On September 25, 2017 I asked my girlfriend the craziest question one person can ask another person. Her answer was “Yes!” This is the story of our engagement and subsequent wedding planning, in (mostly) real time, as told by me.
Part One - The Decision
A little less than three years ago, I had the idea to ask Mary to dinner. Turns out, it was by far the best decision I have made in my adult life. (Buying all three “Ninja Turtle” movies on DVD was a pretty great decision as a kid. Yes, I still own them. Yes, I still love them). She also thought it was a good idea to hang out with me for a few hours, so we met at a small restaurant just off the square in downtown Gainesville, Georgia.
Now, this story isn’t really about how we met or how our relationship has grown and matured over nearly three years. We met, had a really fun first date, and three years later it’s still a blast to visit small restaurants with each other. This story puts a microscope on how we go from dating to married and the adventure that is sure to go along with that.
I knew I wanted to marry Mary around this time last year. I’ve always like the fall, and when the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to fall, I tend to get pretty introspective. Not sure of the reason. Maybe it’s the summers are too hot to think and so you save up all these thoughts and emotions until your brain is no longer constantly overheating. What came of that introspection was the realization that despite a few tumultuous life hurdles and bouts of some pretty scary stress, I was happy. I felt loved and appreciated. I felt respected when, at times, I didn’t want to respect myself. Even more than that, I felt energetic in our relationship. I wanted to reciprocate those feelings to her. I wanted to try, however I could.
Growing up, my parents always told me that “love is a choice.” It’s hard to understand that when you’re young. From my perspective, we live in a world where love is romanticized and we’re constantly being shown a false reality of what love really is. I knew I wanted to marry Mary when I realized that I felt I would want to try in our relationship for as long as we’re alive. I thought I could make that choice to love every single day and I still do.
Fast forward to Christmas 2016. We’re visiting her family in Philadelphia and while Mary is running an errand, her mom joins me in the kitchen. Turns out, she too was hoping I would want to make that choice every day. She gave me a family ring that Mary LOVES and asked if I would consider using it as an engagement ring, when that time came. I was floored. I thought it was the coolest Christmas present anyone could receive and an incredible welcome into another family.
I said yes.
With the ring in my possession (sorry to anyone who was looking for ring shopping advice -- don’t have much here), all that was left was to plan out the proposal. Luckily for me, Mary loves traveling as much as I do and we had been talking about an European adventure. That adventure ended up including Paris. Turns out, Paris is a pretty good spot to get down on a knee.
Hey y’all, I’m Lee. I’ve been writing blogs for Nice Entertainment for a few years now. I love Hans and crew -- you should totally check them out if you’re planning a wedding -- and asked if it’d be cool to do a first-person series on the trials of planning a wedding. They love a good story, so, once a month, I’ll drop a new chapter. Hopefully it’ll be fun and insightful. If you have any questions about the experience, feel free to email to me. If we get enough, we’ll put together a Q&A at the end of the series.