Carley and Al: The Engagement

By Sarah Gray

One of our teams Lead Planners is getting married this summer and we👏

can’t👏wait👏. Their relationship made a debut on Instagram in the summer of 2015 and they’ve been going steady ever since. Read on to find out more about Carley and Al, their engagement and even their coffee orders!

Welcome to the start of our mini blog series all about Carley and Al! ❤️ We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share all the details with you about this cute duo, their engagement, engagement party, the wedding planning process and of course, the big day!


Meet: Carley and Al

These two are mostly on the same page but not when you ask how they met! They went to high school together but apparently Al was unaware of Carley’s existence. Meanwhile, she knew him as her best friends older brothers friend (say that ten times!). They officially met years later when Carley was out for drinks with some friends and someone asked if he could join their group. We are happy to report they’ve been together now for 8 years and basically the whole world is counting down the days till their wedding!

(Can you guess which photo was one of their first on IG?)

On their days off when they don’t have a weekend trip with friends, a family gathering or a work event their favorite thing to do together is what they call “surprise date night”. This already adorable activity is inspired by something Carley’s parents did as young adults – isn’t that so fun?! How it works: each month Carley and Al alternate who gets to plan their date night. Al doesn’t love surprises quite as much as Carley but don’t worry they both still have fun! They’ve been surprising each other monthly for almost 5 years now. #swoon

Since they know all the best spots in town we asked for their top 3 recommendations for date nights in Victoria:

  1. We’re a classic movie date night couple! And we’re always accompanied by popcorn (make sure to ask for layered butter)!
  2. Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants including House of Boatang, Il’ Terrazzo or keep it simple with a Vancouver Island classic – Tacofino
  3. Not a date night but more like a date morning we love to walk up to Rhino coffee before work and grab breakfast and Americanos

☕Carleys order: Breakfast bowl no bacon, Americano no room

☕Al’s order: Breakfast burrito, Americano no room


Let’s get down to business!

Carley, a lover (and planner) of weddings had been dropping hints and providing thoughtful directions to Al for awhile. So when it came down to giving her the engagement she dreamed of, he knew he needed professional help. First thing was first, Al enlisted the help of Emma (Owner of The Good Party and unoffical employee engagement coordinator extraordinaire).

Together, as you can see from the photographs, they planned the perfect proposal. After the fact, the only thing Al would have changed about the day was the rain. Classic Victoria.


Sneaky balloon build!

The engagement took place at Sea Cider but how was Al going to get Carley on site? Simple. One of the services that The Good Party offers is balloons. Easily enough Emma asked Carley to help set up a balloon installation for the venue and she was on her way. Now, if you know Carley you know that she is a very thoughtful dresser. On the day of the “balloon build” however she was wearing a comfy casual outfit with outdoor shoes. Having assumed she would dress up as per usual the planners were a bit anxious she wouldn’t be happy with her outfit once she found out about the engagement but how do you tell someone to dress up when you’re going to a balloon build on a rainy day?! All turned out okay as Carley tossed off her rain coat when she realized what was happening and saw Kyle the photographer snapping pictures. And in the end, both Al and Carley were wearing rust coloured tops so it was very matchy matchy of them!

Upon arriving at Sea Cider Carley began to get a bit suspicious because of how Marley (her driver) was acting. Then, she heard music which was odd since the cider house was closed. When the girls reached the door to the pavillion Carley felt a nudge from behind and as the door swung open she found herself stepping into a dreamy candle lit room. Aglow with twinkle lights and a christmas tree covered in photos (of the two lovebirds), Carley saw Al standing across the room. As local musican Jill Cooper sang Carley and Al’s song (Electric love) she walked towards her best friend, at the time boyfriend and soon to be FIANCE. He asked a question, she said yes and that is how two of our favorite people got engaged!


Ring ring!

Al custom designed the engagement ring with Barclay’s Jewellers. Every week, after golf, he would stop by their shop on his way home and after a few months he was finally able to take it home with him. Well, he took it to his parents place so that Carley didn’t find it by accident! Working with the jewellers Al hand selected each of the lab grown diamonds, the settings and a band style that he liked. The company even did a digital mock up and he was able to look at each stone when it arrived at the shop. After all the details were decided they sent the pieces to Noam Carver to be put all together!


Simply the best…

What was a highlight about the proposal experience for you?

Carley “It was so thoughtful and so romantic. I think he knew how much I would appreciate all the little details! I would have to say my favourite part was when I fist walked in and saw him standing there. I knew immediately what was happening, like why else would Al be at Sea Cider surrounded by candles while Jill Cooper serenades us with “electric love” – – which just happens to be our song. I had been so excited for so long to get engaged to Al I was just so happy it was actually happening!”
Al “She said yes! And getting to share a moment together after the nerve-racking question popping!”

After you enjoyed some cider, snacks and your own private music show, how did you share the news with your friends and family?

Carley “My brother was the first person we told! He was living in Australia at the time so we face timed him and his reaction was pure gold! Then we told the rest of my family we were coming over to drop off a pre-christmasy present. This was peek lockdown so we had to come up with some excuse to swing by. I told my parents to watch a video of the balloon Christmas tree I built at sea cider that day and then showed them the video of the proposal. My dad got it right away, my mom took a few more seconds. My friends all happened to be on a group zoom call that night (covid times) so I popped in for three minutes to share the news and then hopped off so Al and I could enjoy the rest of our night!”

Al “Well, my parents already knew because I was hiding the ring at their place. I told a few friends at golf that morning because they happened to ask when I was going to propose and I said ‘today actually!'”

Carley and Al, we love you! We think you are so good together and although we tease you  we LOVE talking about your engagement and wedding as much as possible! Your engagement came as a bright light in the middle of Covid when everything was feeling a little less bright. It was perfect timing for a wonderful engagement between two extra wonderful people. Cheers to you and see you back next month for more!


Planning: The Good Party
Venue: Sea Cider
Photography: Kyle Joinson Photography
Music: Jill Cooper Music
Decor: Trend Decor