Friday, August 3, 2007

A Tricky Proposal

I'm engaged.

On May 5th Chris proposed marriage and I said yes.

You already know the finer points of the proposal so I won't recount the story details or tell you how happy we are and how much we love each other or how perfectly romantic it all was.

That surprise marriage proposal was tricky to pull off but relatively easy compared to the proposal that followed.

After telling everyone we were engaged Chris and I decided to take a slice of time to not make any wedding plans - no dates, no best men, no cake toppers, just time to relish this new step of our lives.
We proposed about a month of no wedding talk.
How great! No pressure, no hurried planning...what an ideal arrangement.

There was however one element of the no-wedding planning proposal that we overlooked.

Getting engaged is like bringing a monkey to school; it invites a lot of questions.

"Where are you getting married? What are your colors? What kind of dress do you want?..."

So how do you talk about being engaged without talking about the wedding?

It's a question I posed to a few individuals I regard as professionals in matters such as these.

I had 3 responses.

One was a blank stare.

One was a shrug of the shoulders.

And one asked me to pass the butter.

I think there is great value in not jumping right into wedding plans. It's important to stop and acknowledge the importance of the step you're taking before running head strong into reception venues and personalized confetti.
There are small revolutions taking shape in your heart and in your brain that deserve a few weeks time to grow and develop.

But how do you hold off anxious Grandparents and in-laws, friends and well-meaning coworkers?

You pick a date and a place.

That's what Chris and I did.

We picked a date and a place and threw it to our loved ones like rare meat to hungry wolves.

This gave them something to chew on, a time and a place to start imagining the day, and something to discuss when the topic of our engagement came up.
And it gave Chris and I time to just enjoy our new step together.

Or so we thought.

A week later the masses started getting hungry again. We needed back-up.

So...I took one for the team and boarded a plane to Europe.

It might not have been the easiest answer, but it worked.

Chris and I got to explore what being newly engaged felt like and what it meant for us. Even better, we got some time to do it separately and explore our own feelings and outlooks.

Once I returned home we both felt a lot more grounded. The ring didn't feel so foreign on my finger, and I could call Chris my fiance without it coming out "boyfrien-no-oh-my-gawd-fiance!".

I encourage newly engaged's to relax in their new engagement for awhile before beginning any planning. Talk with your better half and decide on how long is right for you.

Others will try to persuade you to get started.
"Just take a glance at Martha, or at least sign up for The Knot. It's just looking," they'll tell you.
Be especially careful of the "well, just pretend you were planning, what kind of ____ do you envision?"
Do not let this sway you. You must remain insistent you are not planning anything yet.

If in the end you find you just don't have the strength, here are three options.


2.Hop a plane to China.

3.Bring a monkey to work.

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