A new proposal

Meet ELLE's newest bride-to-be...

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By Leisa Barnett

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It happened in Paris.

Jamie and I had been together for five years, and I'd been saying for the latter few of them (ahem) that we'd gone past the point where he could surprise me with a proposal. I was on red alert. So it was with butterflies tempered with a side of don't-get-your-hopes-up that I boarded the Eurostar to Paris one Friday last November to meet him - he'd been in the city the night before for a work event - and make a long weekend of it.

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I'd kind of imagined that, if this really was it, he'd meet me armed with a cast-iron itinerary of events. (He's not one to leave things to chance.) But he didn't. OK, I thought, I'll roll with it - my sensible side telling me to shut up, relax and enjoy Paris.

We did. We strolled around Montmartre. We took selfies outside Sacré-Coeur. We had dinner in a hip restaurant in the 9th. And then, quite spontaneously, in our beautiful room in Hotel du Temps, after a breakfast of coffee and croissants and while we both messed around getting ready for the day on Saturday morning, he presented me with the most incredible Annina Vogel vintage diamond ring. Just like that.

The best part? I was totally, genuinely surprised. And beyond ecstatic. I said yes.

The run up to Christmas was a blur of congratulations and celebrations and now, with 2014 very definitely underway, it's time to knuckle down. We've set the date for November this year, and put the wheels in motion for a (hopefully) cool East London bash: we'll be married at the beautiful Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel, then head for a railway arch beneath the train line that runs through Hackney for party time.

Needless to say, my thoughts have already turned to dresses, too...

Leisa Barnett is News & Social Media at ELLE.

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