I’m engaged. I’ve been overwhelmed with giddiness over the past few weeks and there’s a 99.9% chance I’m not coming down yet. Is this normal? I have SO many thoughts swimming in my head and it will be fun to figure out if this is normal for brides to be or if it’s just because I’m a reformed crazy girl.
The one thing I don’t want to forget to tell anyone who gets engaged in the future is to be careful driving. We got engaged in the evening on Friday and without warning I went to Heinen’s around noon on Saturday on a gorgeous, sunny day. My new bling caught me so off guard in the light that I almost rear-ended another car at stop light. As I’ve retold this lovely anecdote to my married and engaged girlfriends their reactions have all been, “Oh yeah, that almost happened to me, I should have told you!” From now on, when someone tells me they’re engaged my first reaction, as always, will be to say congratulations but the next matter of business will be a major driving caveat.
If I were solicited for anymore advice, I would say to wait two weeks before trying beginning wedding planning. Admittedly, I am not one of those little girls who dreamed of their wedding day. Before Boyface and I were an item, I had surrendered myself to the idea of just doing me for the next ten years or so. I let it breathe for most of the Labor Day weekend but I think on Monday I went into work mode and instead of work, I cannon-balled into the over-whelming, anxiety-ridden world of wedding planning. I was obsessed. I made spreadsheets, checklists, budgets, and I even got to the point of asking my poor mother for a rough guest list for a wedding TWO YEARS AWAY. My loving fiance grew increasingly worried about me and my blood pressure if every day for the next two years was going to be like that week. I am very lucky to have a best friend who knows what my heart is trying to whisper and manages to shout it in an e-mail, it was something to the effect of, “I’m worried about you. Either get married this year or put this one the back burner, or better yet, in the fridge.” I knew she was right. I just get so Type A, so compulsive, and so excited to plan a glorious party for my closest friends and family, that for that week, I got lost in it.
Never fear, I got that week of hell out of my system before booking any venue visits, asking my future mother-in-law for a tentative guest list, or my fiance having second thoughts. I think. I have swung back to a happy equilibrium and write something down when I think of it and call a place for pricing if I feel like it. No rush.
But seriously, when people say weddings are expensive, I don’t think I grasped what “expensive” really meant. My plan with the budget is pretty simple, we have a budget set that the two of us agree is reasonable and manageable. We are saving for a house at the same time and I’m also paying for my graduate school. If we receive some gifts or help, I won’t spend anyone else’s money any differently than I would spend my own. We’ve outlined a handful of objectives for our wedding and all decisions will be made around whether they suit those or not. It’s been fun to think about all of the amazing weddings we’ve been to and what we loved about them and what we remembered. Frankly, I can’t really remember if they had chair covers or not unless I tripped over them.
At this moment, which is likely to change, (and that’s the beauty of having two years to plan), I’m looking for an unconventional venue that represents our relationship in some way. We’ve decided on Cleveland, still thinking Fall of 2015, and that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
Also- I’ve compiled a few bullet points about the highs and (barely) the low of getting engaged.
Genuine happiness- I will never be able to put the moment I turned around and saw my love on one knee into written words. The sheer fact he actually surprised me is crazy. The comfort I have in the idea of spending the rest of my life with this man is unbelievable. There is someone out there who not only puts up with my crazy but wants to marry it.
True surprise- I can’t stress this enough. I like to think of myself as the unsurprise-able. It’s hilarious to look back in hindsight and see what I missed, but truthfully, I’m glad I did. To have no idea that the walk I was going on in pink soffe shorts and an old sorority t-shirt was going to result in an engagement was one of the best gifts I’ll ever receive in my life. When he and I had some tough conversations before moving in together last year, he made a promise, “to never feel like you’re waiting” when it came to this step in our journey. While I was definitely at a place of “if he asks, I’ll say yes” I never for a moment felt like I was waiting. Even though our wedding is roughly two years away, I will never feel like I’m waiting, our love story is ours.
Words of wisdom- The day after he popped the question, we stopped by my Aunt & Uncle’s for some awesome smoked salmon on our way to Blossom for a Pixar orchestra concert. They had a couple of couples over and surprised us with a champagne toast before we parted. It was so sweet and the perfect note to start our engagement on. Surround by three other married couples who were still as in love and as committed as the day they said, “I do.” I don’t think they did it on purpose but each took turns giving small tidbits of advice, some heartfelt, and some humorous. In case you wanted to advise me to, “keep his stomach full, and his balls empty,” I’ve already been privy to this gem.
Last but not least, the thing I wasn’t ready for and I want to remember this too…
I was so incredibly stoked to tell everyone I know and love and this proved to be incredibly more difficult than I ever could have imagined. Getting engaged around dinner time on Friday evening is not ideal for communicating…well, I should clarify and say, communicating to my family. My partner in crime was able to get a hold of everyone he desired on the first ring, even those who didn’t have his number and he was pretty sure would screen his call. Not fair. He even gleefully taunted me from the couch after my third try to my sister’s dead cell phone as he was on the phone with his sister. He said, “how does it feel when my family is picking up the phone?” to which I touted, “great, because that’s my family too now!” Smart ass. My Mom was at work, my sister’s phone was dead, my Grandma was at a jazz concert at her church, and my Dad already knew because Nick had asked him for his daughter’s hand in marriage after a fishing trip together in June.
I called a couple girlfriends and determined a mass text would be the way to go from there out. Those who wanted to call and hear more could do so at that point. Little did I realize how screwed up contacts in my phone are. I texted a LOT of e-mail addresses. I even texted one of my sorority sister’s ex boyfriends thinking it was her number. The most heartbreaking story of the evening is that I accidentally texted one of my closest girlfriend’s and sorority sister’s old cell number and she found out from Facebook. I still feel awful about it. It was such a whirlwind and by midnight people were already wishing their well wishes on my Facebook wall but I hadn’t posted why yet. You just don’t prepare an emergency call list for this sort of thing!
It was all worth it in the end. Getting to talk to my Gram after her jazz concert was the first time I let myself get carried away in the happiness of the moment. Getting a hold of my cousin in Philly at odd hours of the evening for genuine congratulations, and giving his brother in Portland something besides the Timbers game to celebrate was sheer, gleeful, madness.
So, in a nutshell (of the most giant nutshell ever) these are my thoughts on being engaged.
Did you have trouble getting a hold of family when it happened? Almost get in a car accident? Have any advice for me?