After Married at First Sight Season 2, Monique decided it was time to find her ring another home so she listed it on Trade Me.
Monique considered the ring a symbol of friendship, but wanted to find a new owner for a ring with an excellent story. She popped the auction up, with all funds going to Project Growing Up and the Mental Health Foundation.
Meet Mike and Jo, two Trade Me members who spent many dates watching Married at First Sight, and are now the happy owners of Monique’s ring.
What attracted you to the ring?
“When I saw Monique's ring on Trade Me, I knew that it was perfect. I was sure Jo would like the design and also the story of where it came from, so I placed a bid, and before I knew it I was leading the auction. I was actually shocked to win it.”
And how did you meet?
“I met Jo through your sister-site, FindSomeone. After a very brief message exchange we met at Colombo Street Coffee Culture in Christchurch for a quick drink. That drink lasted for hours. We soon discovered that we had similar interests, likes and dislikes and by the end of the date were already completing each other's sentences... At one point during the date we were interrupted by an old gentleman, who handed over a couple of pencil drawings he had done of us both, and thanked us for sitting still for so long. Call it intuition, but at that moment "I just knew"...
Following that first meeting, we spent many date nights watching Married at First Sight.”
Did you pick up the ring or book a courier?
“Monique personally delivered the ring to my business, so she helped me pretend that it was a Christmas gift being delivered (an iPhone sized box in a Glassons bag), so my family wouldn't get wind of my plans.”
How did you pop the question?
As an amateur photographer, Mike set out with Jo to catch the sunrise, get a few snaps, and surprise her by popping the question.
“On Christmas Eve we woke up early to the alarm clock and drove up the hill on our sunrise excursion. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
I took a wrong turn and ended up in a dead end. By the time we turned around I knew we would not get to the top of the hill before the sun rose above the horizon, so we stopped and set up right where we were. At that point I realised I had left a part of my tripod at home! It was bitterly cold and quite windy.
With all of these factors in mind, I just let the moment pass on by. I still took photos, but I didn't pop the question. It didn't feel right. As we headed back to camp, Jo revealed that the weather was looking good for Christmas morning.
Again I was shocked that she wanted to get up early, so it was still possible!
It was a case of rinse and repeat. We learnt from our previous mistakes and got up earlier, took the correct track, and even the weather was playing the part with a warm and calm welcome to the day. I set up the GoPro to video the sunrise, and set about taking photos of a beautiful sunrise. Unbeknownst to Jo, once the sun was up, I moved the GoPro and pointed it towards the blanket she was sitting on, and then let her know that I was finished taking photos, but there was still one thing left that I wanted to do.
It was at that point with the sun at my back, I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me. And she said YES!”
So Jo... big question. What do you think of the ring?
“I think a lot of people have preconceived ideas of rings being second-hand or used, or being worried that is came from a failed marriage. But I don’t have any of those ideas or thoughts. As much as it’s a symbol of our love, it’s not just about our love. It doesn’t bother me that it came from somebody else. With it being on Monique’s finger on Married at First Sight, it looked to be more of a friendship ring rather than an engagement or wedding ring. It just adds a little story to our story. “
Congrats Mike and Jo – all the best for your wedding next year and a wonderful future together!