I got down on one knee, ready to recite those perfect proposal lines I had memorized. But my mind went blank and I couldn’t recall a single word. I decided to just go with my feelings and say my heartfelt words to Raevian.
Wiping tears away from her eyes, she nodded and said yes.
This is the story of my winter wedding proposal in Quebec City.
Planning a Winter Wedding Proposal in Quebec City
Flashback to three months ago, when I was fervently scouring the internet for the best proposal venues in US / Canada. While going through various places, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City caught my eye and I was quickly captivated by both this majestic hotel as well as its magical surroundings. I went through more pictures of Quebec City and realized that it is a beautiful place with rich French heritage and gorgeous European architecture. It looked like a fairy tale land in winter.
Since I would be visiting in winter, I decided that Quebec City would be the perfect place for me to propose.
For my proposal, I needed a photographer, a videographer, a singer and guitarist, balloons, and flowers. I wondered how I was going make all these arrangements from Singapore. Luckily, I managed to find an amazing wedding coordinator who was based in Quebec City: Isabelle Radford Quebec Elopements. Isabelle also happened to be very experienced in planning wedding proposals. I quickly dropped her an email.
Working with Isabelle Radford Quebec Elopements
Isabelle replied me within just a day and from the onset she was friendly, professional and enthusiastic. I could feel her sincerity in wanting to help me plan the perfect winter wedding proposal. Above is a picture of her and Raevian hugging after the proposal.
We had two Skype calls and exchanged lots of emails. Isabelle helped me to conceptualize the proposal, liaise with all the relevant parties (photographer, singer, decorations, etc), and also designed a beautiful proposal site.
As the date for my trip approached, I got a little paranoid because Isabelle was not replying my emails on a daily basis. However, she kindly allayed my worries later by arranging for a Skype call to finalize all the details before I departed from Singapore.
Nerves on Proposal Day
On the day of the proposal, we went sightseeing at the Plains of Abraham and various other attractions in Quebec City. We took many pictures (two of them are above) and even though I appeared to be smiling, in my mind I was just thinking about the proposal later and hoping we would not be late. Raevian, as you can see from the pictures, was perfectly relaxed and happy.
Raevian wanted to eat at a restaurant that was situated quite far away from the proposal site but I knew that if we went, we would not make it back in time for the proposal. So I convinced her to eat at Le Chic Shack, a popular fast food restaurant which was much nearer to the proposal site.
At the restaurant, I ordered poutine, burger, and a milkshake. Time was ticking down and I chased the staff a few times for the food. Luckily, the food came fast. However, even though the food was delicious, it was not an enjoyable meal for me because I was constantly worrying about the time. I was also mentally rehearsing the sequence of events for the proposal later.
Walking to The Proposal Site
After a very quick meal, we left the restaurant. Raevian was a little puzzled that I had finished the food so fast but I told her that we needed to take more pictures before sunset (the sun sets about 4.30pm during winter in Quebec City).
The proposal site was located near the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, but I didn’t know where it was exactly. Therefore, the plan was that Isabelle would be waiting for me at the Governors Park in Quebec City, which is an easy landmark to find. Once I reached the park, I would walk towards Isabelle and she would then lead me and an unsuspecting Raevian to the proposal site (an eight-minute walk away).
After walking from the restaurant for a short while, I spotted Isabelle at the park and walked towards her. We then followed her for a short walk up a gently sloping street to the proposal spot. Above is the picture of us following her. Raevian started to question me.
“Why are we walking uphill?” she asked.
“To take better pictures from a higher vantage point lah. And this lady seems to know where’s she going. Let’s just follow her.” I replied, acting as nonchalant as I could.
Luckily, Raevian didn’t question me any further. Perhaps it was due to the cold weather and the heavy snowfall. And so we walked up the gentle slope, with our photographer Annie Simard and videographer Marco secretly filming us from a distance behind. I had told Isabelle earlier that I wanted the filming crew to be as discreet as possible, so that Raevian would not be aware of the proposal until the correct moment. I turned back once and saw Annie taking a photo while hiding behind a street corner, which was really thoughtful of her. You can see that picture above!
“Hey baby, I think I want to marry you”
As we approached the proposal site from a distance away, we saw the pink and silver balloons I had requested for, along with the duet band (Frédérique and Alexandre). As we walked nearer, Raevian started to get suspicious.
“Why are these people taking photos of us?”
“Hey are you up to something??”
I gave her a grin and led her to stand in front of the band. By now, the band was playing Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”.
I truly appreciate the professionalism of Frédérique and Alexandre. It was about -5 degrees celsius that day, with relatively heavy snowfall. Yet Frédérique still managed to do a perfectly beautiful rendition of the song. I am grateful to the guitarist (Alexandre) too. This is because I own a few pairs of guitars myself, so I know the damage that humidity/ water can do to guitar wood. And yet Alexandre didn’t seem worried or distracted by the snowfall at all, and was simply focused on playing the accompaniment as best as he could.
A Winter Wedding Proposal in Quebec City
The band performed the song beautifully, creating the perfect romantic mood. After the song, I led Raevian to sit together with me on the fur-covered bench. Isabelle had prepared a romantic setting with lanterns, candles, a tulip bouquet, and balloons.
This was it. The big moment.
I had a speech prepared, but as mentioned earlier my mind went blank because I was pretty nervous. In the end, I decided to just sincerely express my feelings to Raevian. To be honest, I can’t really remember what I said exactly, but I know it was the sentence “thank you for accepting and loving me” that made Raevian tear.
After finishing my speech, I took the ring out from my pocket, got down on one knee, and proposed to the girl of my dreams.
She nodded her head and said yes.
I then proceeded to put the ring on Raevian’s finger, before giving my happy and emotional fiancée a warm hug.
I felt like the luckiest man in the world.
Our Quebec City Winter Photoshoot by Annie Simard
After the proposal, we went to the various iconic attractions of Quebec City for our photoshoot. Isabelle had hired a posh sedan to drive us around. Above are some of the beautiful pictures taken by Annie Simard Photo, our awesomely talented photographer hired by Isabelle. The photos were ready on the very next day. Kudos to the efficiency of Annie!
And we were simply blown away by how beautiful the photos were! Initially, we were worried that the photos wouldn’t turn out nice as it was snowing heavily and the lighting was quite dark. However, by using her amazing photography skills and various lighting equipment, the talented Annie Simard was able to produce some super gorgeous pictures that took our breath away when we first viewed them.
A Fairy Tale Proposal, Thanks to a Wonderful Team
I love Raevian and I had wanted to plan the perfect fairy tale proposal for her. The challenges seemed too great at first. I had to plan a wedding proposal in a foreign land halfway across the globe, where the first language was French. I had to decorate the proposal site, hire a band, arrange for a videographer and photographer to film down the whole process, ensure that the whole filming crew was discreet, and I had to make sure that Raevian would not find out.
Therefore, I am truly grateful to Isabelle Radford Quebec Elopements for her seamless arrangements in all aspects of the wedding proposal. For a few months before the actual proposal day, we communicated via Skype calls and loads of emails to sort out the details of the proposal. What I appreciated the most about Isabelle was that she kept emphasizing that she was not in this for the money. Rather, she simply likes to “create beautiful moments”. For example, I was worried that some aspects of the proposal would not go smoothly, but Isabelle kept reiterating that she and her whole team were in this “together with me” and would do their absolute best to make sure the proposal went smoothly. Her fees were extremely reasonable too.
And of course, a million thanks to Annie Simard Photo for the gorgeous photos, Marco for dutifully filming down the entire proposal, Annie and Isabelle’s helpful assistants, and of course Frédérique and Alexandre for their beautiful performance!
Thanks to these wonderful people, I managed to plan the perfect winter wedding proposal in Quebec City for Raevian.
This is part of a series of articles where I share about my wedding preparations leading up to the Big Day. Check it out: Evan and Raevian’s Wedding Journey