Breathtaking Santorini proposal with rose petals and a heart made of candles
Rahi + Swati
Orientation: Lesbian; Lesbian
Pronouns: She/Her; She/Her
Where Couple Resides: United Kingdom
Proposal Location: Santorini
Rahi and Swati’s story is one for the books. From mustering the courage to come out to conservative Indian family members to weathering the pandemic together to a stunning proposal in Santorini, this couple hasn’t let anything get in the way of their love.
Our coming out journeys
I (Swati) had stumbled through accepting my sexuality most of my adult life. Growing up in India, I had my first girl crush at 14 and had girlfriends on and off, but I didn’t know how to process or reconcile this. I had no real life role models (being gay has been illegal in India till very recently) and nothing on screen either!
So I spent my adolescence convinced it was a phase or something was wrong with me, finally ending up married to a not-very-nice man. It took many years and attempts to escape from that car crash of a marriage, but by the time I did, I was 36, living in London and ready to live life on my own terms (with a 2 year old in tow!) It was and is still challenging to get my family fully on board sometimes as they fear what their older, more traditional relatives might say. But they’ve come a long way, and I’m proud of how much they’ve grown. I’m certain that it will only improve from here!
Rahi on the other hand, had come out to her parents a few years before we met. Her mum and sisters were very supportive, but her father was a bit trickier, all dads sometimes can be. Being from a conservative Indian family, there were reservations (and strict instructions) not to share this with the wider family or ‘the world’. Not that it stopped her – she came out to all her cousins wearing a pride bow tie on her 30th birthday, and to her surprise, they, as well as the whole family, were super supportive as well!
How we met
On a Friday night after one too many glasses of vino, and with encouragement from her sister (thanks Rush!), Rahi messaged me for the first time on Match. I had been on dates with other women since my divorce, but I wasn’t sure I wanted a ‘proper’ relationship. Something about her, I think it was her gorgeous eyes, and her name – I live to travel and her name means ‘traveller’ in Hindi – made me reply, and off we went!
After a couple of days exchanging messages on the app, we exchanged numbers. We didn’t meet for another 3 weeks after that, but we texted all day, spoke on the phone, did video calls. The chemistry was electric! I knew before we even met that I was done for, that she was going to be my forever.
We finally met for drinks on a Saturday, and the date lasted till Monday. The rest, as they say, is history …
And then, the pandemic …
We had been seeing each other about 6 months before we moved in together. And it was incredible timing, because within 6 weeks of moving in together, the world locked down! Had we not been living together, we wouldn’t have been able to see each other.
But we were lucky to have each other in the craziness that was our new normal. We just fit together as a family, as though we were always meant to be! Don’t get me wrong, we had our ups and downs – our relationship was young, and we were thrown into house arrest and it all got too much some days! But for the most part, she was my safe place, my happy place and the most incredible co-parent for Anaya.
As we were coming out of the pandemic, we had been together 2 years. It was my 40th birthday that year, and Rahi surprised me with flight tickets to Santorini!
I later learnt that she planned, and then had to reschedule, the proposal no less than 3 times! COVID and ever changing travel restrictions meant we had to postpone the holiday a few times, which must’ve been so hard for her!
We finally made it to Santorini in July of this year. She had booked a gorgeous sunset suite in stunning Oia, and it was breathtaking. She told me she had booked a photo shoot for us the day before we left – it was our first International holiday together as a couple (thanks Covid!), so I thought, why not.
Throughout the holiday, she would sometimes appear lost or distant. It confused me, and we even argued about it! It’s only later she told me it was because she was rehearsing the speech in her head over and over!
The day arrived, and we headed off to Imerovigli where our photo shoot was to take place. For a second when we got there, I did think this might be more than a photoshoot, but then she threw me off the trail by saying goodbye to the photographers, and telling me we needed to get to dinner.
We walked to what I thought was our restaurant, but as we got there, she asked, “Do you trust me?” I nodded, not sure what was going on. She blindfolded me, and led me down a narrow path, up a step, and then asked me to stop. While I was walking, our song started playing, and I told her how weird I thought it was that they were playing our song (which is in Hindi by the way!) through the cliffs of Santorini.
When she took my blindfold off, we were under a gazebo, on the most beautiful terrace overlooking the caldera, standing in the middle of a heart made of candles and rose petals.
As my heart started beating at a million miles per hour, and the sun was setting in the distance, she dropped down on one knee and with the most wonderful promises of our life and future together, she proposed.
I said YES! The ring was stunning, handmade and designed by her. She even selected the diamond herself!
Suddenly we heard claps and congratulations all around us and realized that people had gathered around above the terrace and were watching in amazement.
After a celebratory glass of champagne and Rahi handing me a bouquet of gorgeous red long-stemmed roses, we were whisked off by the photographer (who had magically reappeared on the terrace) to take some more pictures.
We came back to a beautiful table set up for a private dinner for two. During the meal, Rahi stood up and asked me to dance with her. It was romantic and perfect….I didn’t think that anything could possibly top this, until a few moments later, when fireworks went off all around us! She really had thought of everything!
It was an incredible, thoughtful and beautiful proposal. She had planned every detail, and gone to great lengths to ensure it was magical!
The second proposal
It was just us in Santorini, but Rahi didn’t want my daughter to feel left out. So a week after we got back, we flew out to Cyprus on a family holiday. There, she got my little one involved in planning a surprise proposal, and she asked me to marry her (again) on the terrace of our suite, with my daughter giddy with excitement to have been a part of it and thrilled for the family we are building together!
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Photographer: Santorini Proposals
filed under: LGBTQ+ wedding, LGBTQ+ proposal, double proposal, LGBTQ+ engagement, LGBTQ+ family, destination engagement, destination proposal