Vikki & Stevie
Vikki Keating-Dake proposed to her husband Stevie; they married in May 2009. The couple have four children together: Michael (10), Ella (seven), Jacob (two) and Lucy (two months).
"The reason I asked Stevie to marry me was because I spotted these awesome bride and groom Pez [confectionary] dispensers online and that was it. No real plan. I thought, 'I'm going to get them and I'm going to ask him to marry me'. I wasn't thinking of who should propose. It just happened that way.
Instead of a ring I gave him a Fender Telecaster guitar. Stevie gave me my ring in Eddie Rockets on Valentine's Day after we had spent the day at a dreadful pre-marriage course. So we have online shopping to thank for us getting engaged because getting married wasn't on the radar at the time.
"It was the day before my birthday, and Stevie and the kids had gone into town to do some shopping. The guitar had arrived that morning, so I unwrapped it while they were out to check it was okay and couldn't put it away. The thought of it in the house, I would have gone insane knowing it was there and what it was for. So I decided to do it that day.
"When they came home they were trying to hide my birthday presents and I was trying to keep the guitar hidden. I put it on the dining table with the Pez dispensers and covered it with a table cloth. I was so nervous they all knew something was up. I took the table cloth off, but when it came to it I couldn't get the words out, so our son said: 'Are you asking him to marry you?' It was lovely. Very emotional. Stevie had no idea.
"The funny thing is that I actually did get the proposal. We were engaged years ago and didn't quite make it down the aisle. So I definitely didn't miss out on the experience of getting a proposal. Stevie brought me to Galway for a weekend and we were sitting in Eyre Square when he asked me to marry him. It was very special. I guess I feel lucky to have been engaged to the same boy twice.
"As for the traditional proposal route, that's fine if it suits. It doesn't necessarily mean it's less meaningful because people have followed traditions. It might be important to them. For us, though, it's not important. We had already bypassed the traditional route by having three of our children before we got married.
"We just did things that worked for us as a family. We really wanted to enjoy the wedding planning so anything stressful was vetoed. I'm afraid of heights so getting engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower was out!
"The only traditional thing we did was to get married in a church, and dealing with the church was the only thing that gave us a headache."