"Nothing went to plan when I decided to propose to my boyfriend. But I wouldn't change it."

10 weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in a cafe and decided that I would propose to my boyfriend.

I don’t know if it was my triple shot long black kicking in, but I started thinking… why should the prince get all the glory? Why can’t the princess do it herself?

In that moment, knew I loved Rob more than anything in the world and I knew I wanted to be with him forever. So why should I wait for him to propose instead of making it happen?

The first time I met Rob, 11 years ago, I was sleeping on his bedroom floor. At the time he was dating my friend and they were trying to set me up with his cousin… needless to say that didn’t happen! Two years later, we met up again. I had no intention of getting into a relationship at that time, but things happened so easily for us.

Over the last nine years, we’ve really grown up together. I love that Rob and I are not your average couple. We’re both strong willed, stubborn and passionate individuals, but are so different in so many ways. I’m a morning person, he’s a night owl. I eat raw slices and Rob is the ultimate candy man. Rob has a quick temper and I’m rational and methodical. But we just work.

The decision that I would propose to Rob wasn’t really out of character for us. We’d spoken about it before, he didn’t seem to mind the idea, so I took that as my green light to start planning. To be totally honest, it didn’t matter to me what people might think – I was doing this for us.

I always knew that we would get engaged in Bali. We’ve always holidayed there and some of my happiest memories are there with Rob. So one morning, instead of overthinking it, I just went with my gut and booked flights! That was the easy part.

You can watch Henny’s kickarse proposal start-to-finish in the video below. Post continues after video.


Next, I chose my own ring. No way would I ever trust Rob to choose my ring, I’m an absolute control freak perfectionist. But it was actually so fun doing it with my mum and sister, Alex. I was getting sneaky email updates with 3D images from the jeweller, and getting advice and opinions from Mum and Alex on different elements without Rob knowing. Mum and I squealed with delight when it was delivered, it was such a magical moment and I’m glad I got to share it with her.

When it came to organising the proposal, I didn’t want to do anything cliché or too lovely dovey. There wasn’t going to be an orchestra or a rose petal trail to the beach, that’s not our style. After scrolling through EVERY Bali tourist page on Instagram, I eventually found this incredible island called Nusa Pandia that felt right.

I worked with my friend Anna who owns a villa in Bali, Villa Saudara, and she booked a speed boat and private tour guide for the morning we arrived. I had written ‘Will you marry me?’ on a golf ball – Rob’s true love – and I was going to do the proposal there, but just before we flew into Bali, Anna called – all boats were cancelled the next day due to winds. My months of planning had gone out the window!

The next morning, I had no idea how I was going to propose. We decided to go to a cute vegan cafe for breakfast, so I thought, smoothie bowl proposal! Of course, Rob decided he wanted to go shopping beforehand, then we got to the café and it was a 40-minute wait to be seated.

I organised for Rob’s smoothie bowl to say ‘Marry Me Rob’, then it was a 60-minute wait for the bowls to come out. The stress was real. But the ‘not so perfect proposal’ actually turned out to be one of the most perfect moments of our lives.

girl proposing boy
"We, especially women, often wait for magic to just happen. We are quite capable of making our own magical moments happen everyday." Images: Supplied.

It was like nothing else existed in those minutes and I literally get flutters in my tummy when I think of seeing Rob’s face light up when the bowls finally came out and he said yes. I think him crying when he called his mum afterwards to tell her is also something I'll never forget. I wouldn't change a thing.

I think it was important for me to propose because it was a reminder that you can be and do anything you want in life. You should never let the fear of what people might think hold you back. If you feel in your gut that something is the right thing to do, then I guarantee it is.

Another bonus - when you plan your own proposal, you get to have it exactly the way you want it. I had my outfit chosen, how I wanted my hair and makeup, nails perfect and tan on - none of this surprise BS.

Even though I feel like me proposing to Rob was completely expected from anyone who knows me, I hope it might inspire other women to do it too, if it suits them. We, especially women, often wait for magic to just happen.

We are quite capable of making our own magical moments happen everyday.

Henny is an Adelaide-based personal trainer and the founder of MBODY. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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Would you consider proposing to your partner? Would you worry about what your friends and family would think?