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The most recurrent question I get asked is did I know that Gal was going to propose to me that morning? And the answer is no - I had no idea!

So let me give a bit of the backstory...

Leading up to the proposal, Gal and I had been together for about 4 years. Our relationship was a bit of a mix between living together and long distance. My home was in Florida, United States; and his was in Cape Town, South Africa.

We traveled back and forth a lot, trying to balance time in each country as much as possible. We always aimed to spend no more than 3-4 weeks apart, which led to me spending much more time in South Africa since I had more flexibility with my job.

Our scheduling to try to keep together as much as possible worked really well all in all, except when it came to the holidays.

Since Gal ran boutique music festivals in Cape Town during the summer months (Nov-Jan) he couldn't afford to leave work to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family. All {but one year} I would travel back home to be with my family and then travel back to Cape Town in time for his New Year's Eve festival.

After nearly 4 years of dating, I finally got him to promise me to come for ONE holiday trip- Christmas!

This in itself was huge for me! Not only is Christmas one of the most magical holidays, but there were so many other facets to the excitement: my extended family could finally meet him, there's that extra special feeling when celebrating Christmas with a loved one, and {the best for last} him being Jewish, he never had a proper Christmas experience so of course my family went all out!

My family threw their annual Christmas party at our house the weekend leading up to Christmas Eve. My parents went all out decorating the entire house, front yard, pool, backyard- you name it!

I'm so excited {for not only me but Gal as well} to finally be in town for the McAlpin's Christmas party so naturally I invite all my friends, and since most of them are back in town from college for the holidays, the RSVP list is long. From that alone, I know it's going to be a long night, and I think Gal did too. So he decided to tell me the day of the party {the day prior to the proposal} that he has a surprise for me

super early the next morning, so he advises that I don't party too hard and head to bed at a decent time.

In my head I'm not super convinced that it's do-able but I kept optimistic. My optimism kept me up till 2:00am, completely drunk and exhausted.

4:00am the alarm goes off. From all the things that could have worn off, the only thing that did was my make up. So still drunk and tired, I re-applied my make-up and quickly got ready before I even knew what was going on.

This is the point where many started to ask if I had any suspicions about the proposal.

As mentioned above, at no point did I have any clue this was going to turn into a proposal. I simply thought it was an early Christmas gift.

I did assume it was an experience because Gal said it was the only day they could do it before we left {back to South Africa} so I assumed it was an experience that was closing for the holidays. That being said, I had no idea what the experience was going to be nor did it wave any flags toward being a proposal since Gal has gifted me with experiences in the past.

On the way to the experience pick up point {which was about a 1 hour drive from my house} he did ask me to vlog (video record) my thoughts, which for most would have raised a flag but we had been vlogging the whole Christmas trip leading up to this, so it all seemed normal.

This is where the vlog carries on the journey, so I'll let you watch from here....


Isn't it beautiful! <3 This stunning ring was designed by Gal and custom made by Cape Diamond Exchange which is a jewelry company in Cape Town run by Gal's mother!

Around year 3 into our relationship, I started pinning {collecting photos on Pinterest} my dream engagement ring in hopes that day was coming soon! Every engagement ring is so beautiful in its own way, so I knew there was no getting it wrong, but there were a few design ideas that really caught my eye; gold plated, whisper thin band, and one diamond to steal the show.

Gal knowing this designed the most beautiful and most perfect ring for me! He picked a D clarity, pear shaped diamond {same shape as my mother's}, with a whisper thin band (nearly impossibly to find a jeweler who makes these bands). A subtle, hidden detail is the diamond halo that wraps around the underneath of the pear shaped diamond.

Everything leading up to the proposal and then the proposal itself was just so meaningful. I could re-live this day over and over. This is a memory I'll hold onto forever. <3


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Thanks for taking time to read my blog post! I hope you find value in it! If you're new to seeing my content, Hi my name is Mariah! I love sharing my take on fashion, travel, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, bridal and more!

I have been writing + creating photo/video content since I was about 12 years old (2007) - never in my wildest dreams thinking I could be doing this as a full time job 10 years down the road.

I moved to South Africa shortly after meeting my husband and we got married 5 years later (2020)! We often travel back and forth between Florida, USA and Cape Town, South Africa - both of them home to us.

I have two puppies, Chai + Bentley. And I hope to be telling you about children some day soon!

Until then, I will keep sharing my current passions, tips + tricks, thoughts + tools for life! The adventure continues....!



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