Monday, June 27, 2011

An Engagement

The second set of questions are about the proposal and engagement festivities.  I'm finding this little "tag" more fun than I'd thought, simply because these are all things that happened before I ever had blogger.  So I've never really shared the pictures and stories.  Journaling and History have always been hobbies I enjoy, and I guess this covers both.

3.  The proposal:  how'd it happen, how long did it last, pictures.  
4.  The ring:  did he pick it, pictures.
5.  Engagement/bridal pictures:  let's see them!

It's hard to organize this one. Ben and I had the temple sealing reserved before we were "engaged."  The pre-engagement was a Utah culture I felt strongly about.  I strongly thought it was foolish.  I strongly disliked it.  How silly to be engaged but not proposed to yet! Well, that's the situation I found myself in.  Partly because Ben wanted me to meet his family first (or maybe he was just set on proposing in Navoou).  Partly because it took a while to find my ring.

So let's start with the ring.  I must have been 10 when I decided I wanted "a guy's ring."  It may have been my jewelry-gets-in-the-way-of-daily activities attitude.  Or my fit of feminism, where I felt like being the un-girl was the best kind of girl to be.  It was just as likely the realization that if I were to walk around with a couple thousand dollars on my finger, I'd definitely loose a couple thousand dollars.  Once I reached my twenties, no one ever believed I'd really go through with my desire to have a simple band.  Boys and girls alike were convinced once I felt "wedding" on my finger tips I'd be crazy like all girls are and pour over magazines and drool over dollar signs.  But I didn't.  I told Ben to find me a nice band.  He had a billion questions.  "Can it have a diamond in it?  Do you really want it to just be a guys ring?  Should it be really nice gold or something?"  I'd shrug.  "Just a band."  That left him little direction, so he took me to Needham's jeweler. (one of our dear friends is now engaged to a Needham, so I don't mean to give them bad PR, but) Can you imagine the service a girl who says "Show me a band" gets?  Yeah, we were quickly turned out of the store.  I think they may have shown us one or two things, but they clearly were not interested in selling a diamond-less engagement ring to a couple of poor college students.  

So one evening Ben interrupted my studies at the library to show me a picture on the internet.  "How will this work?"  He showed me my soon to be ring.  "I like it."   "Well, do you want it?" he needed to know.  "Surprise me."  I really was ridiculously indifferent about my wedding ring.

I was obviously even more indifferent about Ben's.  I just didn't want it to cost as much as mine.  Hey, just cause I wanted a band doesn't mean I'm not a girl!  He choose some heavy metal that's suppose to be completely scratch resistant, but he tested it against a brick wall . . . like any boy give that challenge would do. . . and it isn't as resistant as we thought.  I think my favorite thing about our rings is that his fits my thumb pretty perfectly and nearly ever week at Church he grabs my hand and puts it there, while proceeding to twist it around and around.  

Also, you'd be surprised by the comments I get.  Many a stranger gasps at my ring, and tells me they love it, as if seeing a band is as shocking as 30 carats.  Some friends have admitted they wish they had gone the same route.  But my students were always outraged, I think they took it as a sign I wasn't really in love.  And after our announced proposal there were always those who shrilled for the ring, and when holding my fingers just went "Oh."  They obviously didn't know me very well.  

So that was long . . .  the rest will be told in pictures.

Ben proposed in front of the Joseph and Hyrum Smith statues, surrounded by a blooming flower garden, on top of the city's highest hill in Navoou, IL.  It's across from the temple, and overlooks the Mississippi.  We weren't able to get a good picture of the view looking toward the river (or a picture of both of us in front of the temple), but trust me when I say it is breathtaking to look out over the valley my  ancestry struggled for.  I was simply taking in my heritage and the beauty of the land when Ben landed on one knee.  I was so excited and flustered I bent down to be side by side, and accidentally put my knee in his manhood.  Oops.  Way to make a moment!
Ben's sister and sister-in-law took our engagement photos.  They are always fun to look through; we have hundreds and that's after I've deleted hundreds.
This one has always been my favorite.

This was Ben's favorite.  Both were on our announcement (even though I'm kind of against kissing pictures in announcements, Ben gets me to break lots of rules I guess).
Each time I go through them there's always a new picture that kind of "captures" me.  This time around it was this one.  The top two were taken by Jessica (I'm pretty sure anyway) and this one was taken by Jamie.  

I didn't get bridals.  My dress was only scheduled to arrive from Malaysia a day or two before my wedding.  Plus, I figured I'd just have our wedding photographer snap a couple for me.  In hindsight it might have been fun to have a special photo shoot for myself, (I mean how many times do you dress up like a bride?) but without my dress or my hair stylist it wasn't realistic.  This is the best picture we got: 
Tomorrow is the wedding day, assuming I have the energy to stay up late and reminisce one more time.  


Scott and Claudia said...

How fun to remember it all with you. Only four more days!!!
Love, Pa

Megan said...

Liz, I loved reading this post! So, before I ever thought about marrying a Needham, I was sure that I wanted a simple ring that was small and pretty flat. I didn't want it to interfere with anything. During the first week of dating, Nate and I actually had an argument about whether or not it was okay to have a guy spend a lot of money on a wedding ring! My opinion was that it was stupid for poor college students to spend a lot, and he thought that sacrificing for the ring is a symbol of devotion. Anyway, my opinion changed and two months after we started dating my roommate and I took a lunch break to the Tiffany's flagship store and picked out the design I wanted. A month later Nate sent pictures of the design to his brother, and awhile after that I had a heavy rock on my hand. Despite the Needham brainwashing re: jewelry that Nate grew up with, I've run out of pieces of jewelry that I want. Haha. I loved your story. Miss you guys!

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