She Asked, He said Yes!

The tradition of turning tables with the proposal game was first introduced at a time when women quite simply were forbidden from proposing to men. At the very same time, the 29th February was a date totally unrecognised by the nation and thus it held no lawful status. So our savvy (and wonderfully gallant) sisters of the past took the opportunity to defy tradition and ask their man to marry them. With the added bonus of a refused proposal resulting in a new pair of gloves to hide their ringless hands!

Today, of course, women have the freedom to propose whenever they desire (phew). However, this quaint custom has held its place in our hearts and minds and is often adhered to, even now – I like to think of it honouring those first brave ladies who went down on bent knee! So with 2016 marking another leap year and, with it, a chance for you lovely ladies to take control and ask your S.O, we are sending some advice your way on how to make it the perfect proposal!

Make it nostalgic
If pure movie-worthy-romance is your love’s ideal, why not use a memory within your proposal. Return to where you had your first date, or the place you met and use that as your setting, because who doesn’t love to reminisce!?

Make it about them
It will be easy to watch some timeless romcoms with the girls and be inspired to create the most romantic proposal with flowers, chocolates and a string quartet but even if that is your dream proposal, it might not be your sweetheart’s! Think about tailoring it to them, which could mean avoiding tradition! If all they ever want to do during their down-time is get outdoors, head outdoors yourself! Go for a walk in that forest they love and hide a sign asking them to marry you at the end…It’s time to get creative but also time to show them just how much you care.

Make it memorable
This is an important day in both of your lives so make it memorable – but what’s important is making it right for you both. Memorable doesn’t have to mean lavish – yes, you could rent their favourite sports venue or maybe a museum, ask the question and then have all your family and friends there to celebrate with you, a proposal and engagement party in one! But if they’re the type to appreciate the little things, maybe a treasure hunt, taking them to all the places important to you as a couple and finishing with a proposal is the way to go. The main thing is that you put thought into it, whether it’s in your humble abode after a home-cooked meal, or in front of everyone you know with a photographer at the ready. So make it right for you, because you will love remembering it for the rest of your lives.

The answer’s YES…if you’re asking!

So today is finally here, the 29th of February, where we’re reminded of that oh-so- rare opportunity for us girls to pop the question to that special person in our life.

So why is February 29th so significant as the one day, every four years, we’re ‘granted permission’ to propose? According to the history books (also known as google) here is how this tradition started and why:

The tradition dates back hundreds of years, to when the leap year was not recognised by English law; the day was simply “leapt over” and ignored. Since it had no legal status, formal traditions did not apply on this day and consequently, women who were not content to wait for a proposal took advantage of this anomaly and popped the question themselves. It was also thought that since leap year corrected the discrepancy between the calendar year (365 days) and the time it takes for the earth to complete one orbit of the sun (365 days and 6 hours), it was an opportunity for women to correct a tradition that was one-sided and unfair. Go ladies of yore!

Thankfully, rules of courtship are quite different these days and much less strict. When asked, most girls would prefer that the guys go down on a bended knee; mainly because of traditional values and the romanticism of the proposal itself, it would seem…and we wouldn’t want to be associated with ‘nagging him into it’ now, would we?

The proposal of marriage is a tradition that we’ve come to adore and whilst we’re all for equality, there are some traditions that still have their perfect place in modern society. Relationships come in many guises. Couples that have been together forever, have the house, the kids, the dog and the X-box – often the proposal doesn’t even get a look-in. More a conversation that just took place one evening, rather a matter-of-fact “Well, I suppose we could, couldn’t we?”

I know of a gentleman who’d been in a relationship with a lady for a few years and on 29th February, sent her a card in the post saying simply…”The answer is YES…if you’re asking!” They were married later that same year.

So ladies, we’re constantly surrounded by messages of empowerment, equality and if a man can do-it/have-it/want-it…then so can we! and the same can be said of the marriage proposal. In my job, one of the questions I ask brides-to-be at viewings is ‘when did you get engaged?’ (gotta love a love story!) closely followed by ‘was it a complete surprise?’ Quite often the response is an emphatic yes…with the addition of ‘well, we’ve been together for so long, I was kinda hoping it would happen soon’

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with – why wait for him to propose? and second to that, certainly don’t wait for this elusive date on the calendar once every four years! Time to turn the tables – how do you think you’d envisage the perfect proposal to your partner? Would it be a conversation that just evolved one day, or a spectacular display of your undying love?

Stopping to consider this for myself, I can only imagine the nerves and anxiety that our male counterparts go through during this highly charged life-changing moment. I’m not sure what my proposal would be like. I’d rather hope that it would be a quiet, gentle affair that allowed me the confidence to go for it, with enough re-assurance that the outcome would be a positive one. No fireworks. No aeroplanes drawing heart-shapes in the sky – just a simple ‘will you?’ Maybe that would be about all I could manage!

Ladies, I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavours…xx

Spring – New Life and New Love

ast weekend really felt like Spring had arrived and in this weekend of new life and Spring-time sunshine, Glemham Hall, which dates back to 1560, had something new to celebrate too – our first same-sex marriage. We were proud to welcome the friends and family of Daniel Mack Shand and Jason Lee Rodger on Saturday 2nd April to celebrate their marriage.

Now living in London, Jason proposed to Daniel surrounded by their friends and family at Jason’s own surprise 30th Birthday party which had secretly been arranged for him by Dan. The spontaneous (but incredibly smooth) moment was captured on camera and received over 160,000 views on Youtube, has been featured in various blogs and even reached as far as Australia! (See the video here)

Photos © Martin James Photography 2000 – 2016

Photos © Martin James Photography 2000 – 2016

The couple returned to Suffolk for their wedding day, surrounded by the very same crowd of family and friends. The emotional ceremony, where their friends sang (and cried!) them down the aisle was followed by cocktails in the rose garden, under beautiful blue skies. The happy couple met through their love of musical theatre so it was quite fitting that guests received tickets to their ‘show’ and took their seats to enjoy the performance of Daniel and Jason’s lives.

We would like to wish Dan and Jason a lifetime of happiness and health, and thank them for letting us share in their wonderful day; an historic moment for Glemham Hall.

Tori and Donna xx

For information about getting married at Glemham Hall visit or call 01728 746704