When Rob proposed, I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to begin making plans for our life together. Right away, I was surprised by so many parts of the engagement process that I had not anticipated. Some of the unexpected issues were trivial. Others a bit more serious. Here are six unexpected aspects of my engagement.
1. Everyone wanted to know the wedding date. Especially men. After I said “yes,” Rob and I took a few moments to call our parents and share the good news. Both of our Dads had just one question: when the wedding would be? At that point, my head was spinning and I was having a difficult time planning ahead for the next few hours, let alone a year away. I realize they were basically wondering whether it would be a long or short engagement, but it was definitely a question that I was not anticipating right away.
2. I had no idea when to wear my ring, and when to take it off. Immediately after becoming engaged, I began to survey my married friends in how often they wore their rings. Specifically, when they removed their wedding rings. Did they cook with it on? Sleep in the ring? What about showers? Or swimming in pools?
Just in case you are wondering, I tend to take my ring off when I cook messy things, when I use tempera paints with my students, when I put lotion on, and when I shower or swim.
3. I had to have my ring resized. I was very involved in the selection and design of my engagement ring. I even went with Rob to the jeweler to select the diamond for the setting. While we were there, David (the jeweler), even measured my ring size. So I should have been all set, right? Wrong. When Rob put the ring on my finger, it was a tiny bit too large. It frequently spun around my finger and I was very nervous that it would slide off when my hands were wet. So back to the jeweler we went. As it turns out, my ring seemed so large because the band is so delicate. There isn’t a lot of surface area for my skin to cling to, so it moves around a lot more. We had it sized down a notch. I’m confident that the ring won’t fall off by mistake, but it still spins more than I would like. After we are married, and my wedding band is placed on my finger beside the engagement ring, it will be much more stable and stationary.
4. I desperately needed a manicure. Before I was engaged, I would occasionally paint my nails (mostly just if they would appear in photos on the blog). Since becoming engaged, I find myself compelled to have a fresh coat of polish on my nails all the time and I paint my nails about once a week. This compulsion began within a few hours of our engagement. I knew I would be meeting Rob’s family later that evening and I wanted my hand to be a pretty backdrop for my new bling. I made a quick dash to the nearest Walgreens, grabbed a bottle of Essie’s Ballet Slippers, and added a few coats of polish to my nails during the hour long car ride to visit Rob’s cousins. Ladies, if you think your boyfriend will propose soon, do yourself a favor and make sure your nails are done. You won’t regret it. And if you know for a fact that your best friend is about to be engaged, call her up for some girl time at the nearest nail salon.
5. I could never be a hand model. Like any newly engaged woman, I couldn’t wait to snap a photo of my new bling and share it with my friends. As it turns out, however, it’s very difficult to take a flattering photo of my hand. It looks like the hand of someone a decade older than me. Any time I try to snap a photo on my phone of my left hand, it takes at least 20 attempts before I get a shot that’s not too wrinkled.
6. Feelings were hurt. I really wanted to tell my closest friends about my engagement in person. I didn’t want them to find out via text message and DEFINITELY not from a Facebook status update or an Instagram post. I didn’t mind telling our parents over the phone since they already knew Rob was going to propose on our trip to Chicago. Likewise, it was ok to text my friend Meggan, since she had found out the night before and I knew she would be staring at her phone all day waiting to hear from me.
For the rest of my closest loved ones, I wanted to tell them in person. When Rob and I finally hit the road and headed home, we spent the next 36 hours visiting as many people as we could. My brother, Rob’s parents, my parents, my grandmother and my best friends Nicki and Kristy. After the most important visits were taken care of, I began a series of phone calls. It was EXHAUSTING. We were engaged on a Friday and by Tuesday night, I just wanted to some peace and quiet. I had spent every spare moment of the previous three days spreading the word and I was finally ready to share the news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I was proud of how many people I had told in a personal way, but I realized with time that a few people had hurt feelings because they hadn’t heard the news in a directly from me. The old adage is true: you can’t make everyone happy.
I said yes to Rob’s proposal nearly 8 months ago and I am now discovering all sorts of surprises about the wedding planning process. But I keep my chin up and try to take all of the surprising moments in stride. After all, half the fun is in the journey.
What was unexpected about your engagement or wedding process? Share your story in the comments below.