Whether the perfect gift is found by hitting up every store in the mall or by making something DIY, most of us would go to great lengths to surprise someone who's dear to our hearts. They say that "it’s the thought that counts" when it comes to presents. If that’s true, you’re about to meet one of the best gift-givers in history. Read on to find out what this man gave his girlfriend and the secret he hid inside it.
One Year Into Their Relationship
Anna and Terry, who live in Australia, had been dating for a year. They were friends for nearly four years before things got romantic, so clearly they got along pretty fabulously.
Things were going very well for the couple as they approached their one-year anniversary, and to mark the special occasion, Terry wanted to surprise his girlfriend with a gift that would absolutely amaze her. He carefully planned out what he was going to do for Anna.
He Had Never Done Anything Like This
Terry didn't really think of himself as "handy" or as someone who was good at making things, but since he wanted to give something special to Anna he was willing to try something new. He decided that to mark their first anniversary as a couple, he would make her something with his own two hands.
There was another element to his plan, too, one that would stun Anna when she discovered it.
What To Make?
Although there are plenty of great gift ideas online for people who are into DIY projects, Terry came up with his own idea. He wanted to make a necklace for his beloved girlfriend Anna. After much time and energy had been poured into the project, Terry was finally satisfied and bought a chain to hold the homemade pendant part of the necklace.
When the chain and pendant were paired together, it made for a really unique piece of jewelry.
Choosing His Materials Wisely
When it comes to woodworking, there are hundreds of materials to choose from. Every type of wood has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some are prettier than others and some are easier to work with, it's just up to each person to decide what they’re looking for.
Terry decided to use Tasmanian wood. It’s a dark, satiny hardwood that’s often used in furniture, cabinetry, and small objects – perfect for this special project.
Crafting the custom necklace from Tasmanian wood wasn't exactly a simple task. After coming up with the design, Terry had to cut out all the pieces and glue them together. It wasn’t like this was just a plain circular disk or something easy.
This necklace was designed to do more than just look beautiful. It had to hide something… something that would be very important to Anna in the not-so-distant future.
The Big Night Arrived
When the big anniversary day arrived, Terry had plans to take Anna out to dinner. He was going to give her the special gift during their celebratory meal. Although he was pleased by his decision to make her a necklace, he was starting to get a bit nervous.
After all, people tend to be selective about the jewelry they wear. What if it turned out that Anna didn't like the necklace?
Revealing His Handiwork
Anna and Terry had a great meal and enjoyed their time dining together that evening. Finally, when all the plates had been cleared away, it was time for Terry to make his big move and give the handmade present to his girlfriend.
He reached into his coat pocket with trembling hands, pulled out the box, and opened it to reveal what was inside. How was Anna going to like this surprise?
She Loved It!
What a relief! Anna was delighted with the gift that Terry had made for her. She thought the necklace was beautiful, but the fact that Terry had spent the time and effort to make it himself meant the world to Anna.
This was truly a special necklace, one that she already treasured. She wanted to put it on immediately. Terry was so glad that all his work and planning had paid off.
A Symbol Of Their Love
Because the necklace was made by Terry especially for her, Anna adored it. This was more than a piece of jewelry, it was a symbol of their love… the love that they were celebrating on this very night.
Anna put the necklace on and there it would remain. She never took it off, and the most surprising part of it all is that she didn't know that there was a secret hidden inside the necklace.
Two Layers Of Secrecy
Not only was the necklace itself a secret until he gave it to Anna on their one-year anniversary, but there was another secret involved in this gift. And Terry didn't want this second secret to be revealed, at least not yet.
It could change their relationship forever if Anna found out the other part of his surprise before he was ready to show it to her himself. Terry hoped and prayed that she didn’t find the secret in her gift, which she wore 24/7.
There Was A Risk Involved
Naturally, Anna wanted to show the necklace off to all of their friends. After all, she thought it was gorgeous and she also wanted to brag a little that her sweet boyfriend had gone to such lengths to make her a special present.
The problem was that when people handled the necklace, there was a bigger chance that the secret inside would be revealed. And everyone wanted to touch it when Anna showed it to them.
Not All Of Their Friends Were Nearby
Not all of Anna and Terry's friends lived in Australia, so they had a lot of Zoom calls. Since Anna was always wearing the necklace, the people they chatted with over video usually noticed it and made comments.
One of Anna’s very best friends, Sofia, lived in Scotland, having moved there from Australia a couple of years earlier. The close friends Zoomed at least once a month, and Anna was especially excited to show the necklace to Sofia!
The Secret Remained Hidden
Months passed and life went on as usual. Anna continued to wear the necklace at all times, and fortunately, the secret inside stayed hidden from sight. This was obviously a relief to Terry, who feared what would happen if Anna knew what he had placed inside the jewelry.
And since their friends were used to the necklace by now, they weren't trying to touch it as much as in the beginning. Terry remained hopeful that his secret might remain undiscovered.
Always On Anna's Neck
Since Anna never took the necklace off, there were many photos taken of her wearing it. From trips to the beach, to the gym every day, and even to big family events, that necklace was always there as a reminder of Terry's love for her.
This photo was taken at a family get-together not long after Anna received the necklace. It’s clear that the special piece of jewelry meant the world to her.
Time For A Vacation!
As the months passed by and life went on, Anna and Terry decided that it was time to take a vacation together. They both enjoyed traveling but it can be expensive, and due to some financial issues they hadn't been able to think about a vacation for a while.
They were happy to finally be planning a trip – their first big one together -- and wanted it to be a special one. Where would they go?
Anna's Fear Of Flying Limited Their Options
Like many people, Anna is afraid of flying. Fortunately, Australia is a big country with lots of fun destinations that can be reached by car or bus.
Even though Terry would have preferred to venture a little further away from home, he was just happy to be going on vacation with Anna. After all, there were plenty of exciting places to choose from within the great continent of Australia.
Relationships Are All About Compromise
One sign of a strong relationship is when the people involved are willing to compromise on issues. Terry had decided to forgo a trip to another country so that Anna wouldn't have to fly, which would have terrified her.
To make up for it, Anna and Terry decided that their vacation would be a road trip with lots of destinations along the way. They’d take the bus and get to see a large part of Australia including some places they’d never been.
A Successful Vacation
Terry and Anna had a wonderful time on their multi-stop adventure! This vacation was just what they needed, and there were many special moments along the way. The couple was really in love and Terry knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Anna.
There was still the matter of that secret inside the necklace, however. No matter how much fun they were having, the secret was always in the back of Terry's mind.
How Long Could This Go On?
Terry often wondered how long he could keep his secret from Anna, the woman he loved. He worried about it frequently, even when they were enjoying themselves together. It really started to eat away at him after so long.
He knew he'd reveal the secret someday soon, and it would be a relief when he did. But he wasn’t sure when to do it. The timing had to be just right. Meanwhile, Terry’s knowledge was eating away at him.
More Months Passed By
And just like that, nearly another year had gone by. Several months after their first big trip together, the couple was really itching to go on another vacation. They really had the travel bug!
This time, Terry didn't want to limit their adventure to their home country of Australia. Even though Anna was still scared to fly, they were able to afford a trip overseas this time so they decided to go for it.
Where To Go?
For this trip, Anna was the one to compromise. Even though she was terrified of flying, she loved to travel and wanted to visit somewhere new with Terry. She was just going to deal with her fears. After all, other people who are scared of flying do it every day.
Now that the flying issue was settled, Terry and Anna needed to figure out where in the world they should go.
An Obvious Decision
Terry wanted to visit somewhere he'd never been before, so that helped them narrow down their decision somewhat. And Anna knew that she’d love to visit a friend on this trip. A reunion would also be a special bonus for overcoming that pesky fear of flying.
If you recall, one of her dearest friends, Sofia, was living in Scotland. And since Terry had never been, it quickly became clear that Scotland should be their next destination.
Bound For Scotland
Scotland was the perfect place for Terry and Anna to visit! It was all coming together, and Terry decided that he was going to reveal his big secret during this special vacation.
He had been wondering when to do the big reveal for so long, so it was somewhat of a relief that the perfect time had presented itself. That certainly didn't make Terry any less nervous about what he had to do, though.
A Snag At The Airport
Even though Terry was convinced that this trip to Scotland was the right time to present the big secret to Anna, there were some logistical problems that were worrying him. The airport could be a big problem, especially getting the necklace through security without the secret being exposed.
Terry really started to panic when they arrived at the airport and approached the security area. If the agents asked to take a closer look at Anna's necklace, it was all over for him.
These days, airport security is tighter than ever and Terry had started to convince himself that the police were going to want to scan Anna's unique-looking necklace. His secret would be unveiled right then and there, possibly changing his relationship with Anna forever.
Fortunately, no one raised an eyebrow at Anna’s necklace and the couple made it through security with no issues. All that worry had been for nothing, but there was still the matter of revealing everything to Anna himself.
Finally, They Arrived
Terry was beyond relieved that his secret hadn't been uncovered during the airport security screening. Now he could focus on the exciting and romantic trip they had ahead.
But as it had been for so long, that secret inside the necklace was still haunting Terry. He knew that in just a few short days he was going to reveal everything to Anna, and he had no way to foresee what would happen or how it would affect their relationship.
The Magic Of Scotland
Terry and Anna were enjoying their time in Scotland, but the secret inside her necklace was a distraction for Terry. He decided that the time had arrived to take the hidden item out of the necklace and show it to Anna. Finally.
But there was a bit of a problem to solve first. Since Anna never took the necklace off, how in the world was Terry going to open it without her knowing?
She'd Been Wearing The Necklace For A Year And A Half
Incredibly, a year and a half had already passed since that anniversary dinner when Terry first presented Anna with the necklace he'd designed and made for her. She loved the necklace now just as much as she did the first day she saw it, and she’d worn it this entire time.
Terry was going to have to think of a way to get the special piece of jewelry off Anna’s neck so he could reveal the secret he’d been keeping for so long.
It Was Risky
Part of the couple's overseas adventure involved visiting some caves in northern Scotland. This was a lovely place and one of the top destinations they’d planned on seeing while they were on their vacation.
Terry thought that this would be was his best chance to open Anna’s necklace and show her what was inside. It was risky, for sure, but he couldn’t keep putting this off. It was finally time to make his bold move.
Going To The Caves
The big day arrived, and Terry and Anna embarked on their journey to the scenic caves of northern Scotland. As you can imagine, Terry was feeling pretty nervous about what he was going to do once they got to the caves.
However Anna reacted to the secret he was about to reveal, their relationship was going to change dramatically. Terry hoped that everything would work out OK but worried that the opposite would happen. Planning can only get you so far, after all.
The Location Had A Special Meaning
The couple finally reached their destination, the caves in northern Scotland. Specifically, they were at a landmark called Smoo Cave. Terry later explained the significance of the location to HuffPost.
"I picked Smoo Cave because it was a place we had talked about visiting since we first met, and 'smoo' comes from an old Norse word for ‘hiding place,’ so I think I get extra points for that one," he said. We agree with him!
A Smooth Request
Terry later described the moment to The Independent. "Before we actually went down to the cave, I asked if I could have the necklace to take some photos of it among the rocks, which [would give] me a quick chance to break the seal with a knife."
The request made enough sense to Anna, so she took the necklace off and handed it over to her boyfriend. Why should she suspect anything was going on?
They Took A Picture Of The Necklace, And Then…
After Terry had secretly opened the necklace up, he double-checked that the item inside it was still safe and sound. He then put the opened necklace back into his pocket before he went to give it back to Anna.
"Oh, I forgot to give you your necklace back," he said casually, as if this entire moment hadn't been planned for weeks. But as Terry reached for the necklace, he did something she never in a million years would have expected.
What Was He Doing???
As Terry pulled the necklace out of his pocket to return it to Anna, he dropped down to his knee! And it was at this fateful moment that he revealed what the hidden secret was. He opened the necklace up and began to speak. "Will you marry me?"
As Terry relayed to The Independent, “She stood there with this completely confused and dumbfounded look on her face, and when she finally worked out what had just happened, she yelled, 'Yes!' and pounced on me,” he said.
It Was A Ring, Hidden Away On Her Neck The Entire Time
Terry had presented Anna with a gorgeous engagement ring. But where had it come from? He said that it "actually took [Anna] a couple of moments to understand that the ring had been in the necklace the entire time since I gave it to her."
Of course, she said yes! Anna could not believe what was happening. The love of her life had just proposed marriage, and she was over the moon.
What If She Had Lost It?
Anna almost got upset with him when she realized how easily she could have lost the ring! "She flipped out - 'Wait, it's been in there the entire time?! I could have lost it," she screamed at Terry. But of course, she was overjoyed.
Terry said her reaction was “a hilarious mix of happy and angry.” The couple was now engaged to be married. Terry’s long wait was over and he was both relieved and thrilled.
After their proposal story went viral, Terry spoke up about his and Anna's plans for the future. "We are hoping to buy a house with land so we can have the wedding at home with our friends and family, in a very relaxed fashion that we think matches us – rather than having a gigantic, glamorous wedding, which isn’t like us at all," he said.
They knew exactly what they wanted out of their wedding and their lives together.
More Planning Ahead
He'd already waited a long time to propose to Anna, and now Terry would have to wait a bit longer. He posted an update to Reddit, where users were curious to learn what had happened to the couple after their proposal story went viral.
"[We're] still not married (family health made us cancel wedding plans the first time, and then the whole covid thing happened, so just waiting our time now)," he shared.
Still Thinking Of A Comeback
It turns out that Terry sometimes gets teased for his unique proposal. "Every bit of woodwork I do now everyone jokes 'what have you hidden in this then?' Whether it be a desk or chicken coop... Still haven't thought of a good enough come back to that." It sounds like they have a lot of fun with their friends and family.
We’re certain that he’ll come up with a clever response to the jokes, and we wish the couple all the happiness in the world!