The Perfect Proposal

It is expected, thanks to movies and tv shows, that the best wedding proposals are the epic, romantic, never-saw-it-coming proposals. Those are, in fact, the only ones worth having. Otherwise, might as well just return him/her, he/she is obviously broken.

I must start out by admitting, that’s what I thought I wanted. I wanted the romantic dinner (or walk/weekend getaway/etc.), the surprise down on one knee, the displaying of the perfect ring he had managed to pick out all by himself…But in reality? I’m far too impatient for things like that. With all the weddings I attended last summer, my brain kicked into overdrive–I wanted to get married, dammit!

So, we started talking. Figuring out (mostly just confirming) that we want the same things in the future, including getting married. Eventually, when it started coming to light that he couldn’t handle my impatience anymore (yes, I was pretty bad, but it wasn’t my fault, I swear!), we started a little pre-planning.

He suggested that he’d like to design a ring for me, so that it was as unique and special as I am to him. (Seriously, is that not the most romantic thing ever?) Obviously, I wasn’t saying no to that. But there was a caveat: he wanted my opinion. At least to give him a general idea of what I wanted. So I did. And then I waited, while he tried to give life to his design. I hate waiting.

Finally, he found a jeweller who refined his design. My wonderful partner decided he wanted my final say, just to make sure they got the right type of stone. Needless to say, I was excited. We left work a bit early and went to meet the jeweller. The design that had started with my partner had been further refined into something gorgeous. It was everything I wanted: low profile so I wouldn’t smack it on things, sturdy so stones wouldn’t fall out when I did smack it on things, and, of course, beautiful. The last decision was mine: did I want a light blue sapphire or a colour change sapphire? The light blue sapphire was cheaper, but the awesomeness of the colour change sapphire was the clear winner in the end. The deposit was put down and then they told us we’d have to wait 4 weeks. 4 whole weeks!

And no matter how many times I asked him whether he’d heard from the jewellers, he wouldn’t tell me. He valiantly evaded that question up until the last.

Then, one day, we were sitting in the car, heading away for the weekend to visit family. I had just finished asking him the question not five minutes beforehand. We were chatting about random things, when he fills the silence by sharing, “So, when I went to the jewellers today, they wanted to take down my credit card number and my driver’s license in order to take my cheque.”

I couldn’t help it, I laughed. I laughed even harder when the look of realization came across his face. All that work, all that effort to surprise, and he was just so used to sharing things with me, he let that slip.

Very kindly, he agreed to not torture me for an indefinitely longer period of time, and took me to the nearest park. He sat next to me and told me he loved me, and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he got down on one knee, opened the ring box, and I can’t remember much other than he said some very wonderful things to me, but all I could see was that ring.

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I still remember how blue the sapphire looked in the sun that day. And how for some reason I was panicked it would never turn blue again when night fell and it was purple. But what I remember most is that he loves and trusts me so much that he tells me everything. Even when he’s not intending to.

It was the best proposal I could’ve asked for.

All that hype about proposals having to be a big, romantic surprise is a lie. The best proposals are the ones that lead to you marrying the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. That’s all there really is to it.

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How Is Wedding Planning Going?

It’s an interesting question, one that my partner and I receive regularly. It’s interesting because I never know what kind of response the asker is looking for. Do they want to know what project I’m currently working on? All we’ve accomplished so far? Or do they want a simple answer along the lines of “Oh, excellent, thank you!” or “Oh man, planning a wedding is so stressful!”. In reality, I can’t give a simple answer, because I don’t have feelings towards wedding planning that are cut and dry. My real, full answer, would go something like this:

Wedding planning is incredibly overwhelming. Planning a party for 50 people, each of whom is going in with expectations as to how awesome said party should be, is…intimidating. And, it’s my wedding, so I want it to be awesome. More than awesome. If at all possible (which it’s not), I would like it to be perfect.

Since Project Management has recently become part of my job description at work, it is, in some senses, good experience. I have made more phone calls in the past few months than I ever wanted to. I have pondered, exulted and tossed out dozens of ideas of how to do things (I have the pinterest board to prove it). I’ve already made several excel spreadsheets, and will probably make several more before all’s said and done.

But in between all the tears and temper tantrums (kidding…kind of), there have been a lot of fun parts. I love doing crafty things (in case you hadn’t noticed), and if nothing else, this wedding has been an outlet for that. I have completed 5 out of 16 tulle flowers, and have plans underway for a ribbon wall, not to mention the list of 2 dozen things I also want to make for the wedding. It may come to buying a bunch of them, but I’m not ready to concede defeat yet. Give me another month or two.

There’s also been the opportunity to meet our awesome vendors. We’re getting a vegan caterer that makes amazing food–and that’s after we’d totally given up on getting a caterer because all of the non-vegan ones were booked. Definitely an unexpected benefit of going vegan.

And then there’s learning how to say, “maybe we should pay someone else to make that”, which is what was recently decided for the centrepieces, bridal bouquet, boutonnieres and corsages. In the end, I only have so much time.

So, in summary, wedding planning has been going sometimes well, sometimes frustratingly, but always a learning experience. And I really can’t wait for the honeymoon!

The Post I’ve Been Putting Off

There is a post that I’ve started writing at least twice now. I have two drafts that I will probably never publish because I couldn’t bring myself to do something that personal. But I feel like a blog is about sharing bits of one’s self, in crafty form or otherwise. And there is a large piece of myself that I want to share that I mentioned in my previous post.

My mom passed away from cancer almost 3 years ago. In reality, I think it was the drugs that killed her, although if they hadn’t, the cancer would’ve gotten her eventually. You see, it was brain cancer, a kind that rarely gives into the drugs. And cancer treatments are just so brutal…after brain surgery, and two rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, her body just couldn’t keep fighting.

How has this affected my life? It has been hell. I can’t even describe to you how terrible it has been. As she was diagnosed, as she slipped into illness, when she passed away, my world got smaller and smaller until I was barely functioning. It was all I could do to get up each morning and go to work and pretend my life was somewhat normal.

My friends tried to help, but they couldn’t reach me. My whole world had fallen apart and if I let anyone in, I wouldn’t be able to keep going. Nonetheless, I resented them, when they gave up and stopped fighting to try and get in. Some never gave up on me though. And those friends are the real ones that I will be forever grateful for. They’re the ones who kept me going, although they probably felt helpless.

Now, years later, I still take some measure of pride in being able to act so normal that people never suspect the giant hole in my heart. This comes with a downside, however. People forget, and they say things, and it hurts. It’s not their fault, though, it’s mine. My mother was a wonderful person. It kills me that she’s not around to meet my fiance, watch me get married, help me plan the wedding. That shouldn’t be something I try to hide, I have every right to cry and hurt.

But I’m scared. If I put my biggest weakness on display, someone could hurt me with it. Easily. So I’m trying to take the big step and trust. And maybe, just maybe, it will help that hole in my heart heal over a bit.

Have you ever lost someone who was intrinsic to your life? If you have or are going to get married, how did you or do you plan to include their memory in the proceedings?

Why I Will Never Be a Mrs.

We’re in the middle of a move and nearly all of my craft and baking accoutrements are packed away. Bereft of material for a blog post, I am left with only one option: sharing one of my own personal viewpoints. So, I present you with:

Mrs. vs Ms.

It comes down to equality (not feminism!). If a man is a Mr. when he comes of age, why is a woman only a Mrs. when she gets married? Is a woman lesser if she never gets married? I don’t think so. I would expect my friends and colleagues to respect me equally whether I am married or not. So why is the distinction necessary?

The truth is, about a year ago, I stopped filling in Miss as my “salutation” and began choosing “Ms” instead. As a self-sufficient woman in my mid-twenties, I don’t really qualify as a “Miss” anymore. I’m old. Not ancient, but definitely getting up there. I have “life experience”, and I want people to treat me like I do, not just because I am or am not married.

The weirdest part is that this issue was always something my mom was vehement on. She was a feminist at heart, so I always thought she was being a bit overzealous and brushed it off. But as I approach marriage myself, I find myself understanding more and more her point of view. And embracing it. Truth be told, I don’t know if I would if she was still with us. It’s funny how we fight becoming our parents when they’re alive, but when they’re gone, we struggle to capture their essence in a permanent way.

So when I get married, no matter what my last name becomes, I will be a Ms. And before I get married, I will still be a Ms. Because I deserve to be judged by more than my marital status.

Being Engaged – Early Days

I have been engaged for just over a month now, and I can honestly say I’ve felt a lot of emotions about getting married–not all of them positive. Not the actually being married part, that I am excited about. No, it’s the wedding planning part. I have been intimidated, overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, excited, happy, creative, thoughtful, etc.

In short, I’ve been stressed. So I got a book, and I started reading some blogs (specifically A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride). And not only did it help lower my stress levels, I also learned some stuff!

I started out with the notion that this was our wedding, and we would do it however we wanted. Also, that getting married was merely a formality, since we are already living together and will be legally common law by then. However, I soon realized that it’s not just our wedding, and it’s not just a formality. It is a time for our closest family (and friends) to celebrate that we are starting a new family ourselves. And who we invite will shape how our wedding is, and how we remember it. Those aspects will be way more important than the wedding colours or decorations.

That does not mean that I have not spent a lot of spare time going into picking colours (check!), designing invitations (check!), and all the awesome possibilities for decorations that are available. Do we want real flowers? Fake flowers? Ribbon flowers? Do we want mason jars to be a prevalent theme? There’s so many options and I am really excited to get crafty over the coming year. I also rediscovered how much I love stamping, while designing (and testing out) the invitations! There’s something so satisfying about putting ink on and getting that perfect stamp on the page. And there’s no doubt with the finished product that some time and care was put into it.

All in all, things are looking positive, and I’m sure (hoping) the excitement will bolster me through the rest of the planning to come!

The Engagement Watch

Not too long before we got engaged, I came upon the realization that the engagement ring is a bit of a one-sided thing. The woman gets a (usually expensive) very pretty ring, and the man gets…the promise of marriage. Which is great! But the whole thing seemed a tad archaic for my liking. Something like putting a “This Belongs To:” sticker on something to indicate it’s yours. Not to mention the one-sided financial drain.

To correct for this, I had a discussion with my partner, in which he said, “no, I will not wear an engagement ring”. Apparently it’s not manly enough. But what he did say yes to was the idea of a watch. A nice, sophisticated watch. So we did some online searching and then went to a wonderful local store to find the right watch (because less time spent shopping in store is always a good thing!). By the time we got there, we had an idea of brand, style, and price range. The final choice ended up being not the same watch as we went in for, but definitely the right watch.

And you know what? A couple of people have even asked, “Is that the new tradition these days?” Personally, I think it should be.

But that’s just me.

Engaged!

I’m engaged!

Let’s take a moment to appreciate that about 3 years ago I was quite insistent that I would likely never find Mr. Right. Let’s also take a moment to appreciate that we were actually set up by mutual friends, and it worked out. He cooks, I clean, we spend copious amounts of time together, we love, we fight, and together we are pretty awesome. I am very excited to spend the rest of my life with him.

Oh yes, and let’s appreciate the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen, let alone owned. The stone is a colour change sapphire, which is blue outdoors and purple indoors. Basically the most awesome thing ever. It is also a low profile ring, so I don’t knock or catch it on anything during everyday wear. Yes, definitely the most amazing ring ever.

Unfortunately, I find myself quickly overwhelmed. Elation was quickly tempered with the pressure to inform everyone “important” so no one would feel left out. It was staggering, the number of people that went from asking when he proposed to asking whether we’d set a date yet–even if the proposal date was less than 24 hours ago.

It’s been a week…and I’m stressed.

I will (hopefully) only be engaged once in my life, and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for awhile–so I want to enjoy it, dammit! So here are some key things I’m going to try and remember:

  1. It’s our wedding
  2. All that’s really necessary is: us, someone to marry us, and, of course, the dress
  3. At the end of this, I will be married to my soul mate ❤

Those will get me through this, right? Right?….Yeah, that’s what I thought. At least I will have lots of opportunities to be creative!