So as you may have noticed – I’ve created a new ‘I DO’ section here on AF. I’ve spent so much time thinking about and looking at engagement party and wedding ideas, locations, dresses and flowers since we got engaged that I’ll end up with lots of useful research, a lot of which will not actually be used or chosen by us once we pick a wedding venue. However, I’m lucky enough to have my own site upon which to put it all should you or someone you know ever need it for reference…
But firstly – if you’re engaged, or married, or have been engaged and married – you may have experienced some of the below – that no one seems to tell you!
THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT GETTING ENGAGED! (IF IT’S A SURPRISE)…
The actual proposal – is a bit of blur! You’ll remember it happening, because you have the ring to prove it did, but the details may have escaped you in the surprise and emotion of it all. I actually had to ask my fiancè what happened so that I could remember! And I think that’s all part of the wonderful whirlwind.
Telling people takes time. We were in Iceland when Will proposed. After we spent some time together, just us (and the horses), I was desperate to of course speak to my Mum and our families. However, I had no idea how difficult it would be cutting them off, as they were so happy and eager to chat to us. It was wonderful and exciting sharing the news – so as we were also on holiday, we limited our announcement to immediate family. We spent the day together in Iceland and decided just to post it online later (both at the same time) for everyone else to find out.
Almost everyone will be happy for you – almost everyone. I’ve always said that if a friend gives you their good news – or you see it (on insta) and don’t feel ecstatic with and for them – then it’s really time to readdress calling that relationship a friendship. Unfortunately I had one person react to our engagement with a message that said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’... Erm well, I just found out myself! She even proceeded to tell me that she was ‘…a little disappointed she wasn’t involved in picking my ring… How and why were we talking about a wedding so soon. And had Will told me the price of the ring yet?’ Yep, you read that all correctly. Luckily, I’m emotionally aware enough to know that comments like that are always a reflection on the comment giver. You just have to decide whether you’re willing to accept it or not (I wasn’t), especially during your ‘happy time’.
You will stare at your ring constantly! I could not stop staring at my ring the entire time we were in Iceland. The winter sun made the diamonds dance and sparkle so much. Even now, I still find myself staring at it for ages…
But you may be ringless for a while. As I said, my experiences only really ‘ring’ true if your proposal and engagement were a surprise – and one of my additional surprises was that whilst Will was able to slide the ring on for that pop the question moment – the band was in fact 6 sizes too big! He had apparently tried to estimate my ring size in my sleep… So arriving back to London, I found myself ringless for a little while, which was completely gutting but so worth it for getting it back as the perfect fit. And more so because Will wanted it to be a total secret – which it most definitely was. But it was hard saying goodbye to my ring – and I definitely sulked a little.
You’ll reconsider your jewellery. I used to wear two rings on my left hand and one on my right every day. On my left hand I’d stack a diamond and sapphire ring my parents gave me for my 18th birthday, over one of my Mum’s diamond cluster rings, and on my right hand a ring of the Colloseum – all quite statement pieces. Since we got engaged and now my ring is the perfect fit I’ve barely worn them again. I did have a meeting with someone who said, ‘wear your old rings – don’t let it change how you wear your jewels’. And I think I may eventually go back to my signature pieces, but for now at least, I like seeing my engagement ring on its own.
You will want to read a wedding magazine right away! On our first day back in London, even though we’d landed at Heathrow with a WHSmiths, and even though we’d been in the countryside where I could have easily bought some magazines – it wasn’t until I was at home that I decided I immediately needed to read a wedding magazine! And even though I’ve worked for print press for years, I hit a total mental block. Sat in the car outside John Lewis on Oxford Street I could not think of ONE place in which to buy a wedding magazine… I kid you not!
You may find yourself being disappointed with the content of wedding magazines. I am, to be totally honest, completely underwhelmed by the lack of choice and content in bridal magazines in the UK. I love BRIDES. It was where I did my first ever internship at Conde Nast and they are full to the brim with stockists and great content. There are also some great supplements around this time of year. But other than that the choice is so limiting. I did however find The Knot in Selfridges which is fantastic – especially since we’re not thinking of the UK for our big day. So whilst some of the content is more US based (like invitation suppliers etc), their real life wedding section is stunning and full of so much inspiration. – And don’t even get me started with the lack of women of colour in bridal gowns across the pages. That’s a whole other post.
People will have questions. Lots of questions. In addition to being asked your proposal story, questions may come in thick and fast. I’ve had quite a few – Did you know? Did you suspect? Did you pick the ring? And yes, some people design their own ring, some people pre-plan getting engaged or send lots of public hints, but if you’re not one of those people, the questions get pretty boring pretty quickly. The simple truth is – I had NO IDEA. I was so surprised. And I had nothing at all to do with the ring. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Oh. And opinions. Then after the questions, can often come opinions… And again – it’s always healthy to remind yourself that if people are intent on giving you their opinions when you haven’t asked, it’s usually something they want to express or communicate, and is more so about them, than it being about you, your engagement or your future nuptials.
It may feel a little overwhelming at times – in a great way! The most overwhelming part of getting engaged has been the response from our friends and family… The well wishes, the cards and gifts and dinner dates and celebrations have all been incredibly emotional and touching. We both can’t quite believe how happy people are for us – and how lucky we are to share our joy with so many amazing people in our lives.
No proposal story will ever be the same – in any way. Yes they usually consist of the same formula, one person asking another to marry them. The majority of the time with a ring… And a yes or no answer. But no story is ever going to be the same, because no two people, or relationship is the same. So don’t even bother comparing your story to someone else’s. There is absolutely no point. I find myself falling in love and often in tears at any and every proposal I see, be it on a TV show or an instagram post. I am so touched by every proposal I see because it makes me think how lucky I am to have such a great story. But so much more importantly, that I have a beyond thoughtful, loving and caring fiancè with whom I’m embarking on a very special, private and personal journey with and that’s the most exciting thing!
Read how Will proposed here: I said yes!