We adore unique love stories. And lucky for us, we get to be a part of them all the time. Just recently, we had Annabelle visit our custom designers to create a one-of-a-kind engagement ring for her boyfriend - and now fiancé - Rafi.
How and where did the two of you meet?
RAFI: We met as I presume most people do these days: on an app. What was different about our story is that we matched 2 weeks before South Africa went into Level 5 lockdown for 5 weeks.
Though I wasn’t taking COVID very seriously yet, we met up outdoors at Kirstenbosch Gardens - Anabelle making it very clear that there would be absolutely no touching going on. What I had hoped would be a few pleasant hours in the gardens turned into a deep, 6-hour connection session. It ended with no contact as promised, except a light elbow kiss at the end.
Rafi, tell us about your ring. What makes it so special for you?
RAFI: I think it’s still rare for men to receive engagement rings, so that in itself makes it incredibly special. Anabelle also thought about my lifestyle and preferences — without much design direction from me — which was also quite touching.
Anabelle, when did you know you wanted to propose to Rafi?
ANABELLE: A few months after Rafi and I moved in together I was pretty sure he was the person I wanted to marry.
We agreed on the plan that I would propose. I’m a feminist, so i loved the idea of a man wearing an engagement ring. Rafi liked the idea of spending the coming months working on his “surprised face.”
Each time I thought about getting married to Rafi I felt great about it. The consistency of my feelings over time made me realise that my initial feeling of wanting to get married wasn't just a fleeting surge of emotions, but a true reflection of how I really felt.
Tell us about the proposal and the events leading up to it - we love the rock engraving idea.
ANABELLE: We had planned a weekend away in Betty's Bay and I thought that this would be the perfect time. I got a rock engraved beforehand and thought we could just "stumble" upon it on the beach.
As we had sat down, I managed to sneak the rock out of the bag and place it just behind him. About halfway through our coffees - having no idea how to incorporate a rock into our discussion of offshore wind and how nice the waves were - I just said: "Oh what's that rock behind you?" to which he replied "I mean, we're on a beach, so it's probably a rock." I then said "No, it looks weird - pick it up!" He did, he gasped, and he said "YES!" We hugged and kissed and it was lovely. In fact, it was so lovely I totally forgot about the ring, so I had to interrupt the moment to say: "Wait! I have a ring for you!"
Since we interviewed the lovely couple, Anabelle has returned to Dear Rae to design and create her own engagement ring. Admire below.