Jonny & Anna’s Story

We’re old romantics here at PhotoBox and nothing warms our hearts more than a good old proposal. So, when it happens to involve a PhotoBox photo book, plus weeks (or months!) of planning…even better! 

A slightly panicked customer (Jonny) got in touch with us last year to get an update on his photo book order. Nothing too out of the ordinary – most people can’t wait to get their hands on their gifts, but this was one deadline we couldn’t ignore – a proposal to his girlfriend, Anna! 

We asked Jonny to tell us a little bit more about how he got the idea, and more importantly – if she said ‘yes’! 

Anna and Jonny just before proposal-min

Anna & Jonny

The Background

In the 15 months that I’ve been going out with my girlfriend Anna, lots of things have changed. My bank balance has steadily decreased, I now know about Cath Kidston and I have watched more episodes of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ than I’m comfortable admitting. However, one thing that has remained consistent over the course of our relationship is my ability to be continuously late for nearly every date we go on, so it’s probably not that surprising that when I decided to ask Anna the big question after months of preparation, I nearly messed it up because I ordered something late.

The Mission

I had been going out with Anna for just over a year when I decided that this intelligent, kind, funny, beautiful girl was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Planning the proposal was tricky – I wanted it to a) be personal b) reflect just how much Anna meant to me and c) be memorable for Anna.

Several ideas were explored, but nothing really appealed to me, until I came across an advertisement for photo books from PhotoBox and immediately realised that I could create a storybook for Anna (who loves photos!).

For over a month I collected old family photos along with all the photos we had taken over the course of our relationship – almost 400 photos in total – and organised them all into a story, starting with some old photos of us both, followed by how we met, our first date and then photos of us as a couple. The final chapter of the book began with my favourite photos of Anna, followed by a photo of her parents and a caption saying that I had asked them a question.

Ring on book-min

The next page showed me standing outside a jewellers shop, followed by another photo showing a hand made box with Anna’s name on it (with the ring inside!). The penultimate page was in the form of a letter, listing some of the things I loved about Anna and telling her how much she meant to me. The last photo in the book was of our name on wedding place cards, and a note saying I’d like her to be my wife!

The Proposal

I wanted to propose to Anna in one of our favourite places so made arrangements to take her away for the weekend under the guise of celebrating the completion of her postgraduate studies. I made all of the arrangements weeks in advance and even planned when to order the photo book – I was worried Anna would find it in the house if I ordered it too early!

When I ordered the photo book, to my horror, I realised I had misread the delivery times and it wouldn’t arrive until after we returned from our trip. I contacted PhotoBox to ask for help and they were fantastic in keeping me up to date with the delivery, and offered alternate options in case the book didn’t arrive in time.

On the day before our trip the book still hadn’t arrived so I started trying to find alternative proposal ideas involving her favourite things – at one stage I considered cooking Anna her favourite breakfast and writing the proposal in bacon strips!

Thankfully, the book arrived on the day we left (it looked amazing) and just 24 hours later I was on a hilltop with Anna in the pouring rain, looking out over the north coast of Ireland. I told her I had got her a present for finishing her course, and handed her the wrapped photo book. Anna was absolutely delighted with it and it was fantastic watching her face light up as she saw all the photos we had taken together.

The book, the box and the ring-min

We spent a long time talking and laughing over the photos, and it was quite a struggle not to let my nerves show! When Anna saw the photograph of her parents the penny dropped, and there was a slight shake in her hands as she turned the final few pages. When she closed the book I handed Anna the box but her hands were shaking too much to open it so I had to help out! I then asked Anna the big question – her answer was a very definite ‘Yes’!


Anna with her beautiful engagement ring, and showing her Aunty the photo book

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We have now been engaged a few weeks and the photo book has been brought out many times already – people enjoy flicking through the pages whilst listening to the story of how we got engaged. Anna is still delighted with it and is planning to make a similar book with our wedding photos!

Note: Jonny kindly wrote this post for us last summer; he & Anna have since got married and have shared some of the beautiful wedding photos with us!


Anna & Jonny’s wedding photos were taken by David Cavan Photography, you can see more of his work here. 

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