The Proposal

Jhen and I started dating in January 2009 and made our first out of town excursion in Portland, Jamaica that month... where one of the most memorable times there was going to a place called Monkey Island (look in the background you see the island). It’s just this "Untapped", beautiful island with a small beach where we hung out. There is even a hill you could climb where there were large bamboo trees all around and large rocks on your journey up. Once you got to the top, the scenery is just astounding, overlooking the tides gushing on the hillside! I hope I gave a fairly good summary of this magical place but the point is, for some reason Jhen and I never went back since… until the day I proposed almost 5 years later - on Nov 30 2013.

Of course, I wanted the moment to be as special as my imagination could stretch! Like skydiving with a Will-You-Marry-Me parachute hoping to land in one piece, on an oasis coast with two symmetrical water falls, bright yellow and green fishes in the clear waters and exotic parrots flying around saying as I land superman style right in-front of her on my knees  #POW!

Or maybe I could ask NASA to borrow their rocket to go pickup that “Water from the Moon” Celine's been talking about and come back to mix it with her favourite coffee (she loves coffee) so I could give her in that Will-You-Marry-Me mug I bought at the wholesale in Moon Town.

What if one morning, I could fart and have it sound the question to her as it depletes? Maybe she would be so impressed, it would shun any disgust and maybe she would say yes?! That would be different for SURE but despite what do, it all boils down to me asking her to marry my crazy ass anyways! (Get it?)

I started going insane after the 100th idea! Forget the pain women go through for delivering babies. This proposal thing puts a lot of pressure and stress on men!! I eventually said, “Calm down Neil, follow your heart” and that’s when I asked myself “How did we start out? What was one of those inaugural moments?” Then came the idea that I had to do it on that island because it has sentimental meaning.

I thought well, since 2009, Jhen and I have shared so many memories, that I could pull some photos together and leverage my photoshop skills to make a collage for each year 2009 to 2013. I did just that and printed them on sign material so we could stand the five of them up on sticks in the sand on the big day. I did a 6th one for 2014 that just has a big question mark on it too.

The idea was to plan another beach excursion somewhat reminiscent of what we did in 2009 and invite our close friends. It was 20 persons confirmed. We had liquor, food, music (so we thought); and you name it – it was a beach party! The original plan was to propose to her in private on the day but that changed after being convinced to do it in front of everyone!

The proposal day started off smoothly. We headed out about 7am that morning and right throughout the day the weather held up nicely! However, I was not aware that Murphy aka Murphy’s Law was the 21st person invited to tag along for the fun! First off, the generator could not power the speakers (though we tested the generator the night before). By the way, we had to take multiple boat trips across to the island with the stuff so it was really disheartening to see that the speakers were not working !! Somehow a crew member locked my keys in the van. The list went on but the liquor disguised this misfortune and we all drank and made the most of the moment. My lesson from Murphy? ------it’s not the problems you face, but how you overcome them!

The plan was to propose at 2:30pm and it was about that time so I huddled the crew in pretending to talk about something random while we make the plans for the big proposal. “Where are the signs? Where is Jhen? Where we gonna plant the signs and the ring? Let’s mark the spots!! How we gonna distract her??”

I took Jhen for a walk around the other side of the island while the crew setup. The moment of truth came as we started walking back to the beach. I glimpsed the signs stuck in the sand so started by walking her to the 2009 collage. I started pointing on the photos saying “You remember when we just started talking…see this pic of us on this very same beach back in 09”. She started crying but had no idea what was coming! I moved over to the 2010 collage which was about 8 feet away and I basically took her on a journey of each year we shared by walking across to each of the collages one by one. When we got to 2013, I didn’t escort her over to the 2014 collage. Instead I told her to go over to it while I dug out the ring. By the time she realised it was just a question mark, she turned around to see me on bended knees It was as if the sky opened and poured joy and happiness amongst all of us on that island. It felt magical, even some of the guys couldn’t hold back the emotions.

“Jhen, we shared so much in the last 5 years, re-lived just now through only but a few photos walking across the sand, that I can’t even imagine what another 10 signs would be like further along the beach – one for each year. I want to continue our journey the right way and for us to first fill out that 2014 sign by asking you to be my wife. I intend to do this twice in my life – the first, and the last.”

She kept screaming and saying she wants to go on her knees too LOL and eventually SHE SAID YES! I put on the ring which fit (wheew! …that’s another story) and here we are today. This was truly a blessing for us and we wouldn’t change a thing about that day.

Here's a short video of what happened on that day Nov 30 2013 (courtesy of Chad... Respect bro!)




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Click here to see photos!

Nadine - Jon Wagoner

Jhen & Neil - Congratulations to a beautiful couple. Enjoyed reading the engagement composition sounded fun and just as always an extravaganza by Neil.Thanks for sharing ..... the wedding photos looked great!!!...May each day bring additional joy into your lives. All the best in this new chapter and welcome over into the marriage club. It's an extraordinary feeling of belongingness, love and fun when you marry the right one that you love. Soul mates for life.... All the best.. Nadine & Jon

Monday, 15 December 2014 17:06
Big Bro

Basically a week later and still feeling euphoria that was Nov.8, 2014! Wedding Shot! Everyone finally saw how real couples should treat each other. Everything ran smooth and a lot to look fwd to for years to come for you both. I'll be there to support this union every step of the way. #JheNeil #Neielle #JhenandNeil2014 #LifeAsOne

Friday, 14 November 2014 17:06
Aunty Faye

Had the best time. So happy for you both. All that's good for you, now and forever.Love you.

Thursday, 13 November 2014 17:06

I cant believe the BIG DAY is only 5 days away. Thinking back to all our memories together its so surreal!!I am beyond happy for you both and cant wait to be a part of the day you start your bright future together.I wish you nothing but happiness always and forever! NOV.8.2014 YAY! xoxox

Monday, 03 November 2014 17:05
Hopie Harnett

Hey My Darlings. Time is drawing near and I am getting goose bumps( not ChikV).Everything is coming together beautifully and it is going to be a PERFECT day with God's blessings of clear skies and everything going according to plans.Looking forward to it my Loves and the good Lord is guiding us every step of the way for a perfect day. Love alwaysMom

Tuesday, 07 October 2014 17:05
Nate Whittaker

The time is drawing NEAR!I am extremely happy for you two! Looking forward to sharing this sacred day with you both. It's going to be a very special day..Neil I am extremely proud of what you are doing and there is no one else I would wish for you to to spend the rest of your life with than Jhen Jhen! She is such a sweetheart inside and out. Love and Happiness forever guys,Just over a month to go. LETS GO!!!!   - Nate & Jodi

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 17:04
Auntie Faye

I am so excited for you both.  Got my ticket, dress and speech.  Can you say ready, set, go?  Love you both.  See you soon!

Monday, 08 September 2014 17:03

Aunty Jhen and Uncle Neil.....what can i say...i look at you both almost everyday...literally! That's a pic of pic i have by my desk. Ive always been proud of my brother AND his fiance...soon to be Mrs. Lawrence ...MY SISTER in law I need to mentally prepare myself so that there's no overspill of happy tears! Its going to be a perfect day!! and I cant happy to be apart of it. You both are a beautiful couple inside and outside...Neil im so proud of you...your taking a BIG step...starting your family...laying the foundation for lots and lots of babies! Hurry up so Jenin has cousinS to play with. Jhen....i love you and ur already a part of my family...the big day is just legalizing it i LOVE the website!!

Friday, 27 June 2014 17:02
Auntie Faye

So looking forward to your big day.  I think of Jhen as a baby and what a wonderful woman she has become.  You have each received a most valuable gift, the gift of each other's hearts.  Continue to nurture them and hold them gently, remembering to laugh often, even when it hurts.  Love, always.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 17:02
Aunty Val

I love the website!!!!!!!!!!You 2 are perfect for each other. Wishing you love and happiness on your upcoming wedding which will be a start to something truly beautiful.2 People 2 Lives 1 love BlessingsAunty Val

Thursday, 19 June 2014 17:02
sonia garel

dear jhen and neil,congrats to you both,you make such a beautiful couple,may the lord continue to guide and shine his light upon you,looking forward to the big day.i absolutely love your website,very touching! love ya!.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 17:01

Beautiful Couple. Sometimes things are worth emulating and you guys got that. Wishing you congrats on the engagement and hats of to Neil " King I'm humbled to have been present for the proposal" you did it "epic". May God continue to bless you both. CONGRATS !!

Monday, 09 June 2014 17:00
Robert and Jody

Sooo sorry, I forgot  to mention, we LOVE the website!!  Simply BEAU-TI-FUL!!! 

Saturday, 07 June 2014 17:00
Robert and Jody

CONGRATULATIONS Jhen and Neil. Words cannot express how happy we are for the both of you prepare for the next phase of your lives. A new journey, a new beginning is always an exciting time filled with dreams, promises and expectations. We wish you both God's richest blessings and fulfillment of all those dreams and then some :) We'll see you both on November 8!!!! Robert & Jody

Saturday, 07 June 2014 17:00
Big Bro

Words cant explain how excited I am for you both!!! Neil has been beyond a blessing to our family. From day one I thought u two were perfect match (no clue why), but i knew he had good intentions without me having to ask. Destiny found u two and the union shed light over both our families. You compliment each other without even trying, and I believe this partnership was meant to be and meant to stay. I know you'll take care of each other cuz I know the LOVE is REAL! and that's the only satisfaction I need.My Baby Sister all grown up (feel seh she big long time)...Neil u are my brother not an in-law (Long Lost Fambily). I impatiently await THE BIG DAY. CONGRATS AGAIN!!!

Friday, 06 June 2014 16:59
Hopie Harnett

ok, ok...yey it's my second post. That is to show you how excited I am. This time though I focussing on my precious daughter Jhen. I can safely say without reservation that you are beautiful inside and out. You have developed a warmth in nature and a champion in smarts (took that after your mom..hahha). I am so proud of the woman you have become and the love you guys share for each other with the blessing from God, will take you through a long and happy marriage. Stay true to yourself my precious and love you both. Mom

Friday, 06 June 2014 16:59
Auntie Faye

Jhen and Neil, Warmest congratulations to you both.  I am so proud of you both.  You are a special couple with a wonderful future ahead.  Love and friendship are forever, cherish the relationship always.  Love, Auntie Faye 

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 16:58
Nari Williams-Singh

Congrats Jhen and are a beautiful couple, Trisha and I wish you all the very best...the date is saved!!!

Monday, 02 June 2014 16:58
Auntie Jacky

What a beautiful website!Love you both. The Big Day is coming soon . Treasure the moments. Jhen and Neil, you did everything right. I am proud of you. PERFECTION !! Love Auntie Jacky

Sunday, 01 June 2014 16:57
Donna Ford

Congratulations to both of you .Continue to love and treasure each other.Blessings always. I am enjoying the website and looking forward to whatever you will post. Both of you stay beautiful .Love you both. SEE YA LOVE AUNTIE Donna

Sunday, 01 June 2014 16:56
Daddy Harnett

Hi my "Lue Poo" You know that's was the nick name I gave you from you were my little darling,Don't worry I will soon find one for my future Son-in-law as well.Firstly,let me say how proud I am of you for your achievements and your level of maturity which has been accomplished with Neil's great support , guidance and treatment to you. I've have seen how Neil has bestowed his love for you in so many ways and with this observation and I can only accept him with open arms as my other son.You both look very happy, and Jhen look forward in giving you away on the BIG DAY. Daddy.

Sunday, 01 June 2014 16:56
Hopie Harnett

Let me be the first to say how happy this union of marriage makes me feel. I am overwhelmed with joy and love to have Neil in our lives and a part of the family. Neil,,,,you have made Jhen a better and a happier person and I love you for that. More so, you are an inspiratation to us all and I know my daughter is in great hands. You will be my "son in law"....but more importantly , you are my "son". LOVE YOU BOTH and I look forward to the BIG day. 

Sunday, 01 June 2014 16:43
Jhen and Neil

You are more than welcome to say hello on our guestbook. Hope you had a great time on the site! Jhen & Neil.

Sunday, 25 May 2014 16:42