ENGAGEMENT STORY: SAMUEL & EUAN
Typically, when a couple is asked how they met, they chuckle and sheepishly admit that it was online. Not so with Samuel and Euan. “We have no shame that we met online. Isn’t that how all couples these days meet?” Samuel said confidently.
It was Euan who made the first “digital move” and the two “got chatting quite a lot straight away,” Euan found. “Everyone has an online persona who is slightly cooler, slightly wittier than in life, but I quickly found that I dropped that,” Euan went on. Of the exchange, Samuel said: “I am a terrible flirt. I am not witty online or in person! Luckily, Euan liked the ‘myself’ that I am.”
After a few weeks into their online chatting, the couple planned their first date at a quintessential pub in the countryside near where Euan was living in Minchinhapmton. As Samuel said, “I was quite nervous, because we hit it off right from the start.” Euan, who had only ever been on one or two dates in his life, was terrified. “There was no loud music to hide behind or large crowds to blend into.” Euan continued: ”I remember I had to be very careful, because my hands were shaking and I had to take care not to spill my pint down myself.” “I didn’t know that,” Samuel exclaimed. But, before long, hours disappeared.
Euan, a Harry Potter fan, was also quite taken with the fact that Samuel appeared in the 4th - 8th movies in the Harry Potter series!
At the end of the date, Samuel sat in his car laboring over a “perfect post-first-date-text.” When the time came to drive back to London Samuel’s car would not turn over! “I was too embarrassed to call him after a first date to come save me.” Luckily, Samuel’s sister also lived nearby.
The two embarked on a series of “the most quintessential dates:” dinners and movies, sleepover weekends and simple long walks together. They quickly realized they were quite keen on each other, but “the distance was a problem for us,” said Euan. “We were both wondering if things would fizzle because we were living quite far away from each other.”
However, on the occasion of Samuel’s birthday, it became clear that the relationship was meant to carry on. Euan had just returned from a six-week visit to the US where Euan had gone to work on a ranch “and do a bit of blacksmithing!” (as one does!) and the couple hadn’t been in tremendous touch “because of the time difference and what not.” But, it was clear that Samuel was very much on Euan’s mind, as evinced by the birthday gift he’d brought back for Samuel.
“It was a beautiful journal with the first chapter of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby written in his original handwriting on the cover. “It is my favorite book. I even have part of it tattooed on my body!” said Samuel. Euan took a friendly jab at Samuel’s taste in literature by inscribing a passage from his favorite book, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings going so far as to cite it as the better book and thus starting a literary scuffle between the two. But as Samuel more meaningfully pointed out of the gift: “it ‘got’ me so much.” And so their relationship became much more than just casual dating.
Within three months of their ‘literary exchange,’ the two coincidentally landed jobs in London, prompting Euan to pop the question: “Do you want to be my boyfriend!?” As Samuel jokingly shared, his response was a very casual “Yeah. Alright then!” Now living in London, though in separate apartments, they became even closer.
Not too long after, fate had a hand again in their moving in together as their respective leases ran out within months of each other. And in turn, as is (not if- typo) often the case, real estate had a hand in their engagement. But it might have been in the cards no matter what given, as Euan pointed out, “Sam had told me very near the start of our going out that unless I could see marriage down the road, he was not going to be very interested.” Through a bit of a giggle Samuel said: “Somehow he didn’t run away and I don’t know how!”
Euan decided to propose on a day that Samuel was out of the city. As he said: “I found myself thinking waiting any longer is a detail, so why bother.”
Samuel returned home to find Euan battling the wind to light a pathway of candles on their terrace, which happens to overlook the Tower of London! “The plan was to light an aisle that would lead us to a circle lit in candles so that I could propose, but by the time we got there all but two candles were still lit!” Samuel rushed to correct Euan: “It was more like six!”
“Shall we get married?” Euan asked. “I wanted it to be equal and not me asking him or him asking me.” Samuel said: “YES, absolutely.”
When asked if there was a ring offered, Samuel perked up and described “little old me there with my hand out implying he was allowed to put a ring on my finger. Instead, he slipped me a business card!” Turned out the card was for the jeweler who’d design their rings the very next day. The rings, though identical on the outside, each are engraved on the inside with Samuel’s initials on his ring and Euan’s on his. For their engagement each groom-to-be will wear the ring with his own initials. And, at the wedding, they will exchange rings so each is wearing the other’s initials.
“We wanted a shorter engagement, so we are getting married within the year,” said Euan. “So plans are full steam ahead.” “We will have our civil ceremony just with a couple of friends in jeans and shirts in May,” Sam shared. “And then the religious ceremony will be in September.”
Of the planning experience, Euan says: “It has been stressful, but not with each other, rather with the process itself.” The two are working on a tight budget, but have enjoyed finding creative ways of making theirs a unique wedding. “We didn’t look up ‘wedding caterers,’ but rather ‘portable catering;’ nor did we look up ‘wedding venues,’ but instead ‘rooms for hire!” Euan cleverly pointed out. Samuel added: “Gay men are good at the details, so we are really loving the planning. It is exciting!”
When asked what they’ve learned about each other in the planning process, Samuel answered: “I have had daily confirmation that marrying Euan is the right thing to do.” For Euan, “it has been nice to know how much we want this to happen.” Samuel went on to say: “It has been a great demonstration of what our marriage will look like.”
And, with that, the wedding planning and their married life together, seem pretty “sorted” as the English so aptly say!
Engagement photography by @hbphotography_hb.