Today marks 2 years since my husband popped the question.
I thought it would be appropriate to talk about our engagement and what it taught me! Just a little throwback post to honor our day.
So for those of you who have read our story, I think I touched briefly on the engagement. To refresh everyone’s, including my own, memory, I thought I’ll start my post off with our engagement!
After my husband and I had been dating for a bit, we both knew we wanted to get married. We had both found each other and knew that what we had was something we wanted forever. It was no longer a question of should we, but rather when?
My husbands younger brother was getting married that year in April, and he told me we wouldn’t do anything or progress any further until after the wedding which I was totally happy with.. but I know now he was just trying to cover his tracks with his alternate proposal plan.
March 23rd came and my husband was getting ready to go back to Auckland after spending time with me and my family in Hamilton. I had spent the day at University and came home to him out in the backyard chopping wood with my dad. Later on that night, his parents had driven down to pick him up and to catch up with my parents. His sister came too and she met my family. After I had a shower, he asked if we could go for a walk while our parents caught up. Thinking nothing of it, I agreed and off we went!
Manu had brought the guitar with him (which wasn’t unusual because he always brought it with him) and we were both in jeans and a hoody.. Nothing special. We walked up to the temple stairs and sat at the door. He started playing his guitar and had me recording on my phone.. again, nothing unusual because we always did that. He sang me a song and then started talking. Still oblivious to what was going on, he took the phone off me, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. And what did I do? Made him wait. I kept asking are you serious? And then when I realised he was, I said yes.
Afterwards, everything clicked. His parents had brought the ring down; they were here to see us after he asked. The phone was to record that moment for us. The song, he had written for me which blatantly talked about marriage. Yet here I was in total blindness to it all until there was an actual ring on my finger.
We drove home and our living room suddenly exploded with love and tears and happy hugs. Everyone was so happy and excited. It was a beautiful time.
The next few days consisted of phone calls to our close friends and family to let them know. We decided to keep it off social media for as long as we could because we wanted to let those closest to us hear it personally from us before it hit social media. It was an exciting time.
Over the next month or so, we got busy planning our wedding. We were engaged in March and married in June. I was still at uni so in between classes, assignments, trips back and forth to Auckland and wedding planning, it was pretty hectic. We had a time line to meet in order for us to get married when we chose. I had 2 weeks off from uni for exam study leave. We got married that first week, went on our honey moon the second week and then that Monday I went straight into an exam.. it was hectic but it didn’t matter because I was married to my best friend and we had finally gotten through it all!
Being engaged brings with it so many different things; emotions, things to do, unexpected surprises and challenges and definitely life lessons. It’s a fun time, but it’s a learning time too. Here’s what I learnt while being engaged!
Once you’re engaged, wedding planning is an actual reality.. it’s no longer dreaming on Pinterest
Okay I know what you’re thinking, of course it’s reality! However, it’s not until you’re actually engaged and then you have that sudden realisation that you now have to plan a wedding, that the dreaming on Pinterest just doesn’t even begin to cover it. When I discovered Pinterest in my teenage years, I would slowly pin things for me to refer back to for when I actually had to plan a wedding. What I didn’t realise back then, was how overwhelming it really was! Going through 1000 pins trying to narrow your options down and trying to keep it in your budget all while trying to accomplish your dream wedding.. it gets pretty stressful! Dream planning a wedding is way more therapeutic than actually doing it! However, we managed to get it done and my expectations were exceeded. You can read about my wedding planning experience and see how it turned out here.
Be prepared for long lost friends and relatives to suddenly make an appearance in your life
Impending weddings make people go a bit weird. It’s like as soon as you get engaged, everyone wants to catch up and see how you’re doing and how the wedding planning is going and apparently they miss you and your life is now of importance to them. That might sound a bit harsh but I found it to be true. It’s funny how you can go months or even years without talking to someone and then you announce your engagement and suddenly they want to catch up or want to know when the wedding is and to send an invite. Did you get those ones who would message saying, “Let me know when the wedding is? I’ll try to make it!”, when you haven’t even asked them to come? I understand weddings bring people together, but not like that. I was very mindful of who I invited to my wedding. I wanted to make sure it was those who were there before the wedding, before the engagement. Those who I knew would be there for the start and duration of our marriage. I wanted to look back at photos in 10-20 years and still have those people in our lives. I wanted my kids to see photos and ask who that is, and me be able to say it’s aunty/uncle so and so. While I appreciated the kind thought and gesture of reaching out, it goes to show who your real friends are.
Some people are genuinely haters
It’s crazy how some people can say unkind things like it’s nothing. Haters will be haters for whatever comes about. I found it so crazy that even after being engaged, my husband and I both were getting messages like you picked the wrong girl/guy and are you sure you know what you’re getting into? It’s like who could even be that cold that you try to instill doubt in someone’s mind after they’ve taken this massive, super exciting step in life? One of the reasons we posted on social media about our engagement was because, not only to tell our family and friends, but also to show that we were proud of each other and the choice we had made. In a sense it was a ‘have a nice life haters’ kind of post. I don’t know if anyone else experienced that but it was pretty shocking to me that someone would even think to say something like that to me or Manu, knowing we were getting married. Those closest to us knew what we were like together and knew the kind of relationship we had, and obviously it was the outsiders who decided their opinion was worthwhile to us. My advice: ignore them. No one has the power to make you doubt your choice, yourself or your feelings unless you allow them to.. so don’t.
Be strong in who you are and what you want
While being engaged is a happy time, it can also bring with it stress and sometimes contention. Since being engaged and married, we’ve had a few friends and family come to us about struggles they’re having during the wedding planning stage, because they know we experienced it too. It’s crazy how your wedding can suddenly become everyone else’s too. One thing that kept me and my husband sane, was we both had each other’s backs and we both communicated to each other what we wanted at the start. It gave us that knowledge that if anyone tried to change anything or talk to us alone, we already knew the answers. At times we felt it was us against everyone but at the end of the day, we were all we needed. My advice if you’re going through that: be strong in who you are and what you want. Communicate it with your fiance and make sure you know for sure your plan. Be confident in yourself and know that it’s your wedding and you only get that opportunity once. Make it yours. You may have to compromise here and there but don’t at the cost of your happiness. It’s your day so make it YOURS!
Enjoy the magic
Being engaged is beautiful, exciting, new and wonderful, all wrapped up in one life experience. It doesn’t last too long so enjoy it. Tell anyone and everyone, show your ring off proudly and be excited. Enjoy your time. Just like when you first start dating or first get married, enjoy it.
While everyone’s experience can and will be different, this is what I learnt. If you have anything to add, let me know! If you’re engaged, congrats!! If you have any stories to tell or experiences to share, definitely share! I love to hear about your experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Being engaged is fun, but being married is 100 times better.
Happy 2 year engagement anniversary my love. Thank you for choosing me and deciding I was cool enough to stop running away from. I love you.
Mrs Yolo xoxo