Saving for a surprise in Scotland

After taking the same classes in college and spending hours together in the computer lab, what started as a friendship turned into something more for Jacob and Mallery. And after five years of dating, they recently got engaged in Braemar, Scotland and all the little details make us giddy.
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Jacob and Mallery met in college and after graduating with degrees in Management Information Systems, they stayed together and did the long distance thing for about a year.

Three years ago, they decided to move to Portland together, not far from either of their families and friends. And that’s about the time Jacob knew he was going to marry Mallery one day.

So the planning begins

When they started planning for a European getaway, Jacob knew it was going to the ideal time to propose. He’d also been picking up on the major hints Mallery was dropping.

With a year to plan, save, and do his research he knew he had plenty of time to pull it off.

He started them a “Europe” Goal in their Shared Account, which they both contributed to daily. In his personal account, he started another generically called “Savings”. If Mallery ever happened to see his account, he wanted to be sure he could tell her it was just an extra place for him to stash away money as he had it. Really, he was saving for the ring in there.

It starts to become real

Being the detail oriented project managers that they both are, they spent hours researching possible destinations for their two week European getaway. After some back and forth, they decided their itinerary would include Scotland, Ireland and Iceland.

As the travel plans solidified, Jacob was hatching a plan of his own. He’d always been bad at surprises. Like, one time he sent her the tracking information for her Christmas gift. But he really didn’t want to give this away.

Mallery had shown him a few ring options on various occasions, all of which he said looked completely different. He knew she didn’t want to be involved in picking it out, so he started group chats with her three best friends to get to the bottom of what she’d like. He’d delete the text strings and clear his browser history to make sure he left no trace of his efforts.

After finally deciding on the ring and saving up enough money, he made his selection. He bought a small ring box online to make sure it could travel safely with him to Europe; one that fit easily in his pack next to his passport, where he knew she wouldn’t look.

Finally, he picked the ring up on the morning they were set to depart.

“I couldn’t stand the thought of her accidentally finding it somewhere in the house,” he said. “It just stressed me out too much. So I had to pick it up right before we left.”

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The magic moment

After planning for an entire year, they finally arrived to the mountainous landscape of Scotland, their first destination. They set out in their camper van and hit the open road with a map and itinerary.

On the fourth day of the trip, Jacob decided he couldn’t wait any longer. They’d planned to do a big national park hike in Braemar, so he stuck the ring in his pack and checked on it every few minutes as they trekked uphill.

While Mallery cracked jokes and dropped not-so-subtle-hints that it would be a cool place to get engaged, Jacob pretended to be fumbling with his camera to take a picture of her.

He popped the question then and there, and said the moment was just as dreamy as he thought it’d be. She was totally surprised, and absolutely loved the ring he’d picked out with her friends.

IMG 8035 Afterwards, they headed into town to enjoy some lunch, but after they left, Jacob bottomed out the van and ruptured the oil can. They ended up having to wait for roadside assistance for four hours.

“At least we’ll always have a pretty funny story,” he said. “We were both in such good spirits, it honestly didn’t even matter. The time flew by.”

They eventually made it back to their hotel, and took in all the majestic scenery Scotland had to offer over their next few days there. They highlight, besides the engagement of course, was their fall drive around the tiny roads on The Isle of Skye.

They traveled all around Ireland and Iceland newly engaged, but they both agreed Scotland was the most magical place they saw. For plenty of reasons.

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Start saving for a ring

What’s next

Being the planners that they are, they’ve already set a date to get hitched in 2019. And next up on the agenda: saving to buy a house together. And of course, the honeymoon in Hawaii.

Congratulations you two! We feel super lucky to have played a part in this exciting moment for you all.

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