So a good friend of mine just got engaged this weekend - in PARIS, of all places. Ooh la la! Her boyfriend pulled out all the stops - the Eiffel Tower, a seven course dinner, rose petals, champagne, happy tears, fireworks - OK I don't think there were actual fireworks - but I'm sure there were all kinds of colorful explosions happening in her mind. I'm insanely happy for her, and I am so in love with her fiance for giving her the most absolutely perfect proposal I'd ever heard of.
HOWEVER, I'm also The Broke-Ass Bride - and I know that not all gals can wait for Paris, rose petals and champagne, and fireworks (or bankroll it). Engagements can happen in all manner of splendidly romantic ways - but they can also happen at home, on the couch, while you're having a beer and watching your favorite tv show. That doesn't make your engagement story (or your marriage) any less vaild.
There doesn't have to be a ring. His desire to marry you may vastly exceed the amount of available funds in his savings account. Maybe he wants to wait to buy you the ring you truly deserve. Maybe that could take years. Do you really want to sit on your hands until he's squared away a few grand? OR maybe a ring isn't your thing. Maybe you'd rather solidify this huge new step in your relationship with a fancy getaway or a downpayment on a new home. (However - if you're going to insist on an engagement ring, do let him know asap - don't nurse a tiny grudge forever.)
There doesn't have to be a singular perfect moment. Real life isn't like a Kay Jewelers commericial. Life isn't always full of serene, crystal clear moments when the mood and the lighting are just right. You don't have to be wearing the right dress. You might find yourself in bunny slippers. Just go with it - it'll still make for a great story later. Life has many opportunities for eggregious displays of romance. They don't have to happen like clockwork - when you're engaged, when you're married, your golden anniversary - just relish them when they do happen.
You don't have to tell everyone right away. Once you announce that you're getting married, your life is gonna get crazy fast. It's ok to keep it to yourself for a while. BUT on the other hand, it's totally fine to shout it from the rooftops, too.
You don't have to wait a year to get married. You can wait 3 months, or you can wait 3 years - it's entirely up to you. If you don't know what the next few years have in store, it's tempting to do one or the other.
You don't have to have all the tropes of a 21st century engagement. You dont' have to do an engagement shoot - complete with giant balloons,cutesy outfits, a vintage-themed picnic spread, etc. I know, I know, 1,000 wedding blogs might tell you otherwise - but believe me when I say this isn't legally required of all newly engaged couples. You also don't have to have an engagement party - but you don't have to wait for someone to throw you one either! Do your engagement your way. Don't let wedding blogs or all of your nearest and dearest tell you how to celebrate and spread the news.
So what do you think? Are you feeling these new rules of engagement?