The best proposals are the unexpected, super sneaky and so surprised you jump out of your chair kind. My beautiful fiance did just that! We have been together for nearly 4 years and I knew he was the one from the very start. We get asked all the time when will we tie the knot and of course we talk about it all the time. Well, mainly me… I can’t help it when I see beautiful brides every day.

In June this year, he popped the question at the picturesque Yarra Valley. It was the biggest surprise as I had booked the trip not for a romantic getaway but more to relax from the busy weeks I’ve been having. He said the ring was in his pocket the whole day, and he surprised me in the morning at the balcony overlooking the rolling hills of the Yarra Valley. I was so in shock, I kept asking if he was serious. And then I saw the ring, OH MY! It was unique, art deco inspired, and it was so me! I was prepared to marry him with a plastic ring if I had to but that just topped it off. Of course I said YES!

Being in the bridal industry, it has its perks. I have so many lovely friends that are super happy to help. In September, we decided to host our engagement party at my yet to open new boutique in Elsternwick. I wanted a fun event with lots of dancing and laughing, and we did just that! Eliska from Ruffles and Bells events planning is a dear friend of mine and she transformed my space into a stylish party central.

The food was home made by my dad and my fiance’s mum and sister. Dessert was by a talented pastry chef who happens to be a good friend too.

I was incredibly lucky to have everyone come and celebrate our engagement. It was the best ever, we both had so much fun! I missed it for weeks after it, I wanted to do it again. Well I guess I’ll just have to wait until the wedding.

Ms Gingham says: What a beautiful party! It looks like you all had an absolute ball! Thanks for sharing your story Cathleen!

About Cathleen Jia – Cathleen Jia is a Melbourne bridal designer. Cathleen’s vision and talent has evolved into a luxury bridal brand, specialising in unique made to measure bridal gowns, ready to wear evening dresses and beautifully hand crafted accessories.