Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Proposal

One day.

The countdown is down to ONE DAY.

Tomorrow is our wedding day. What in the world. If it feels like it came up fast, that's because it really has. We only found out the whole Vegas wedding situation was going to work out a few months ago -- just before the summer. It's been a whirlwind ever since.

Once we knew it was going to happen, we figured we should get engaged. Emily and I have been together for three years and lived together for two of them. We'd discussed the topic in general terms, saying things like, "Well of course we're going to get married eventually." But we never got into specifics.

But when the possibility of Vegas came up, we were kind of pushed into a higher gear, and we said, "If we're going to get married, we might as well get engaged first!"

Emily is a Craigslist addict. Even when she's not actively shopping for something, she'll check in daily to see if there's anything that looks good.

When we decided it was time to ring shop, she started glancing around the jewelry section. After a couple of days of browsing, she found a beautiful pear-shaped stone.

Some concerns, obviously:
  • Karma -- It's hard to feel good about buying someone else's engagement diamond. Why is it being sold? Did they get divorced and now they don't want the ring anymore? What's going on here?
  • Being ripped off -- Is it actually a diamond? Is it as good as they claim it is?
We met with the woman selling the stone and learned she's been married to her high school sweetheart for more than 30 years (she just wanted to upgrade her ring). Then we took the stone to a few different jewelers, who all verified the quality. Good to go!

We used a jeweler downtown called Boone & Sons to build the setting. Here's the challenge: how do you make the proposal a surprise when you shop for the ring together and know the delivery date?

Well, you enlist the help of the jeweler from the start. 

God love Kay, who was in to help out as soon as I gave her the idea. Here was the plan:
  • Since they were building us a setting from scratch, we were going to have the opportunity to approve the rough build to make sure it was going in the right direction.
  • Kay and I were emailing to exchange information about the GIA certification for the ring appraisal, so I mentioned the idea of telling Emily the ring would take a week or two longer than it actually would. 
  • When we went to approve the rough setting, Kay told Emily three weeks. Emily went to the restroom while we were there, and Kay confirmed it would be ready in 10 days. 
  • Kay added an extra layer about the actual jeweler being out of town to take his daughter to college, so he wouldn't have a chance to work on it for a while. That wrinkle was the brilliance in the plan. If she had said he was just really busy, Emily could have been tempted to ask me to call and check on it. But now, what could I do? He's out of town!
I successfully picked up the ring without Emily realizing and, even better, she thought it wouldn't be done for another two weeks. I had a two-week window where the proposal would be a surprise.

With the two of us knowing the engagement was coming, I brought up the idea of going out on a date as a non-engaged couple one more time. I suggested going back to The Front Page, the site of our very first date. 

The day arrived and Emily was feeling sick because of course she was. We needed to go out because the date was approaching when Emily would know I had the ring. She didn't yet. 

I pushed and pushed and eventually, she decided to go to the doctor to check on things. Naturally, I said I'd go along and we could just go to dinner afterward. I cannot imagine why she agreed.

We had dinner and a few drinks and walked a few blocks south to get frozen yogurt. Throughout the entire date, I had the engagement ring in my shirt pocket. 

As we sat outside the yogurt store, Emily turned to me and said, "You know, I'm really excited about the whole Vegas thing, and I don't regret a minute of it. But I'm kind of sad we won't have a proposal story because we had to shop for the ring together, and I know we're picking it up next week."

All I could say was, "Well there's still time; you never know what I might pull off."

All the while I was thinking, "I have a ring in my pocket. I have a ring in my pocket. I have a ring in my pocket."

It was a cool night for mid-June, so we walked a few blocks north to get back to Dupont Circle, where I thought we could just sit around the fountain and enjoy the night. I figured the Circle would make for a good proposal location.

As we walked up, I noticed a few hundred of my closest friends crowding around several large screens that had been set up. Ah ha. Of course. The Women's World Cup. A giant watch party set up right in the middle of where I'd hoped to propose. 

OK. Time to adapt!

We found a quiet spot around the outer ring of the Circle and sat for a while, just talking about the upcoming planning and engagement. Knowing the impending storm of wedding planning that was upon us, it was nice to sit and enjoy each other's company for a few quiet moments.

That's when I slid the ring from my pocket and got down on one knee to ask Emily to marry me. Spoiler alert: she said yes. 

As we pulled out our phones to take photos of the moment, a family walked by and saw us. The woman immediately stopped and shouted, "Oh my god, did you just get engaged?!"

She then grabbed my phone to take a picture for us, while demanding I get back on my knee to reenact the moment. Obviously I did. 

And now, just one day to go before the wedding. 

What a ride! 



  1. I like to read exciting stories as writing and Editing is a part of my daily routine job. I write articles on a topic of Education at the blog of custom writing service Writers Per Hour. I have found that Students feel a lack of relevant information on the topic of writing methods and specifics in various types of paper.

  2. Totally agree with James. I have a task to find the most suitable criminal justice topics for research paper and than I understood that I faced with a problem of a lack of relevant information . Thanks to professional services - I can achieve my goals.