Sunday, 22 February 2015

The One Ring | A More Formal Proposal

Our engagement came in a time of struggle. Deciding not to go on a mission changed both our futures for the better. I love that we both came to a final decision at the same time and both expressed our final decision to make this commitment together. Resulting in the showing of a mission decline letter and a hairbo ring on one knee. 

My teenage self would have cringed so hard at the idea of a hairdo ring proposal I'm sure, but ironically it made it even more perfect. It was the pure expression of this step without the distraction of beautiful jewellery. Yet as time went on I craved a real ring. Not for the materialistic nature of what it physically would be but what it meant. To be able to physically carry Bernard with me always, to have something that symbolised our love and commitment. It was always incredibly important for me that Bernard would choose our engagement ring, yet I wanted it to show how well he knew me as a person rather than generic design. I knew he'd choose wonderfully without my help but offered him some inspirational pictures if he wished.

We found Etsy to be an amazing resource for beautiful rings at reasonable prices, while highstreet jewellers didn't seem to offer anything unique or fitting enough. Rosegold has become my favourite mental (clearly a typical hipster) and I found the most perfect ring, which I didn't actually tell Bernard about. I can't even remember if it is one that I sent him to look at. While I was holding out hope for a beautiful ring, I knew that no matter what I would absolutely love it simply because he chose it and what it meant. 

Deciding to stay and our getting engaged at the beginning of October 2014 meant getting a real ring would probably take a while. I knew roughly when he ordered one and abit about the decision. He had found the perfect ring and it wouldn't be here until after December. 

I simply couldn't wait to have that ring! We hadn't even announced our engagement on facebook yet and had only told close friends and family. It was so wonderful to see everyone's reactions and share the news with them personally. We even went to a friend's wedding who was the groom and he joked that we should get married next and did a dance to Beyonce Single Ladies. Mentally debating 'Do we tell him?!' aha. We waited until he got back from his honeymoon. Safe to say he was so excited and happy for us! 

Mid December we went on our annual date to the Manchester Christmas markets. Bernard walked us round near Selfridges (just around the corner from where he proposed with the hairbo ring) and stopped dead. "Why have you stopped walking?!" He turns to me without really saying anything and pulls out a box. So nervous I could hardly look down. "No, no, no! I'm scared!" aha. 

Marriage is such a huge milestone no matter how old or prepared you are. But as he put that ring on my finger and I looked up at him, I was filled with so much love and peace. I could feel the Holy Spirit confirming to me the joy and eternal happiness of what we were doing. I knew in myself that this man would not only be my husband and someone I would love and hold more dearly than anyone else, but my best friend and eternal companion.

It was a choice that we made together and a perfect one at that. I am so excited to be starting our adventure.

*He also found and chose the same ring that I thought was the most perfect one! #blessings ;) 

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Too Young To Get Married?

(Why hello there engagement photoshoot sneak peek!)

"When are you getting married?"


"THIS March?!!!"

Is the average response I have received. Yes, I know there is a lot to do and I know I haven't got a lot of time. Thank you for reminding me. Many people have responded to our news in different ways. Fortunately the majority have been so lovely and kind, supportive and even excited for us! Whereas others who don't know us so well seem confused, question my age, respond passively or even with scepticism. I cannot be bothered with people's response or feeling an obligation to explain my life choices, as quite frankly it does not involve them. However it is human nature to cling to negatives (these responses). Some Primary School teachers are even trained to deliver constructive criticisms with a technique called a sandwich: a positive, the constructive criticism and another positive.   

This has caused me to shy away from using the word fiancé in casual conversation, instead at times I will use the term 'partner'. It is easier. It may even make me cowardly? But I know that in myself I am truly confident in the choice that I have made. I know that it is the best and happiest and most wonderful choice for our lives. We are so incredibly excited. It just seems sad that people find it difficult to comprehend our happiness and our choices.

Recently graduated from university, working on making my chosen career pathway full time, working freelance, interning and being a waitress is all very demanding work. Fitting in valuable family time, church endeavours, quality time with my love and getting enough sleep is certainly very hard work! Never mind planning a wedding!!! Those who have said that being engaged is better than marriage itself, or even a time when you get to see each other loads; you were wrong. aha. Being engaged is insanely stressful, although it is also very exciting. We hardly ever get to see each other. And I know that being able to wake up next to each other every day and start our lives together properly once we are married will be incredible! Far better than any engagement could ever be.

However I now completely understand why many people make their engagements last for much longer than our almost six months, hire wedding planners, spend ages saving (because goodness is it expensive!). But it's doable. It has given us an opportunity to celebrate our relationship in many new ways, to make our wedding a labour of love. Something we can look back on with gratitude for the strength we had to make it an important part of our already busy lives, for all the talents and help of others and our dedication to one another and our loving Heavenly Father, and in doing what we believe and know to be the best choice for us. 

While I am slightly terrified because it is all such a huge transition, especially at such a constantly changing time in our lives. I know with all my being that this is the most wonderful and blessed part of my existence. That there is no other way I would want to move forward with my life and no other person I would rather do so with. 

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