Say hello to Chu and Algie!
Algie of African heritage and Chu Singaporean heritage met at a chance encounter at a bar and hit it off straight away! They had their engagement shoot at impeccable Cliveden House maze rose gardens in Buckinghamshire.
Captured by the lovely Roberta Facchini this proposal story featuring a dog lover and a HUGE dilemma with a name change is going to have you at hello!
How you met
We met sometime in October 2011, at a bar where I was at a friend’s birthday party and Algie happened to be attending a friend’s leaving do. Neither of us had any mutual friends or connections so this was completely random!
We got engaged on Valentines Day 2016 – I know. So cringe, but honestly it was completely unrelated!
I had just qualified as a solicitor in late 2015 and we were looking to get a puppy to add to our furry brood (we already had two massive Maine Coon cats, Enzo and Aria) after I had settled down into my role. Having gone through a number of breeds, we decided on the Pyrenean Mountain Dog as a good match for our lifestyles – gentle, good with other pets and of course enormous.
There were a few calls and even a visit to a breeder, where we said it was unlikely we would want a puppy from her next litter as it would be too soon. Several weeks later we were off to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana on safari so there was no further puppy talk. Given the nature of the trip, my friends were convinced that Algie would propose at some point during the holiday, but I didn’t think that would happen as there was just too much going on in our lives generally.
When we got back a few weeks later, we then received a text from the breeder saying she was holding a group puppy care class up in Lincolnshire (which is a hefty 3 hour drive from London). As it was on a Sunday, the dread 14 February, I was reluctant to make the trip as it was the last free weekend before I went back to work. I told Algie that this trip wasn’t necessary as I had taken care of puppies previously, but he insisted that we go as he had never owned a dog before.. so we set off at 7 am that morning with me moaning and complaining the entire journey. To make things worse, he kept having to stop for either beverages or toilet breaks on the drive up, and that made me even more cranky as we were now going to be late for the group class.
We got to the breeder’s home and found it slightly odd as no one else was there. However I then walked into a sea of puppies – no one can stay in a foul mood surrounded by that many balls of fluff. We sat around and chatted for a bit (allegedly “waiting for the others to arrive”) and after a while I was the only person left in the living room with all the pups. The puppies’ mother, Keva, then came in and started nudging the puppies around.
Algie then suddenly came in, sat down next to me and said he had something he wanted to say. At this point all I was thinking was “oh my god he’s going to say he’s got us a puppy and we’re screwed because I’ve just taken 6 weeks off and there’s no way I can take more time off to take care of this puppy..!!”, but before I could complete my thought process, he then got on one knee and asked me to marry him!
I was in complete shock. On reflection I don’t think he asked that abruptly, but from the moment he got on one knee everything was a blur – all I remember is him saying some very (probably unjustifiably) sweet things about me, and then reaching over to Keva’s collar which had a ring box tied to it and asking if I would marry him, ring in hand.
I was so overwhelmed and could barely hold it together enough to say that I would! To add to all of that, after I said yes, he then piled on another surprise by saying one of the puppies in the room was going to be ours and that we were really here to meet them and choose one!
Obviously the breeder had known about this the whole time, and it turned out that he had planned how he was going to propose the moment we discussed getting a puppy. (Nu Bride: That is quite a proposal plan!) Some of his family knew about this and so did my parents, but the formal blessing from my dad hadn’t been given until that morning itself, as Algie kept missing my dad (who is based in Singapore, either not picking up the phone or sleeping due to the eight-hour time difference) – hence the multiple stops and loo breaks to desperately reach him in Singapore. Algie was definitely cutting it fine there! (Nu Bride: Bless him!)
So that is not just the story of our engagement, but also how we came to have our gorgeous boy Atlas , who is going to be our ring bearer.
Atlas has been such an amazing addition to our lives and we are grateful for him every day. Words cannot express how much happiness he brings to us – he’s great company for the cats (who bully him till this day despite now being a fraction of his size) and a constant reminder of the commitment we have to each other. Despite the unusual location and complete lack of glamour, this was the perfect proposal for an animal obsessed girl like me 🙂
Favourite things about each other?
This might be slightly odd but our favourite things about each other are the same.
From an early stage, we realised that despite living fairly fast paced lives in a manic city, we are both quite playful and we bring out the child in each other. That definitely allows us to be ourselves around each other in the purest sense. (Nu Bride: ADORE this)
Being able to find happiness in small or seemingly unimportant things may be viewed as silly by some, but I think it is truly a gift when you find someone who has that attitude of joy and lightheartedness.
What are you looking forward to most about marrying each other?
Simply spending the rest of our lives together! Nothing else will change really (not even my name, because “Chu Salmon-Fattahian” sounds absolutely ridiculous) (Nu Bride- That is quite brilliant), but it will be so nice to be able to be officially husband and wife
Such a gorgeous couple and what a story! All the very best with your forthcoming nuptials!
Hair and make up: SMUK London
Flowers: Hiding in the City Flowers