Here Come the Brides! The Engagement, Part 2
This is the fourth post in the “Here Come the Brides!” series, following my adventures with Casey to the aisle. Here’s what’s happened so far:
Today’s post is our (second) engagement story!
Casey wore the ring that was a commitment to and from our family, and we couldn’t wait to be married. But after several months of my renting a house that the kids could never quite feel was home, and with Casey’s apartment lease about to end, we had a hard decision to make; We couldn’t afford the wedding we wanted and the house we needed in the same year.
So we asked the kids what would make them feel more secure: married moms, or a house of our own. Their answer was clear, so ours was too. We were raising children together, so we bought a house together; we invested our lives together.
But Casey and I—she, who never dreamed of marriage, and I, who had felt one go all wrong—longed in a way that neither of us could explain to have a ceremony with the witness of loved ones, binding our hearts. Marriage equality seemed a long way off in our home state, but we would spend the money and time to get what legal protections we could in another state. What mattered most was a visible, spiritual commitment. So for months, we longed, and we saved, and we waited for our wedding.
The grand plan
Eight months after our first engagement, Casey and I took a trip to North Carolina to visit her family. It wasn’t easy for them, which meant it wasn’t easy for us, but whether it’s the person you want to marry or the parents who just don’t get it, family is always worth fighting for. So we built bridges the best we could, and the work was good and hard and tiring.
The day we got home from our vacation-that-sort-of-wasn’t, Casey, unbeknownst to me, had a big plan in place. Glad for the comfort of home, I thought it was a great idea when she suggested I go shower off the travel. But while I was getting dressed, she came into the bedroom and insisted I not come out until she gave the okay. “Just…go in the closet!” was her ironic first thought. “Or…listen to music. Just don’t come out until I say!”
Casey is pretty much the worst at keeping secrets or telling lies (the best faults a person can have, I think), but she’s always full of sweet surprises, so I knew she was up to something. I let my mind hope for just a moment that maybe it was (finally) a proposal, but I figured probably not. There was no way she would bother with all that after a full day’s drive.
But this is Casey.
The Engagement, Part 2: She asked me to be her wife
No place means more to us than the home we have invested in together. So she arranged for some of our friends to sneak into our backyard during the last couple hours of our drive. They set up a small white tent strung with small white lights on our pool deck.
I was in the middle of listening to a song, as oddly instructed, when she burst back into the bedroom and told me to come now. She took my hand and I could tell she was full of nerves.
She brought me out back, into the dusk, and as soon as I saw the tent, lights, and our cafe table set so beautifully with flowers, candles, a table cloth, and a dinner setting, I started to cry. I still didn’t even know if it was going to be a proposal—it was just the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me, and I was instantly overwhelmed.
She led me up the torch-lit path to the tent, and we sat at the table. Then she said, “Well, since you’re already crying…” and shifted in her seat, and that’s when I knew it was coming.
She opened the ring box and held it out to me, across the table. A gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring and the love of my life were in front of me. Choked up, she could only get out one word, “Please?” Then, “Be my girl forever?” I didn’t hesitate: “Yes!”
We got up and hugged and kissed (and kept crying), and she wanted me to put the ring on. I told her she had to actually ask me first; I had been waiting for those special words from her for what felt like my whole life.
So she asked, “Will you marry me?” And of course I said yes again, and she put the ring that she had designed just for me on my finger.
It was the most perfect ring, and the most perfect proposal, and the most perfect moment between my real, official, honest-to-God fiancée and me.