Hot Air Balloon Engagement Proposal: Jamie and Tom’s Unforgettable Trip To India

After years of talking about it, Tom and girlfriend Jamie - the blogger behind The Blondini Chronicles - finally decided that 2017 was the year they would move their lives to London. Little did Jamie know, Tom had also decided that it was the year that he would ask her to marry him.

As the two cemented their travel plans and booked their flights, they set their sights on a month-long stopover in India. The “famously chaotic” country had always been on Tom’s bucket list, and while it had never featured on Jamie’s, Tom had a plan to make it an unforgettable destination for her as well - there was one thing that had found its way into their suitcases that Jamie didn’t know about: Tom had been working with our team at The Village Goldsmith to design and craft the perfect engagement ring to come along for the ride.

Taj Mahal engagement ring proposal travel India
Jamie in front of the Taj Mahal with her diamond solitaire engagement ring
Jamie and Tom's travel itinerary for their month-long trip through India

“He did an incredible job at keeping it all a secret. Unbeknownst to me, Tom had already asked my Dad for his blessing before we left New Zealand and had the ring box couriered to him when he knew I would be at work. The ring itself was even sent to Auckland Airport in an empty Eclipse peppermints container so when he wandered back from Duty Free with a book in one hand and mints in the other, I didn’t think anything of it.

“Even more astounding was how he managed to stay so cool, calm and collected every time I went rummaging through his bags to get things (and probably coming within millimetres of the box!)”

Tom certainly had his work cut out for him to ensure the proposal went to plan - India isn’t exactly a country that makes sticking to plans easy. As they had been warned, he, and Jamie, quickly learned that, in India, nothing happens on your terms and your timeline - “you may have planned the trip but India is the one in control”.

(And in true India and Shakespeare fashion, “the course of true love never did run smooth”.)

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Tom and Jamie quickly learned that, “you may have planned the trip but India is the one in control”

The first obstacle: getting her hand ring ready. “I had once joked to Tom that he wasn’t allowed to propose unless I had had a manicure so while we were in Pushkar, and both having a pedicure, he very discretely enticed me into getting my hands done too. They did a terrible job though so I returned to the room incredibly grumpy that my nails had been ruined (drama queen!). That wasn’t exactly part of Tom’s plan but, as he reminded me, at least he tried and it wasn’t his fault!”

Tom proposed to Jamie two weeks into the trip in Jaipur, the Capital of Rajasthan, also known as 'The Pink City'.

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Tom and Jamie exploring the beautiful ancient cities of India

“When we had been immersed in our Lonely Planets and travel research, we had read that soaring above Jaipur in a hot air balloon was meant to be spectacular so we arranged for a private ride over the countryside at dawn”.

A driver collected the pair from their hotel at 5 am and whisked them away to the launch site, but unfortunately the wind wasn’t in on Tom’s plan - the second obstacle. The wind conditions changed just as they were about to take off and the ride had to be cancelled. So, a very tired Tom - after a sleepless night full of excitement and anxiety - had to wait another long 24 hours before they could try it all again. And Jamie returned to the hotel none the wiser. 

The hot air balloon launch site in Jaipur, ready to take off and watch the sun rise over 'The Pink City'

Luckily, the next morning couldn’t have been anymore perfect. With butterflies in Tom’s stomach and the ring in his bag, the couple successfully floated up among the clouds to watch the sun rise over Samode.

“Floating in a balloon through pink skies and over mountain tops was already the most surreal experience, so I didn’t think twice when Tom handed the pilot our camera so he could capture the moment for us. While I was still entranced by the view, Tom leant down for ‘a drink of water’ and when I turned around, at 3150 ft in the air, he was down on one knee and asked me to spend my life with him.

hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
Tom proposed to Jamie while watching the sun rise during a romantic hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, India
hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
Tom down on one knee with a diamond solitaire ring asking Jamie to marry him, 3150 ft in the air over Jaipur, India.
hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
Jamie said "Yes!" before she even saw the diamond ring that was in the box.
hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
The hot air balloon pilot captured Jamie and Tom's special moment for them

“Apparently, I said ‘of course I will’ before I even looked at the ring - and while I absolutely adore it, Tom joked that my answer meant even more because it hadn’t been dependent on whether I approved of what was in the box!

hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
Jamie and Tom say the hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, The Pink City, was very surreal - highly recommended!
hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
The newly engaged couple celebrating 4000 ft in the air

“The proposal was a truly magical moment. One that still feels out of a fairytale.

“Thank you to The Village Goldsmith team for playing such a special part in it - the ring is absolutely perfect. Tom took particular amusement in the fact that I stubbed my toe the next day because I was too busy staring at the ring instead of looking where I was going! And we can’t wait to create the wedding bands with you in the not-too-distant future, which have been inspired by our magical time in India.”

hot air balloon engagement proposal romantic travel India
Jamie's engagement ring is a beautiful round brilliant diamond solitaire ring

Both Tom and Jamie agree without a doubt that India was the most incredible country that they have been lucky enough to explore. With a marriage proposal thrown in the mix, it’s a trip, and a place, they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

READ: Jamie’s recent post on The Blondini Chronicles - India as Female, Foreign and Fair-headed - plus travel tips and amazing photos from each Indian destination

A heartfelt thank you to Jamie and Tom for sharing their incredible story with us, and our warmest congratulations to you both on your engagement. We wish you all the best for this exciting new chapter in your lives (and we can’t wait to see the wedding photos!!). From your friends at The Village Goldsmith.

Follow The Village Goldsmith on Instagram @thevillagegoldsmith

Find Jamie on Instagram @jambarrett or check out her website jambarrett.com