Jewels on Ninth is delighted to share the story of Abaigeal and Darren’s engagement, complete with a custom-designed ring.
A little background information: Abigail knew her heart was with Darren. It was a fact. She also loves photographs. In the early years of their relationship, she put her two loves together to created heart-shaped collages on the walls of her subsequent bedrooms. While the heart-shaped collages no longer reign, photos are still important to the couple. Their photographs document the years they’ve spent together.
Abaigeal and Darren dated for over seven years before tying the knot in August of 2014. While the couple knew for a long time that they wanted to get married, Darren planned a picture-perfect official proposal for his bride-to-be just a week before their wedding day. The proposal was a reminiscent combination of surprise in the moment and excitement for the future, with photographs for proof.
Bride's name: Abaigeal Skjenna
Groom's name: Darren Luoma
Where was the proposal? On the Skjenna Family Farm, near Medicine Hat Alberta
When was the proposal? 8/1/2014
How did your partner pop the question?
Darren and I had been dating for over 7.5 years and had decided mutually after the Banff Food and Wine festival in May that we weren't going to wait any longer. We were going to get married. In August.
Although we had decided to get married, we did not want to tell people (unless they were going to be guests at our wedding) until Darren officially proposed to me. A girl like me wants a story bigger than an exciting conversation!
Okay, how did he really pop the question?
Darren couldn't propose until he got the ring. I had thought about my ring for years, so we got it custom made. That process took some time, so he did not receive it until late July. I didn't know when it was expected to come in, which was good because I wanted there to be some surprise to the proposal.
Then, on August 1st, 2014, I was visiting my family’s farm in Buffalo, Alberta. We met at the community hall celebrating the ghost town's centennial. Darren arrived from Calgary, about three hours away. I knew he was coming, but I assumed he hadn't been out to the farm yet. When we arrived at the farm, there was a 9-foot tall poster standing up on the lawn (he had recruited my dad to make a stand out of a ladder and 2x4s). A bunch of pictures of us were glued on the poster in the shape of a heart. One picture was missing in the middle. The heart collage was a nod to our university days when we first started dating. I would decorate my rooms, both in residence and back on the farm, with hundreds of pictures of us, in the shape of a heart. At the bottom of the poster, he wrote 'Will you Marry me?'.
Darren gave a quick speech, and then got down on one knee to ask me. When he opened the ring box, I screamed with delight because I saw my ring in real life. It was stunning! I hadn't given him my answer yet. I went into my purse, where I had kept a picture I took over a year ago while traveling solo in Ireland. It was of me on Inch Beach where I wrote 'YES.....FINALLY' in the sand. I gave him the picture. He laughed that I had kept my answer with me for so long and thought it would be a better picture for the centre of the heart instead of his original plan of an engagement photo.
What made this proposal extra special?
It was a warm summer night, and we had just picked up the mail after leaving the town celebration. I had received my blinged-out 'MRS' shirt that I was going to wear the day after we got married. What a coincidence that it arrived the day I was proposed to! After he popped the question, I put it on and my mom took pictures of the two of us in front of our collage—with our dog Raisin.
Because this official engagement was only a week before the wedding and only our 20 guests knew, we decided to keep it secret for a week longer. On the day of the ceremony, we announced on Facebook that we were getting married! I've always enjoyed a good surprise with a flair for the dramatic! And photos. I definitely love photos!
What are some specific details that you remember about the day?
I remember the feeling of excitement when Darren opened the ring box and I saw my knock-out diamonds.
I remember how he knew the exact amount of time we had been together and he included it in his speech: 7 years, 7 months and 23 days.
I will never forget how thoughtful Darren was to create such a poster that sums up so much of our relationship so nicely. It is so special that he proposed on the lawn of my family home, which I hold so very near and dear to my heart.
Tell us about your engagement ring.
Its blinding because of all the sparkle! I custom designed it with the help of Jewels on Ninth, and am beyond pleased with how it turned out. It has one centre diamond: emerald cut with impeccable clarity and 'D' colour. Two halos surrounding it. The band has channeled diamonds running up and down in the middle with baguette diamonds running side to side on top and below the centre channeled diamonds. Underneath the centre stone, looking at it from the side profile, there is a little emerald on each side which represents Ireland—the beautiful country my maternal grandparents are from, and a place that I am so proud to say I am a part of.
Photographer: Zoe Ferguson Photography
Want to share your story with Jewels on Ninth? You can submit your details on our "Share your engagement story" page.