was on Christmas Eve 2017, bundling up in my hat and duffle coat, ready to go for a walk to Bothwell Castle in the pouring rain. My boyfriend Rab was insistent. Christmas Eve has always been our day together, and my favourite day of the whole year. So, even though the weather was rubbish, off we went.

The rain was fairly heavy by the time we reached the castle, and my feeble footwear meant that I now had wet socks. But, it was Christmas, so I held it together. We started walking around the castle like we’d done countless times before, and got to some ruins, looking out over the Clyde Walkway to the river. Even in the rain, it’s really pretty.

Right before Rab proposed to me!



Rab said that he’d got me a present for Christmas; a big photo frame, and he was filling it with nice pictures from the past year. He knew how much I loved our walks to the castle, so he said he wanted to get a photo of me there to fill the last space. I just laughed; when he told me to stand up on the ruins and turn with my back to him, overlooking the river and stretching out my arms, I just did it without thinking.

Rain trickled into my eyebrows and damn, was I getting annoyed about my socks. But there I was, standing, drookit, posing for the photo. A few moments later, I felt a tap on my leg, and I turned around.

Rab was down on one knee, in a puddle, holding out a box with the most beautiful ring inside.

When I think of that exact moment, it feels like I’m watching it from afar because it was so surreal! It felt like I stood there looking at him for ages, but in reality it was probably only a few seconds. I just burst out crying, saying “Are you serious?” and we both cried and he just said, “How about it?”.

We both laughed and hugged, and cried some more!

He put the ring on my finger (it fit perfectly) and whipped out a mini bottle of prosecco and two wee plastic glasses, which he’d hidden in his massive coat pockets. How I didn’t clock them, I don’t know!

I just kind of stumbled around a bit, drinking prosecco, looking at my ring. What just happened!? Thinking back on it makes me emotional! It was just perfect.

We managed to take a selfie. This photo is probably my favourite photo of us ever, because we were both just so happy and in the moment!



All I wanted to do was run home and tell our families, but my first FaceTime call was right there at the castle, and that was to my friend Ros, owner of Sweet Rosie Jewellery, who made my engagement ring. She and Rab worked together on it, and it couldn’t be more perfect.

Both my mum and my nan’s engagement rings were trilogy rings, so I have always hoped mine would be the same.

Speaking to Ros, knowing she’d kept the secret all that time, was such a lovely moment, and so special that my ring was made by a friend. It’s so personal for me.

Rab and Ros were the only two people who knew about the engagement “ Rab chose not to ‘ask’ my dad because, after being together for nine years, he knew that there would be no issues with it plus my mum and dad would never have been able to keep such a big secret.

We couldn’t wait to get home, take our wet shoes off, and do some FaceTiming!

All the heart eyes emojis for my ring – it’s perfect



We told all of Rab’s family and decided to take a taxi over to see mine who live just 15 minutes’ away. I made some excuse about bringing over some napkins for the Christmas table, and presented the packet to my mum with my ring sparkling right in front of her. She didn’t even notice!

I had to literally point it out to her, but my parents were both delighted. My mum just blurted out, “We’ve been waiting so long for this day Rab!”, and we all just laughed.

My friend (and chief bridesmaid) Letitia when we told her the news! 


FaceTiming our friends and family was such a lovely, heart-warming experience and I’ll genuinely never forget it. I loved seeing all of their faces when we told them the news; Rab even took a photo on his phone of each of my four best friends’ reactions, which was so funny!

I actually printed and paper-clipped those photos to their cards when I asked them to be my bridesmaids.

I genuinely wasn’t waiting on Rab proposing to me, and I honestly didn’t think I would feel any different after he did propose. We’re in a committed relationship and have been for over nine years, but in a weird way that I can’t really explain, it does feel different.

We’re a great team, and it feels amazing to know that we’re cementing that through marriage.

For starters, I get to wear the ring of my dreams every single day (although I am in a constant state of fear that it’ll fall off somehow!), but other than that, I just feel different. Maybe those of you who are engaged will understand and agree with me?

I think it’s given us a sense of security, and excitement for the future. I can’t wait to get properly stuck into the plans!


Follow Steph’s wedding planning journey, from bridesmaid proposals to choosing the venue, on the blog and in Scottish Wedding Directory magazine!