Our Wedding: The proposal(s)

Now that I've recapped our wedding, I want to go back in time a bit to the beginning and I think it's high time I wrote about how it all began.

Our proposal story is a bit different than most, as I proposed to Bill first!

Proposal #1

Proposing to my (future) husband was not a decision I took lightly. I knew that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and I didn’t want to wait any longer!  I keep asking myself why did it have to be the man who proposed?!  I knew it was the tradition, but I’m a pretty forward thinker, and didn’t see anything wrong with me doing it.  I spent countless hours researching stories of women proposing to men (there are a lot on Offbeat Bride and A Practical Wedding, if anyone is interested).  I weighed the pros and cons (would I be stealing his thunder?) and let the idea marinate for a long while before I took any action.  I ran the idea past a few friends and all but a couple thought that it was a great idea. I knew that he wouldn’t want me to make a bit production or do it in front of a lot of people.  I also knew that he wouldn’t want me to drop on one knee.  I thought a lot about what I wanted to give him as a token of my proposal.  I thought that a ring would be too much and I settled on a silver compass. A few years ago he started calling me his “navigator in life,” so I thought it was fitting.

I had it engraved, but this is the one I got

In early December 2015, we took a trip to Asheville, NC for my 30th birthday. One evening, we were playing cornhole out back behind Wicked Weed Brewery, one of our favorite places. I was getting more and more nervous, so I just pulled Bill aside (under the patio of The Orange Peel, if you’re familiar) and told him that I wanted to talk to him about something. I told him how I felt about him and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I reached into my purse to get the compass (that I’d been carrying around for days, by the way!) and he goes in a horrified voice, “you’re not proposing, are you?? Don’t do that!” Well, I was, and at this point there was no stopping, so I continued on.  My heart was about in my throat with nerves, but I made a reference to being his navigator in life, presented him with the compass, and asked him to marry me. I was temporarily nervous that I’d made a really bad decision, but despite his initial shock and resistance, he immediately said “yes, of course,” but that he wanted to propose to me, too.

(For some reason, I can't find any photos from this trip which is weird, because it was one of the best trips ever -- if I find them, I will add!)

The next day, on our way home from the trip, I was feeling a bit down.  In fact, I started crying and couldn’t stop!  I told him that I thought we would be wedding planning, but instead he hadn’t mentioned the engagement at all!  He told me to please don’t be sad and that he had something to show me at home.

After we returned to DC that night, he pulled out a box with family heirloom rings in it.  It turns out that he had been planning to propose for quite some time and had even gotten my dad’s blessing when we were on vacation in July. He intended to use his family rings in combination with my great-grandma’s ring to come up with a new ring. I wasn’t shocked that he had been planning it, but it still came as a really pleasant surprise.

The family rings that he had would have needed so much resizing (they were a tiny size 3 or 4 and I’m an 8) and so much changing that we decided to pick out a ring together.  We picked one out online, which was to be delivered in a few weeks and with which he would propose to me sometime in the new year.

We called our families to tell that that we were engaged, which was way more exciting than I actually expected it to be.  Things were finally feeling official!

I flew home to Ohio for Christmas and Bill went to Rochester.  We had previously decided to have at least one more Christmas with our respective families.  I would be staying in Ohio throughout the New Year, but Bill went back to DC after Christmas and had to work over New Year’s.

Proposal #2

Christmas came and went, and I was missing Bill.  I spent a lot of time pondering how he was going to propose when I got back to DC and had many ideas running through my head, such as by the monuments or in front of the White House, but decided that he was probably going to just do it over a dinner since it was winter and I already knew that it was coming. Amy said "man, the coolest thing would be if he surprised you on New Year's Eve!" I laughed because she knew that he would never do that, mainly because she knew that he had to work and had just spent a lot of money on Christmas and her ring!

On New Year's Eve, we chatted a few times throughout the day. He told me how much work sucked and that no one was in the office. He told me what he was grabbing for lunch and that it was cold in DC. My dad was gone all day and I was a bit disappointed because it was one of my last days home in Ohio and I wanted to spend time with him! I decided to try on my mom's wedding dress and Dad texted me asking what we were up to -- I texted him a pic of me in mom's dress!  He finally came home when I was vacuuming the stairs in preparation for the party that evening and I was annoyed because he came home late and because I couldn't figure out how to use my mom's fancy vacuum. Dad told me that he needed me to go outside on the porch and I said no because I had to vacuum and then he literally opened the door, shoved me outside and locked the door behind me!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man standing along the wall and for some reason thought that it was one of my uncles. I slowly looked up and realized it was BILL. He walked to me, dropped to his knee and said some things and presumably asked me to marry him but I don’t remember anything because I was so shocked and started screaming and crying of happiness and surprise! My mind seriously just went blank!  I have basically no memory of what actually happened because I was just so shocked and happy.  I remember I lept up onto him and was crying and kissing him.  It was very dramatic and stereotypical and was not at all lessened by the fact that I had proposed first, and my first proposal was also not lessened by this second one.

My mom was in the bath while this all happened, so we ran next door to show my grandma and to paint my nails for future pictures.  Then we went back home and surprised Mom with the news.  Everyone was freaking out when they realized that Bill was there and there was a ring on my finger!

Collage I posted on New Year's Eve sharing the news with everyone. I sent the bottom right picture to Amy as soon as it happened!

Celebrating with Nanny!

Blurry photo of my ring with Nanny's rings

I love that we each had a chance to surprise the other and I love that we were both on the same page.  Not many people can say that they each proposed to each other, but I love this portion of our love story.

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