- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
Hi Bees! I discovered this site much after our engagement but wanted to share our engagement story before it gets any later! I hope you enjoy it.
I’m a tough person to surprise. My antenna goes up way ahead of most people. I can usually tell how a mystery novel or movie will end, and there’s a reason some friends call me CIA. So, for my loving fiancé, I sure made it tough for him to surprise me with a proposal of marriage. Anytime there was a special day or holiday coming up, he would plan something wonderful, but was sure I would be on to him. He was right.
A week before the proposal, our mutual friend visited a nearby winery and recommended it as a romantic place to go. The winery hosts picnics with wine and occasionally live music during warmer months. I suggested it over email, to which he nonchalantly agreed we should go the following Wednesday. He jumped at the chance to propose that night knowing I initiated the suggestion and, as a result, probably wouldn’t think he would do it then. Little did I know, he visited the winery ahead of time on a separate trip, and even scouted the area to make sure it was just the right spot to ask his most important question.
That day was a tough work day for each of us, and so we couldn’t wait to see each other for our picnic that evening. I did wonder, briefly: maybe he’d ask me that night?
The winery has two floors of open seating on terraces overlooking the valley, its vineyards and city below. There are also spectacular views from a more secluded patio beside the main building, which is where we sat.
We had our delicious picnic and wine, took in the view and talked with a sweet couple from New Orleans celebrating their 25th anniversary at the table next to us (hooray for good omens!) As we started dessert, the sun was setting and he mentioned we’d have to leave soon. I said okay, and thought inside, “No problem. I guess tonight isn’t the night just yet…he must have something else planned.”
Then, he excused himself, saying he would be right back. I saw him go up the stairs but didn’t see him on the terrace as I had before when he purchased the wine. Where did he go?
He returned with two glasses of champagne. All I could think was, “Why does he have champagne?… Why does he have champagne?!” At first he joked that the bartender gave him the champagne gratis because he patiently waited in a long line earlier for the wine. I thought that was nice of the bartender, and it isn’t unusual for that to happen to my fiancé—he has a gift for making friends wherever he goes. Plus, we were about to finish our dessert, and champagne does go well with strawberries. It made sense to me that he’d have champagne…kinda…but why was he smiling at me like that?
Then he pulled out the little box and said coyly, “Also, I have this for you.”
It was right about here where everything became quiet. I had to look away for a few seconds; I was so overcome and amazed that this was happening. I think it was the realization that our engagement meant so much all at once. It was, and is, the culmination of years of self-exploration, and learning to hold true to myself and the woman I am, as well as the culmination of years of learning to communicate well and openly, and working hard toward a solid relationship. After years of personal sadness and pain, learning from my past, and promising myself to be patient, trusting in love if I could just look a little more, and now, here he was. This proposal was the reward for each of us, for the promises we kept for ourselves, and for each other.
I felt a peace wash over me and between us. He said he loved me very much and wanted to be with me always. He opened the box to display the ring and gently pushed it toward me on the table.
He got down on both his knees. In shorts. On gravel.
His action here is deeply significant to me. Without going into detail, 11 or so years ago I received a very different “proposal”, if you could call it that, where the guy didn’t get down on bended knee at all. I was naive and said yes, and he wound up being a monster. I left him and called off the wedding. I should’ve known. Not to say all guys must get down on a knee, but ever since in my book, it is an indication of his respect and a sign of pure grace, which in turn, makes me respect him. Suffice it to say, my fiancé reset my world in the most powerful way, and all for the better.
He took both my hands in his and asked if I would please marry him — So polite! Tee hee! — to which I exclaimed, “Yes I will!” I kissed him, hugged him and cried. As we hugged, we heard the most beautiful cheers and applause erupt around us…because everyone in the place had been watching! When he got the wine, he mentioned to the staff that he would propose and asked if they had any champagne. The staff was delighted and asked his permission if they could spread the word and clap. Between then and the proposal itself, the staff alerted everyone there that he was going to propose, and the whole time I had no idea we were being watched. People who didn’t even know us stood and applauded love.
I still hadn’t examined the ring! So, he placed it on my finger. I adore my ring, and it is so very meaningful. It is nothing like what we shopped for together, but because I trust his creative eye so much, I entrusted him to surprise me if he found something that screamed my name. It is a custom-made Van Craeynest, a company specializing in delicate jewelry made in the Old World European style of die-striking and chasing methods. Acanthus leaves sweep up the band and end with an orange blossom on either side of the center round diamond. In the center of each orange blossom is a small diamond. Acanthus leaves signify Enduring Life, and the orange blossoms signify Innocence, Eternal Love, Marriage and Fruitfulness. (I love the scent of orange blossoms—I have two dwarf orange trees on my porch. One of them has fruit growing now, and the other is blooming again!)
Strangers congratulated us and wished us a happy life together. I felt so honored to be walking out on his arm.
Our wedding date is in October, the time of year we met and fell in love. We’re well on our way with planning and are very happy to savor our engagement!
Here’s the ring! See the orange blossoms? 🙂