Today is Wednesday and we are back for another Wedding Wednesday post. When I first got engaged and started planning the editorial calendar for this series, I knew that I wanted to have Mr. Man sit down and write a post about designing the ring, planning the proposal and his thoughts from the night he proposed. And that’s exactly what this post is about! This series features a lot of my thoughts, opinions and emotions from this wedding planning process, but I am so glad that I have this post that includes his thoughts as well. If you want to read the other Wedding Wednesday posts regarding our love story, you can find them HERE and HERE. So without further adieu, here is a behind the scenes look into his side of the story!
CHOOSING THE RING
Most men do not have a vast knowledge of jewelry types, colors, and styles at their disposal which can make picking an engagement ring difficult. I had some basic knowledge on the four C’s of diamonds, but I really only knew that I wanted Leah’s ring to be special, unique, and loved. I began taking her to jewelry stores around 8-10 months before I truly started looking for rings. We took a couple of trips to Zales and Kay so she could look around, find what she liked and what she did ‘t like. During one of these trips, she found the carat size she believed looked good on her hand. This also gave me an idea of prices and I also got her ring finger sized at this point. After this, Leah also did her own research to fine tune her likes and dislikes. When the true ring search began, Leah gave me a couple of guidelines to go on and I had my own list of what I liked in a ring. I didn’t think it would be too difficult to find the ring she and I both loved, but I was very mistaken. It is not that we were so picky that the ring didn’t exist. It is that the rings were either way too expensive for what we wanted or I did not find one that looked as good as I wanted it too. Because of this, I decided to try my hand at building my own ring with a local jeweler. I gave her the guidelines that Leah and I had created and she showed me various settings online that matched what we wanted. I chose the one that I liked that most and we had it delivered to the store. I went to the store to view the setting and it met my approval, but it was only the setting. I then had to choose what type of head that I wanted and how many prongs that I wanted. She had the one I chose in stock and she put it on. She also had three diamonds ordered for me to look at it. When all was decided, it took her about a week to put everything together and clean it a final time.
PLANNING THE PROPOSAL
Planning the proposal took a lot of time and had a lot more stress involved than needed. I was in a predicament because after six years of dating, it is hard not to be expecting a ring. Leah knew when I started seeing the local jeweler to build the ring, but she did not know much past that. This didn’t stop her from being very suspicious of my actions. I knew if I planned anything out of the ordinary for proposing, then she would know it was coming. If I had planned a fancy dinner, she would know. If I had planned a destination trip, she would expect it. I was stuck. I had to incorporate the proposal into normal dates and daily activities. One thing that helped me was that we had a yearly date night coming up for us – seeing Christmas lights. Every year, we go out for dinner, pick up donuts and hot chocolate and then we drive through a local Christmas light display. I knew if I could incorporate the proposal into this day, it could add an element of surprise. I just did not know how to incorporate it. I knew I wanted it to be unique, so I emailed the director of the light display we were going to and asked for his help. We came up with the idea that I would tell Leah that I had to meet him in Santa’s village and say hello because he was a family friend. He would then inform us that his promotional staff did not show up and he needed two people to replace them for a photo shoot. We would volunteer to take their place and he would take us to various displays they had and take some photos of us. Our last stop would be their iconic ice castle where I would then propose. This idea was perfect for me, as it incorporated a magical proposal into Leah’s favorite date of the year.
THE NIGHT OF THE PROPOSAL
I started the day a little nervous, but I was not beside myself. I tried to act as normal as possible. We began by doing some Christmas shopping at various stores. We then went to Krispy Kreme and got our half dozen donuts for the night. While heading to dinner and making one last shopping trip, Leah decided to call ahead and put our name on the list at Olive Garden and I am glad she did! The place was packed when we got there and was quoting walk ins at a 60 minute wait time. At this point, I was panicking a little as we had a schedule to keep, but luckily we only had to wait ten minutes before our name was called. We had a nice dinner, but at one point, when she got up to wash her hands, I considered just getting it over with and having the ring on the table when she got back. I am glad I waited. We went straight to the Christmas lights after dinner and immediately parked at Santa’s Village. I cannot express enough how perfect the director and his staff handled this situation. He acted as if he had known me for years, he even asked how my engineering degree was going – information he only received by my email signature. He informed us his promo staff did not show and he needed us to take their place. We agreed and he took us outside to meet the photography staff. He also hooked me up with a microphone, like the one you see news reporters use. He put the mic pack in my back pocket and put the microphone on my collar. I did not expect to have a microphone hooked to me, so I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide at this point. I was so nervous. I started to regret even asking to do this, but it all worked out in the end. He took us to three total light displays, including finishing at the ice castle. At each location he interviewed us by asking us a question such as “What is the best part of this light display?” He videoed our responses while also getting multiple pictures. The last question we received at the light display was “If you could do anything special to add to these lights, what would you do?” I knew that was my cue to propose, so I took Leah’s hands, said my piece, and got down on one knee asking her to marry me. She said yes, obviously! We took more pictures at the ice castle and we even got to take pictures with Santa afterward. The director gave us all pictures and the proposal video free of charge, which was extremely nice. Once out of Santa’s village, we called our family and announced the news. Then, we finally got to drive through the Christmas lights and continue our night!
Thank you for reading today’s Wedding Wednesday post and for following along on this journey with us! We can’t wait to share more of our wedding planning process and newlywed life with you, so stay tuned!