Behind the Yes

The UmhlangaMarch 28, 2024

A Mediterranean Moment

When you know, you know. Matthew Davies knew he wanted to marry Gabrielle Akal, but hadn’t made the decision on an exact date to propose.”! knew that I was ready to grow with Gabs and that I didn’t want to be with anyone else. For those two reasons, and obviously her killer sense of humour, I chose to drop the knee,” he explains.


They had a stunning engagement in Greece when they were abroad for a family trip. He felt it would be the perfect opportunity for him to pop the question. They had a stunning engagement in Greece when they were abroad for a family trip. He felt it would be the perfect opportunity for him to pop the question. “Gabrielle’s brother, sister-in-law and nephew live in LA and were meeting us in Greece. We don’t get to see them often, so I thought it’d be really special to do it with them there. Gabs and I absolutely love Greek food and the beach, so it was a no-brainer!”


Planning an ultra-romantic surprise can’t be easy – sometimes you need some inside help. “My family assisted me with the ring’s design and keeping it safe and out of sight before we went to Greece. I kept her mom in the loop during the process of the ring being made.”


At the time, he didn’t really have a plan regarding the proposal itself, but he knew he wanted to do it on a beach and found the perfect private beach in Crete. He had also never met her brother in person. “So, I literally met him and within a few days I was like, “Dude, just a heads up, I’m going to be proposing this holiday.” He took it really well and said to Matt, “I like your sense of humour – you can stay.”


“I had written a speech before we left for Greece which included all of our highlights, how much I love her, and all that shmooshy stuff,” Matt shares. “The weather was perfect and the sea was calm. She loved the speech and loved the ring even more!”


But how did you plan all of this and keep it a secret, Matt? “Haha, with great difficulty! Gabs should have been a private investigator. She always finds the presents that I buy for her and can smell a surprise from a mile away!” With the help of family, he was able to keep everything a surprise until the right time and it was a resounding success.


Love in the Cape 

As Luke Taylor drove to gym one day, he decided it was time to propose to his girlfriend, Tasmin Hewitt. “We had been dating for 10 years and were best friends for 13 years. I knew she was the one from the first day I met her,” he shares.


Luke wanted to find the most beautiful place with natural surroundings to pop the question, as he knew Tasmin would love it. “I chose Clifton 4th Beach in Cape Town because that’s one of the most beautiful places in the country – the ocean meets the mountains all in one view. I managed to find a secluded rocky area overlooking the beach and facing the mountains.” He always had a feeling that he’d propose in Cape Town, and Clifton was perfect with its picturesque views. They had a beautiful, intimate moment just as he wanted it to be.


Luke had kept the ring for two months, waiting for the perfect moment. “Tasmin was going to Cape Town so I thought I would go with her and bring the ring along should I find the perfect time to propose,” Luke recalls. Before they left, he visited her mom to ask for her blessing. “That was probably the scariest part of the whole process!” he exclaims. They stayed with Luke’s brother and his girlfriend in Cape Town and he let them know he was planning to propose.


“The idea for the proposal was a picnic on the beach, watching the sunset and drinking champagne,” Luke explains. It was a good idea considering how beautiful Cape Town sunsets are, not to mention the stunning photos they’d get.


“Keeping it a secret was obviously the hardest part. Not telling family and friends felt very odd,” he says. Still, Luke decided to keep the secret under wraps and only told two people. “Hiding meeting the jeweller and getting the ring made was difficult because often we know exactly where the other one is, but I managed to make a plan. The ring was easy to hide in my jacket pocket, which wouldn’t be touched, so it sat there waiting for the right opportunity to play out.” All of his efforts were not in vain. Tasmin loved everything and, of course, said yes!


Surprise on a Safari

Brenton Naicker had been meticulously planning his proposal to his girlfriend, Bianca Naidoo, for some time. “When my best friend in New York told me he was coming down to SA to propose to his girlfriend, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for us to plan something in tandem – mainly because I knew Bianca would never expect it, and finding a way to make it a surprise was really important,” he shares.


Safaris are especially significant to the couple. They both feel a very strong connection with God when they’re out in nature. “She also mentioned to me a while ago that an outdoor engagement would be her perfect proposal (which I stored in the memory bank obviously) – so proposing on a safari trip was a no-brainer,” he explains.


Bianca’s family was in on the surprise, and, fortunately, everyone kept it under wraps. Their friends, who had just gotten engaged the day before, joined them on the safari, making the moment even more special. Some of her closest friends and family members were discreetly part of the entire planning process.


“We’ve been together for such a long time so l understand her and what she likes, not to mention she’s quite vocal about it!” he exclaims. He also involved an event planner whom Bianca works with quite closely. “She knows that Bee loves the finer things in life and understands her style and taste quite well. This resulted in the perfect proposal setup,” Brenton explains.


He made sure everything was a secret until the last minute, making sure everything went according to plan. “My best friend proposed the day before, which was all part of the plan. I knew the last thing she would expect was for me to propose the day after,” he divulges. “Also, she thought the reason we were going on safari was to celebrate his engagement, which further threw her off the trail.” Mission accomplished!


Words by Cristina Govender