While I’m excited to share wedding planning deets with you, I should probably let you know how we got here. From the very beginning of our relationship, A and I planned on getting married. We got along so well as friends, and there was a level of comfort between us that I’d never felt with anyone before. I remember saying to him, “had I known that you existed, that there was someone out there just like me, I never would have settled for anyone else.” Of course, I’m still a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, our paths to get to this point needed to be as twisted and messy as they were, and so on and so forth. So I wouldn’t change anything about how we came to be. But really, I wouldn’t have felt like such an oddball in this world if I had met him earlier. I guess that’s what growing up is all about though, right? Self -acceptance?
Anywho. We just clicked from the very beginning and there was no doubt in my mind that it was just a matter of time before we were married. So I was on the lookout for a proposal fairly early on. And I waited, and waited. Our friends would ask on occasion, “when are you guys just going to get married already?” At Christmas, A’s cousin asked us when we were getting married. By Valentine’s Day, even A’s mom was pushing for a ring, even sending him pictures of rings and trying to get me to talk wedding plans with her! On Mother’s Day, the family was making bets on when we would get engaged. A’s dad said he “[gave] it six months,” in his adorable Welsh accent. Well, future FIL wins by default, because even though everyone agreed it wouldn’t be long, he called it first, and it was about 4 months from then.
One day in August, A suggested that we “hang out in Oakland, grab some dinner, and reminisce.” I agreed, but reminded him that we had crew practice that night, so that particular night wouldn’t work. He shrugged it off, so my proposal alert went down, and I went back to believing we were just going to have a random date night. Nothing special. All the same, I went to my coworker in a slight panic, and told her that I was afraid I “may have just poo-poo’ed a potential proposal!” Now, A is pretty stubborn, so if he really wanted to propose, no amount of me resisting his plans would have stopped him. But I was nervous that I may have hurt his mojo if he was intending to propose and I screwed it up by annoyingly reminding him of our calendar obligations! His blase attitude didn’t match my level of concern, though, so I ended up shrugging it off as well. Even if I was still a little suspicious.
Two weeks later, we finally had a free evening and made a date to meet after work for dinner, and most likely, drinks at one of our old haunts. I made sure my nails were done, you know, just in case! and even though it was unbearably hot, left my hair down, in case there was a need for a photo op. I told my coworker that deep down, I really didn’t feel like this was THE DAY, even though all of the signs pointed to YES! In the afternoon I was getting a little frantic and texting with my besties, where they assured me that no, this was, in no way, shape or form THE DAY, and I was just being silly.
A waited for me to get out of work and we met in the plaza a few blocks from my office, right on campus. We grabbed dinner and ate outside, even though it was still ridiculously hot outside. When we finished eating, he suggested that we “go take a picture in front of [the grad school].” And, that is when I knew, 100%, this is THE DAY. I teased him about taking a pic, and he made up some story about how we didn’t get to take one at graduation (he graduated in December, and the commencement ceremonies are only held in the spring semester). I of course knew he was full of it, but I smiled and went along with it, giddy and practically floating down the block to the building that houses our grad school.
Despite being 15 minutes before evening classes start, there were surprisingly few students around. A wanted someone else to take our picture, but we snapped a silly selfie while we waited. I told him later that, as I snapped it, I thought “this might be our last selfie before getting engaged!” Because I was that sure that a proposal was coming.
Finally, a younger girl came along, who looked like she could handle a smartphone camera, so we asked if she minded taking a photo for us. She took a pic, and snapped a few, during which you can see the progression of A reaching into his pocket to pull out the ring box, and she also snapped this action shot! There’s a brief video too (this girl was a great spur-of-the-moment photographer, even if she somehow didn’t seem to be fazed by the fact that she just captured an engagement before evening class), but I won’t bore you with those.
There was no elaborate speech, just a simple “Will you marry me?” and a “yes, of course,” followed by some awkward fumbling, as we are wont to do. Then A told me that we had better get on over to the next stop, to reminisce about the first night(s) that we hung out, at a bar on campus. Of course by that point, I was expecting that someone was going to be meeting us there, and I was just curious to see who it would be! So we walked over to the bar, while we marveled at the ring, which he was amazed fit me so well, and just generally giggling about the fact that we were engaged!
When we got to the bar, A ushered me in first, and I had a huge smile on my face in anticipation of our reception! As my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, I saw my two best friends sitting at the bar, and it was only then that the emotions really hit me. Here we were, engaged, and this man that I love planned this night to recreate the beginnings of our relationship, including the two girls who were there when it all began, one of whom introduced us in the first place!
It was a little overwhelming, but in a good way. We spent the rest of the evening just basking in our newly-engaged status, and updating family and close friends about the good news!
We also got to hear the story from the other side, as our friends were told that this was a “belated birthday surprise” for me. So when I was texting them earlier about being on high alert for a proposal, they were suspicious but weren’t sure that it was going to happen. When we walked in, they were trying to catch glimpses of my left hand to see if they were right! I teased them and played coy for a little before showing off the ring. And now, for your benefit!
A picked the ring out all on his own. I think it’s very me, and he did a great job! So, there you have it. Next, we dive into planning!