Unleashing the Dragon

Sooooo, I have been engaged for six days (actually, it’ll probably be seven by the time you’re reading this post) and I gotta say, I am still just as ecstatic as I was on Day 1!

Since I didn’t know I’d be getting engaged on Friday, I already had an appointment set with my favorite hair guru for the following Monday. Which meant I got a new hair color to go with my new jewelry!

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I figured that this was as good a time as any to practice having “something blue,” hehe.

Actually, my hairstyle was inspired by my upcoming Yelper Party — Yelp’s Fire & Ice Ball. I was originally going to go for crazy flamed-out hair, but after the proposal I thought that I might want to play it a little more subtle. You know, what with engagement photos, trying on wedding dresses, events, and whatnot on the horizon!

See, those are the kinds of things I am already thinking about, even though I do know I’m just a few days into this whole engagement thing. I also know that most people say I should relish this newly-engaged period, I should take time to really enjoy this phase since it’s so fleeting. And don’t get me wrong, I am! I wake up with a huge smile on my face every morning, and am probably in serious danger of getting into a car accident because I can’t stop glancing at my precious ring when I’m driving.

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But, even with that being said, I’m not going to lie — I am also really excited to start planning my wedding!

Now, before I dive into things any further, let me go ahead and establish this blog space as a judgement-free zone, yes? Because, as I established in my proposal story post, I am totally, utterly, unabashedly crazypants when it comes to weddings.

And hey, I say it (mostly) proudly! I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I’m one of those girls. I am a bonafide TLC-watching, Pinterest-browsing, blog-reading wedding girl. From long before I was engaged to what I’m sure will be long after, I have loved weddings. As I’ve probably mentioned every single time I was lucky enough to attend the weddings of friends, I just genuinely LOVE them!

The celebration of love, the marking of a new phase in a couple’s life, the gathering of family and friends, the food, the dancing, the CAKE… I love it all. So it can’t REALLY come as too big of a shock to anyone that I am already thinking about planning my own special day, right?

Plus, I mean, a huge part of my job with Yelp does involve event planning, so I’m legitimately always thinking about these kinds of thing things anyway. It should be pretty interesting how I move forward balancing the events I plan for my job with my wedding planning, actually. I may or may not have already had a crazy stress dream where the upcoming Fire & Ice Ball somehow morphed into my wedding mid-event… but anyway, I digress.

Of course, with a deep-seated love for all things matrimonial, also comes its own set of challenges. While it’s true that I probably won’t find myself ripping my hair out over figuring out dress silhouettes or bridal terminology (Chiavari! Chargers! Basque-waist! Fit and flare!), instead I’ll be dealing with other, potentially just as frustrating, things. Like hunting down specific wedding dresses by specific designers in my area (Hayley Paige dresses are everything), finding venues that are unique enough, and having champagne tastes on a, well, not a beer budget exactly (my parents are very, very generously paying for the majority of my wedding), but maybe like, I dunno, a grocery store wine budget.

Obviously I know that at the end of the day, whether you have a two-person city hall elopment, a 500-person multi-day Indian wedding, or any of the myriad of wedding possibilities in between, the most important thing is that you’re marrying the love of your life. And nobody but you is going to pay any attention to the time you spent painstakingly embossing the escort cards, or spray-painting wine bottles for the centerpieces (both things I may very likely end up doing, haha).

I do know that people are probably going to have a good time at my wedding because they’re there to celebrate that love and be amongst friends and family. But… that doesn’t mean it can’t be a rockin’ party at the same time, right?

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about figuring all of that out. So I guess this is my way of officially saying that the dragon has been unleashed and I’m launching into planning this shindig. I’ve alraedy come up with a beginner’s list of wedding-related movies to watch to get me in the right mood… although I made the mistake of starting off my bridal movie binge by watching Bride Wars yesterday and definitely regret doing so. Man, that was NOT a good movie.

Anyway, my shortlist includes Bridesmaids (duhhh), 27 Dresses, Father of the Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Any other suggestions I should add to my watchlist?

And to all of you out there that are already totally sick of me talking about this stuff… we are only six days in. Soooo, sucks to be you, ’cause this is just the beginning, hahahahahahaha. I mean, I won’t be offended if you want to take a little haitus from Gretchen, In-Between for the next 10 months or so, because I love this ish. 🙂

Are you married? What was your wedding like? Or, if you’re not married, have you ever thought about what kind of wedding you want? Formal, casual, themed, DIY, cost-conscious, a budget-blower? I wanna hear about ’em all!

Well, OF COURSE I Said Yes!

Yesterday brought some pretty big news around these parts…

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I’M ENGAGED!

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Three years, two months, and one day after I first laid eyes on Sean, he popped the question and I, of course, without a second thought, tearfully accepted.

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Needless to say, I am totally, completely, and utterly blissed out. It brings me endless joy to know that I’m going to get to spend the rest of my life with my main squeeze, and even though our engagement is barely 24-hours old, I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy being engaged to this studmuffin.

Opposites Do Attract:

I’m sure it comes as no shock to the majority of you that I’m not exactly a, er, subtle person. In fact, I would often describe myself as having a rather ostentatious personality. I enjoy being the center of attention, I like making a splash, and I make no apologies (hardly any, at any rate) for living my life, well, loudly.

Sean, on the other hand, is the opposite. He’s much more introspective, much more reserved. Where I am loud and oftentimes obnoxious, he is quiet and respectful. Where I am all emotion, he is logic and reason. And where I am over-the-top, he is subtle and deliberate.

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That’s not to say that we are total and complete opposites. We do, in fact, align on a lot of things — we have common interests, we both acknowledge the importance of family, we communicate affection similarly, we have the natural bond that exists between Whasians (jk, jk), and we’ve both got a touch of weirdness (okay, maybe more than a touch in my case.) But, that being said, we do have fairly different natures that tend to balance each other out.

Sean’s proposal to me was the embodiment of everything he is: quiet, intimate, romantic, and subtle.

As a self-professed insane consumer of wedding-related media (damn you, Pinterest!), I’ve always tended to stray more towards the big, the loud, and the ostentatious. I imagine that if I were the one planning a proposal, it would include things like scavenger hunts, flashmobs, and solid gold piñatas. And while sometimes that sort of thing is totally fitting and appropriate, I do know myself. And I know that if I were on the receiving end of all the hubbub and pomp and is-this-Pinterest-worthy-ness of a proposal like that, it would totally eclipse the actual point of proposing at all.

Thankfully, Sean’s personality leads him more towards things like quiet moments, small surprises, and heartfelt words — all of which his proposal had in spades.

The Proposal:

Okay, so we’ve covered that I’m totally crazypants, right? Good. Because I feel like that is going to be an important point to remember as we move forward.

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See, I pretty much knew I wanted to marry Sean like, oh, I don’t know, six months into our relationship? That’s probably being quite generous, actually, but I’d like to try to keep myself in the category of “humorously crazy” rather than “batsh*t insane.” I mean, in my defense, they do say that when you know, you know, and what can I say? I knew.

That being said, I do believe that relationships require time to mature, people need time to grow together (and prove that they aren’t going to grow apart anytime soon), and so our decision to get married was one that grew out of our love and companionship, over time.

Once we reached a certain point, we started talking more seriously about getting married, ultimately culminating in Sean purchasing a beautiful loose tanzanite stone while we were on vacation last November. I’ve always known I wanted a tanzanite engagement ring (it’s my favorite gemstone), so I was thrilled when Sean suggested we take a look at some rings when we stopped in Nassau during our cruise. We didn’t end up purchasing a ring, of course, but Sean did set his eye on one particular stone and I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that!

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So we flash forward a couple of weeks. I knew he had a stone, and I knew he had intentions of designing a ring to go along with it, but that was pretty much where my knowledge ended. I had no idea what his timeline looked like, or what to expect. (He did tell me that he wouldn’t be proposing on a “traditional” day, like our anniversary, my birthday, Christmas, etc.) But, of course, I did have a general idea that we were going to be taking this next step at some point in the not-too-distant future.

As you can imagine, that didn’t actually sit super easily with me. Crazypants McGee over here basically spent from mid-November until, well, um, yesterday, wondering, fretting, endlessly questioning when Sean was going to propose. Sean loves surprising me, so I knew it would probably happen when I least expected it, but that didn’t really stop me from expecting it… all the time.

I mean, okay, I wasn’t really expecting it ALL the time. It was just kind of there, hovering in the background of my brain. There was really only one time that I genuinely thought he might be getting ready to pop the question: Remember that amazing early Valentine’s surprise dinner he took me to at Sushi Taro?

Yeah… I may or may not have left the post-dinner breakdown I had in the car out of my original blog post, hahahahahaha.

Aaaaaanyway, given that I was still just generally aware of the fact that the whole engagement thing was sitting somewhere on the horizon, I really wondered how surprised I could possibly be when the time came. But, lo and behold, Sean did achieve that surprise factor. Somehow, he still managed to pull a fast one on me.

By proposing at 7 o’clock in the morning.

Yep. If you’re asking yourself, “Who in tarnation proposes to someone at 7 AM on a Friday morning?” Well, Sean does. And I love him for it.

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Sneaky punk.

I woke up to an absolutely breathtaking ring hovering in front of my face (attached to Sean’s hand, of course.) My eyes were half-filled with shock, half with sleep, as he launched into an amazing (and tearjerking) speech about love, the two of us, and our future together.

Most of what was said is an emotional blur at this point, but I do remember him saying he chose the morning not only to surprise me (mission accomplished, fyi), but because he wanted me to know he loves me just as I am — bedhead, smudged makeup that I definitely did not fully take off the night before, and all.

And then, of course, I remember the part where he said, “Will you marry me?”

I’m pretty sure you guys can guess what my answer was.

The Ring: 

As mentioned above, I’ve known for a very long time that I wanted a tanzanite engagement ring. The reasons follow as thus:

A) I enjoy being slightly unconventional (I mean, you have seen my various hair colors, no?)
B) I’m not a big fan of the whole De Beers diamond monopoly engagement ring scam thing. (This hilarious College Humor video explains it all.)
C) Diamonds are actually my birthstone (April baby), so if I do ever change my mind and want a diamond, I figure I have a lifetime of potential gift opportunities to get one.
D) Helloooo, have you seen that color?? Is it blue, is it purple… who knows? Who cares?! It’s a different color every time you look at it, and it’s so beautiful. I love it, I love it, I loooove itttttt.

And Sean, the lovely, wonderful, attentive listener that he is, knew that tanzanite had me by the heartstrings. So, after procuring one seriously gorgeous round tanzanite stone, he set out to design a special setting to go around it, just for me.

And. Dude. Special it most certainly is. I honestly cannot picture a more perfect ring for me! He done good. He done reeeeeeal good, y’all.

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My ring is comprised of a round bezel-set tanzanite stone in a cushion halo, set in a platinum split shank twist band, and some very special, custom, made-just-for-me details included. On one side of the ring there’s a surprise diamond, and on the other…

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… there’s a teeny weeny little lightning bolt!

It might be a little hard to see in these pictures, but I promise it’s there. I mean, does Sean know me, or what? Some of you might think it’s silly to have anything to do with The Boy Who Lived on her engagement ring, but true love is as true love does, my friends. And if I love it enough to have it tattooed on my body…

Anyway, it is a super thoughtful touch that makes the ring extra special to me (and unique in general!) There’s also an inscription on the inside of the ring: “Until the very end.” ::sob:: ::sniff::

Tanzanite is much more fragile than diamonds are, so I’ll need to take extra care with it (hence why the bezel setting and the halo are so great — they help protect the stone!) but I could not be happier. As most people who have seen the ring seem to say, it just feels very “me.”

Sooooo, there you have it! I’m engaged! I’M ENGAGED! Man, that sounds weird to say. I mean, I’m somebody’s fiancee! Which means I’ll eventually be someone’s wife. WEIRD.


Here’s to a life filled with unintentional outfit matching!

As if the proposal itself wasn’t enough, Sean finished off what was already the best day ever with another amazing experience: dinner at uber-romantic Alexandria restaurant, Restaurant Eve. Sean treated me to the tasting menu there, another thing that has been on my restaurant bucket list for a while, and it was absolutely perfect. I just can’t believe that I get to marry this Fox! 😉

Admittedly, I am pretty stoked to get started with wedding planning and whatnot, being that I definitely come from that whole “has been planning her wedding since she was eight” camp of thought, but I also hope to spend some QT with my love, just enjoying this phase of our relationship — and our life! After all, if what I hear is true, it’ll be over before we know it.

Let the whirlwind begin!