After a year of dating, Terry gave his girlfriend Anna a necklace for their anniversary.
But the sweet accessory, which was handmade from Huon Pine (unique to Tasmania) and a ground-down spiral shell, actually enclosed a secret: an engagement ring!
“I had always loved the idea of giving someone a gift where they didn’t know its true value until years later,” Terry told PEOPLE in a statement of his covert necklace, which he got to work on as soon as he found the ring.
“She wore it every day and everywhere we went, and pretty much never took it off,” Terry said.
Terry’s biggest concern in maintaining the surprise came when they went though airport security for the first time.
“I hadn’t thought about the fact that she might be asked to put it through the X-ray, which could have very quickly turned into an airport security proposal!” he said.
In November, a year-and-a-half after the necklace was given, the couple traveled to Smoo Cave in northern Scotland. The destination was a place they’d always talked about visiting, according to a now viral YouTube video, published in April. This would be the location for Terry’s ultimate surprise.
“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 gave me a quick chance to break the seal with a knife,” he said in the statement.
After a self-timed photo at the cave, Terry pulled the necklace back out, knelt and broke it open to reveal the ring, to which Anna said yes enthusiastically.
After the proposal sunk in, Anna said, “Wait…it’s been in there the entire time?!! I could have lost it you f— idiot!!” which Terry described as “quite a hilarious mix of happy and angry.”
So when will wedding bells ring?
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The couple anticipates a wedding in 2019.
“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),” they said.