In all the big ways… (part 1)

How many proposals can one couple have?  I don’t know how other couples do this whole agreeing-to-marry-each-other thing, but I do know that, at least in theory, both people should be in on it before one person asks the other.  So if we go with this idea, then the two people at least have a conversation about marriage before they become “officially” engaged, whatever that means – right?

Dear readers, please tell me your thoughts on this.  If you’re married or engaged, did you ask your partner or did they ask you?  Did you agree that this was how it would happen? How much did you talk about it beforehand?  Was there a ring? Two rings? TEN rings? Who picked out the rings?

I know that the way we did it was unusual, but I bet you guys have some good stories/ideas too.

So here’s our story, part 1: My ring.

We’ll begin shortly after Turtle told me she would like to marry me (see Case C here).  It had already been established that I wanted to marry her (that is a story for another time), so this proclamation meant that we were in the same place on this one.  At first I thought that I wanted to propose and give Turtle a ring, and I still did, but I realized as I looked at rings for her that I wanted a ring as well.

Here are some of the rings that I fell in lust with:

image by kateszabone (click for source)

photo by PatrickIrlaJewelry

Photo by daniellejewelry

photo by bcyrjewelry

photo by bcyrjewelry

You may notice a leaf/tree theme.  Shocking, if you know me.  Yes, I love pretty much anything leaf-related.  But I also liked the idea of getting something antique, something that would not have to be manufactured.  I didn’t want to create anything new, and I liked the idea of something with some history, even if I didn’t know what that history was.  It also felt important to try the ring on in person before committing to it.  I wanted something with a good weight to it.

We started by looking at antique shops, and we found pretty things, just nothing that really clicked.  Until we stopped at one seemingly stuff jewelry store run by two old women that had mostly estate pieces. I tried on a couple of things before I put on the ring; I put it on and looked at my hand and my heart skipped a beat. It hit me that we were about to be really truly engaged (whatever that means.  Okay I lapsed into traditional pre-bridal girl, so sue me)!  We left without buying the ring and went out for dinner.  I couldn’t stop talking about how maybe it was the ring for me, how it was so pretty, but was I sure that this was the right thing? Ahhhh. So after dinner, five minutes before they closed, Turtle went in and bought it for me. And promptly hid it from me.

Every so often I would ask when she was going to ask me… if it would be sooner or later, in a month or in three months.  She would sort of smile and blatantly change the subject.  I think at some point it became clear that she wasn’t going to ask me anything until I had a ring for her. Her ring story coming up in Part 2.

One thing that was interesting about this period of time was that we had both clearly agreed in a basic way that we would marry each other.  We’d decided that this was what we wanted to do, we had made this decision together, and now we were following the steps to make it “official.”  But what does it mean that it’s official or not official?  We were talking about dresses and dates and locations and officiants, all things you discuss when you’re engaged, but we were not announcing our engagement, and we didn’t consider ourselves engaged (though we were calling ourselves pre-engaged…again, a story for later).  Once we had officially asked each other and both had rings, we told our family and friends.  It’s such a strange line to draw… thoughts, friends?



Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

5 responses to “In all the big ways… (part 1)

  1. Shayna

    I think there were moments pre-engagement that I told P I’d marry him someday, but that was the extent of us “talking” about it. It seemed like we both knew we’d end up engaged eventually. I figured out that he was saving up for a ring, but otherwise he kept his proposal plans to himself. When he did propose, it was a surprise moment for me. There was no ring, so he made one out of grass after I accepted. We went ring shopping together a couple of times after our engagement (which we considered to be the asking and accepting), until he got an idea of what I liked. After that, he refused to go shopping with me again. He gave me the ring 4 months after our engagement. (The presentation of the ring had a ceremony to it much like that of the proposal; it was very sweet.) He had worked with a jeweler in designing a setting that I would like and used my great grandmother’s diamond as the central stone. I wanted to get him a ring or a watch or something as a symbol of our engagement since our relationship is based on equality and not gender hierarchy. But, he refused. We’re working on reconciling our traditional vs. liberal views of how to represent our relationship through our engagement and our wedding. It’s forcing us to be very creative and communicative. 🙂

    • Shayna, I want to hear WAY more about this! You guys sound really cute, and I hear what you’re saying about reconciling traditional vs. liberal representations of stuff. I’m feeling really not eloquent right now, but it has been really interesting when we get to points where I’m like, “Let’s pick flowers by the side of the road or grow them on the porch and use those! They’re pretty!” to which Turtle responds, “Um, I was just looking at this amazing florist and she can do the whole thing for only $5,000. Can we make that work?” Yeah, and our budget IS about $5,000. for everything. So figuring out what is important to me and important to her is part of the whole adventure, right?

      Also, your ring is GORgeous!

  2. Pingback: In all the big ways… (part 3) « Roughing It

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