New graduate Stephanie ‘ecstatic’ with Fiancé Donal’s surprise proposal

July 9, 2018

A local student says she is on cloud nine having celebrated her graduation and surprise engagement in one day! 

Queen’s University graduate, Stephanie Kirwan, thought she was celebrating just one momentous occasion when she and her family attended her graduation ceremony at Queen’s University gardens on Wednesday last.  The 24-year-old, from Crossmaglen, graduated with a degree in Criminology and Social Policy.  

Little did she know that her boyfriend of six years, Donal Begley, had secret plans for a surprise proposal after the ceremony – and when he dropped to one knee on the lawns of Queen’s University gardens in front of over a thousand onlookers, Stephanie told The Examiner she  “couldn’t believe what was happening!”

“The graduation ceremony was just over and we had been celebrating with strawberries and cream and prosecco at the garden party when I went over to check the queue for the official photographer,”  said Stephanie.

“On my way back to Donal and my family, another photographer asked if myself and Donal would pose for a picture.  I had no idea Donal has asked the photographer to capture the moment after telling him what he planned to do.   I just thought we were posing for photo so I couldn’t believe it when he got down on one knee in front of everyone!”

An ecstatic Stephanie immediately said yes and she says, “More than a few tears were shed amongst us all.”

Stephanie later learned that Donal had planned the proposal for the last 4 months as he did not want to interfere with her studies.  “He knew I’d be looking up wedding venues and didn’t want to interrupt my studies,” she said of her thoughtful fiance, who she revealed is definitely the romantic type.

“He’s definitely raising the bar for men everywhere!  He would do romantic things for me all the time but I never expected this,” said the shocked bride-to-be, who revealed that Donal had even taken the traditional route and asked both her dad and her grandad for her hand in marriage a few weeks ago.   

The pair were the only members of the family who knew about the surprise marriage proposal and Stephanie says her family were blown away that they managed to keep it all secret between them. As for the engagement ring, it seems Donal ticked all the boxes once again, choosing “a perfect ring” for his happy bride-to-be. 

“I’m totally ecstatic and overwhelmed that he managed to plan all this.  It will always be such a special occasion for both of us, I can’t believe I graduated and got engaged in one day!”