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Cara Gallagher is a Byron Bay Wedding Celebrant. Modern, unique and fun wedding ceremonies delivered with style.

The Proposal: Luke Shadbolt


Real weddings, ceremony tips and local insight about venues and outdoor spaces from Byron Bay marriage celebrant, Cara Gallagher, of Modern Love Ceremonies.

The Proposal: Luke Shadbolt

Cara Gallagher

Luke, asked his lovely girlfriend, Nicole, to marry him when they were in a boat, on a lake, underneath some cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, back in April 2015.

At the time I asked him a few questions about the process of proposing; what plans he made to create a beautiful moment and any practicalities around proposing whilst on an overseas adventure.

I have the honour of helping these two get married next year, and I'm 100% positive it will be as magic as the proposal.


How much planning went in to taking the ring overseas with you, did you get extra insurance?

Not a whole lot of planning to be honest, as everything was last minute it hadn’t even crossed my mind. I had it sitting in my camera bag with all my equipment, which I am always quite protective of, so it was safe.


Were you paranoid about travelling with the ring? How did you keep it safe? How did you keep it a secret from Nicole?

As for keeping it a secret from Nicole, I had been trying to figure out what type of ring to get her for around 6 months, picking up little bits of information as I went and also getting what I could out of her friends (who were of little help to be honest, thanks girls!).

She is quite particular as you can probably imagine, so I knew it was going to be an uphill battle but I did want it to be a surprise so I just went with it. I ended up designing it myself, but it when it arrived it wasn’t quite what I had envisaged. At that point I thought the location and timing was too good to pass up, so I went ahead with it and figured we could get it adjusted at a later date.
(Note: the ring did get redesigned at a later date, using the same stones.)


Because of Nicole’s profile and the images you make together, did you feel a lot of pressure to pull off the most whimsical and ethereal proposal ever?

Ha, I guess there was a little bit of pressure, but in reality I wanted to make it amazing for her, not for anyone else. I knew I always wanted to propose in Japan during cherry blossom season, but didn’t know exactly where I would do it. Then when I saw the boats at Chidorigafuchi, it seemed like the ideal location.



Many people are so shocked when they get proposed to, they forget to respond, did you get a flat out yes or did she swear?

There was a brief pause, because she had no idea it was coming and went into shock for a second, but then there was an emphatic yes so that was a huge relief.


Was there any doubt in your mind about what her answer would be, or were you 100% confident?

I was pretty confident, to be honest I wasn’t nervous at all. We’d been together for almost 9 years at the time and I like to tell her I know her better than she knows herself, so I was pretty sure I would get a yes.


Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about proposing, especially on an overseas adventure?

It’s a pretty personal thing, It really comes down to the individual couple. I always liked the idea of having a bit of a story to tell about the proposal, for me it was probably even more important than the ring itself.


You can read about Nicole's side of the story on her blog here.