The moment we went from being 3,000 ft in the air to being on cloud nine, as captured by The Village Goldsmith.

↓  Scroll down for a peak at the proposal  ↓


this article was written & published by the village goldsmith, the amazing team behind my beautiful ring. a big thank you to the village goldsmith, not only for specially sourcing & crafting my stunning solitaire but for capturing our magical engagement in this post:

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, but 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.


READ: Jamie’s prologue to India on her blog, The Blondini Chronicles


“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," said the bride to be. "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 - especially since India isn’t exactly a country that makes sticking to plans easy. As they had been warned, he and Jamie quickly learnt that, in India, nothing happens on your terms and your timeline - “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 indulging in a pedicure, he very discretely enticed me into getting my hands done as well. However, they did a terrible job 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'.

While the couple had been immersed in their Lonely Planets and travel research months earlier, they had read that one of the unforgettable must-do's in Jaipur was to soar above the city in a hot air balloon. Fast forward to their arrival in Jaipur, and the pair organised for a private ride over the countryside to be included in their three-day itinerary - but of course Tom had an ulterior motive for the experience.



A driver collected the pair from their hotel at 5am the next morning and whisked the sleepy couple away to the launch site. However, unfortunately the wind wasn’t in on Tom’s plan - the second obstacle. As the balloons were being fired up and inflating overhead, the wind conditions changed and the ride had to be called off. 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. 

Luckily, the next morning couldn’t have been anymore perfect. With butterflies in Tom’s stomach and the ring hidden away at the bottom of his bag, the couple successfully floated up among the clouds to watch the sun set fire to the sky over Samode.


“Floating in a balloon through pink skies and high above the 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 managed to get down on one knee in the small wicker basket and asked me to spend my life with him.

“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!

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

“Thank you to The Village Goldsmith team for playing such a special part in our engagement - 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! We also can’t wait to see what magic we can create together for the wedding bands in the not-too-distant future, which have been inspired by our unforgettable time in India.”

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


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.



I can't recommend the award-winning team at The Village Goldsmith enough. From putting up with Tom's many design demands to scouring the world for the best possible gem, they were a dream to deal with and made our dreams come true. If you are in New Zealand and wanting a custom piece to be designed and created with a lot of love, be sure to go and visit The Village Goldsmith team. 

j x



DRESS | Karen Walker (not current season)

RING | The Village Goldsmith

FIANCÉ | Blogger's own (Sorry ladies, he's taken!)

HOT AIR BALLOON | By Sky Waltz Balloon Safari

LifeJamie BarrettLife