This past weekend, the man of my dreams (and now my future) asked me to be his wife. It was a moment I fantasied about for many moons. His thoughtfulness and attention to detail made it an unforgettable experience. And here for your campfire gatherings is our engagement story:
My parents and my grandmother were in town visiting from Texas. We all took a weekend trip to Lopez Island to wander around paradise and show them the best of the Northwest. Friday night, after a full day of fun, we attempted to solve many of the world's problems over whiskey and wine. At some point in this soiree Ryan pulled my father aside and let his intentions be known. This gesture was vital in the process of our engagement for two reasons. The first of which: it was important to my dad. A kind of man that refers to living together as "why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?".... All jokes aside, my father is a traditionalist and passed a little part of that along to me. Which brings me to reason number two: it meant something to me. Knowing that my future husband can communicate with my old man about important matters fulfills a strange survivalist note in me. When the shit hits the fan and we take refuge on my parents farm, to band together against the looters (and the zombies) we need to play like a team. Our marriage is a joining of two families, Ryan will now be a proud member of what my father calls, his "army of son-in-laws". So my darling, despite his progressive ideals, asked naught for permission but, for the patriarchal blessing. Let there never be war between out houses. Amen. *
Saturday morning I awoke to the silence of the island and, dappled light filtering through the trees around our rental. Ryan lured me out of bed at 5 am with promises of early birthday presents. (The man knows the way to my heart!) We threw on our best jeans and sweatshirts and headed to Watmough Bay, a place so special I hesitate to share it online. Here an alley of trees leads you to the water. Your first view of the bay comes through a perfectly framed opening shot of a much needed Terrence Malik film . Once you reach the beach you climb over large driftwood trees and onto the gray-blue pebbled sand. The sky was blush pink and we were greeted by a family of sea otters, one lazy eyed seal, a few sea gulls and many excitable minnows that watched Free Willy one to many times. In this idilic scene, Ryan pulled out a charm with a note tucked inside with August X, 2013. "The day we make our wedding rings", he said.** Kneeling down he delivered the simplest, sweetest, most heartfelt words of his love for me. Not only did I cry, I managed to squeak during my tears of joy...like a mouse....
We watched the sun rise over the mountains in the distance and took quiet time to soak up the momentous adventure we were about to embark on, together.
An engagement can set the tone of your wedding. (Assuming you say yes, that is!) The way your beau pops the question can give you insight into your unique wedding style. As a couple: Which parts of the engagement were the most memorable for you? Was anything missing? If your man asked you over the JumboTron, my guess is you wont be having a courthouse wedding... Use the engagement as a practice run for the wedding day. It could inspire the whole affair!
*A note for my future brides: If you come from a blended family, be sure your groomy-to-be knows to include both of your parents in the process. I have two sets of lovely parents that I refer to interchangeably. It was important to my mother that Ryan included her in the blessing process just as she will expect to be included in the walk down the aisle. Do yourselves a favor and cover all your bases. Keeping the peace with both sides of the family will ensure your peace of mind later on!
**more about this process later!
Breathe, design, heal.
Whitney R. White stays inspired by her love of historical spaces, nature, beeswax candles, hand-made objects, comedy, coffee and visual storytelling. She is a connector, brand ambassador, reiki practitioner, inspiration sparker, and new mamma! She lives with her husband and son in the San Juan Islands. She used to teach floral design classes, yoga, and one day she'll dabble in clay.