Hannah Whitehead’s parents met and fell in love at the Cotton Tree Holiday Park, so when she met and later fell in love with Sam Pilgrim at the same place, it was a case of history repeating.
Hannah says they met at the Sunshine Coast caravan park while on holidays as children and saw each other every year when they took their annual family holidays.
“Our friendship started when we would surf together often,” Hannah says.
On a Sunday afternoon in September 2015, the couple were off to Cotton Tree beach to go surfing, as they had every morning on their latest holiday.
“We had been practicing tandem surfing on a long board and the swell was small, so Sam suggested we go out and have some fun doing that,” Hannah says.
“We caught a number of waves and all of a sudden Sam looked concerned, a face which is very rare to him. I ask what was wrong and he said, ‘I just need to go in for a minute- just wait here’. I was so confused because he only went to waist deep and then turned around and came back out. When he came back out I asked him if everything was okay and he casually said, ‘I thought I needed a poo but I didn’t,’ So romantic right?”
Thinking nothing of it, Hannah suggested they continue on and they caught more waves.
When Sam suggested they sit up on the board together and take some time out, Hannah waved him off and said she wanted to keep catching waves.
“Eventually I agreed and then he pulled out a ring and proposed!” Hannah says.
“I had no idea that’s what he had planned. But I found out the reason he had looked confused and concerned earlier on was because the ring had come untied from his boardies. But luckily he found it in his undies.”
Far from being a spontaneous move, Sam had asked his brother Rhys to stay on the beach and secretly photograph the whole proposal, giving the couple memories they hold dear to this day.
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Hannah and Sam were married on March 5 in 2016 on the same section of beach at Cotton Tree where Sam proposed.
Hannah says the most important thing about a proposal is to make it personal.
“For Sam and I, surfing is a special thing we do together and so it was super special that this is how he chose to do it.”
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