Our 2 Year Engage-iversary

Wedding Planning

When Mr. Road Trip and I made our engagement official, 2 years ago today, November 2013 seemed so very far away. We’d already been doing some planning “under the radar” for 4 months prior and knew that the next 2 years would afford us (literally) the opportunity to make the wedding into just what we wanted, and not what we’d have to settle for with a shorter engagement.

This time last year we spent the day in a car, driving back from a comics convention in middle-of-nowhere Mississippi. Today is, in many respects, just another day: work, dinner together, and whatever else we can squeeze out of the evening. And while our engagement anniversary isn’t something we plan to observe each year, it is nice to mark the day as, this year, it also reminds us that we’re only a smidgen over a month away from the wedding!

In some ways, we’re exactly where we planned to be two years ago. We’ve continued to meet our savings goals each month and have kept at least the big things within the budget (smaller purchases coming out of our regular spending); going into debt for the wedding was definitely something we wanted to avoid. On the other hand, I thought I’d be much farther ahead on the DIY front by now, and not still staring down the barrel of a really long to-do list.

Some things I did get done far ahead, like my cardigan and a boatload of beading. We settled on our venue early on and made some plans, but there was a very big lull when I wish I’d be working on other projects. But now the ‘oh, we’ve got plenty of time’ tune has changed to ‘holy cats, we’ve got 5 weeks!’ Four, really, since I hope to have everything that’s going to get done, done by the week before the wedding. Having a week to decompress is really important to us.

Luckily, the main things are done. The biggies left on the list are things like creating our playlists for the various parts of the day, getting our marriage license, and finishing our vows (why we keep putting that off I don’t know!).

Thinking back, I don’t see any major changes in our relationship from then to now: we’re still the same goofy couple with a tight-knit friend group. We like to stay home over going out, and we’ve yet to have our first fight. Yup, nearing six years together and we vaguely remember this one time that we disagreed on something but apparently it must not have been important because we can’t even remember what it was that we agreed to disagree about! Part of that is that we both had such combative partners in the past that there’s very little we’re willing to go head-to-head over (life’s too short to live in strife and all that) and part of it is that we just generally see eye-to-eye on all major issues. Makes for a peaceful household if nothing else.

Hindsight being what it is, aside from wishing I’d gotten more done earlier, I don’t regret having a long engagement. I’m ready for the wedding to get here so we can move onto other projects both together and individually, but I’m glad we made the choice we did.

Would you have preferred a longer or shorter engagement?

Confessions of a Natural-Born Klutz

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
White and blue sapphire engagement ring missing a prong

Poor ring, it wasn't her fault I'm a klutz

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

So, there: I’m a klutz.

In my head I’m always striving for grace, moving fluidly, like a dancer. In reality I’m misjudging distances and regularly slamming my shoulder into my office door frame, my wrist into the doorknob and my hands into anything around.

While annoying, this wasn’t a big deal. And as long as it’s been, maybe it’s even grown to lovable quirk status?

But with the addition of a very special piece of jewelry to my daily wardrobe, I started to become more aware of just how much danger my new, somewhat delicate, ring was in.

I love the fact that my center stone is set above the halo, but that also means the higher profile is more prone to catch on things.

And catch it did just the other night! I reached into the fridge (my right hand was already full) and one of the prongs caught on the shelf above and snatched it clean off!

Sadly, this was not the first time I’d had to take my ring in for a repair–that happened after only a month of wear when the center stone became very loose in it’s setting. I’m still not 100% sure what cause that, but I have a feeling my poor work posture might have contributed (I have a bad habit of leaning over the edge of my desk with my hand tucked under, just at the edge. I have no idea when I started doing it, but I’m trying to break the habit, fast!)

The upside to this tale is that Todd very smartly purchased the protection plan for my ring which covered the resizing, regular maintenance and any repairs it may need over its lifetime. I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t have to use it but for the occasional cleaning but, yeah. At least we’ve got it.

As a result of these incidents, I’ve become more and more aware of my actions. I may never achieve the grace I’ve always longer for, but if only for the safety of my pretty, precious ring, maybe I’ll manage to flail a bit less.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


Have you had to break some bad habits to preserve your jewelry?

Tortoise and Hare Plan Wedding

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
Tortoise digitally "wearing" lipstick and a tiara and veil

original image via stock.xchng | photography by hortongrou | embellishment by Miss Road Trip

Alternate Title:
Why Wait vs. What’s the Rush

Slow and steady wins the race, right? But is it so much a race to the finish line when gaining the altar is the prize?

The Hare Says: Might as well do it now!

After all, if you know you want to spend the rest of your life together, why bother waiting 6, 9 or 12 months to get started. Let’s get down to business!

This was me when I was younger, and I blame that impetuosity mostly on the impatience of youth and the eagerness to get on with life, already. Many times I’ve looked back and the cautions to slow down, to take our time, and wish I’d listened–but for the real fact that had I not made those quick choices then, I wouldn’t be who or where I am now.

And, really, who among us could honestly say we would have heard–much less listened to–anyone implying we didn’t know exactly what we were doing?

The Tortoise Says: Marriage isn’t going anywhere, we’ll get there when we get there.

The aforementioned youthful impatience would call that sentiment lack of conviction, claim lukewarm feelings, and then shrug and go find something shiny to play with.

Now that I find myself on the turtle’s path this go ’round, I’d like to think it’s a product of age and that haste could easily be the product of insecurity as much as impatience. Apparently, though, the rabbit’s path isn’t just for the young, as I was recently reminded of, and what got me thinking down this road.

This past fall a friend of ours became enamored of a woman he’d been acquainted with, through mutual friends of theirs, for the past 2 years when a group trip abroad threw them much together. By early December they had decided to wed the following June. Two weeks later it had been moved up to the 30th of that month.

The day before the wedding I received a hold-off call (as I had offered to do their wedding cake), as the wedding was now an engagement party and the wedding was being postponed. Not for lack of affection, he assured me (and I believe him), but to allow time to work out some fiddly bits.

And it’s the fiddly bits that the turtle path is so well suited to manage. In their case it’s a matter of making sure the Catholic Church recognizes the marriage (she is a widower but he is divorced with annulment not really a viable option) for her to feel most comfortable. For the Road Trips, the turtle path allows us to save up for the sort of celebration we want to throw without putting undue stress on ourselves in the process.

But I now see that taking our time doesn’t mean we don’t love each other just as much–maybe even more!–or that we’re not sure of the life we want to have together. In fact, it’s not stopping us from living that life.

Are you a tortoise or a hare?

9-30-2011: E-Day

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

This was it–THE day–Engagement Day!

It was a Friday and the 2nd day of my week-long stay-cation I’d scheduled to use up some vacation hours and get some work done on a personal project. T had called to check on the ring and it was in, he would pick it up on the way home.

And I? Was starting to feel a little bit silly. Knowing the ring was on it’s way home I had no idea of how to act. Obviously I was excited but, really, expecting him to what? Get down on one knee? Be serious? That wasn’t really us.

I saw him pull up in the driveway from my office window and *bam* butterflies. Okay, knowing it’s coming does not make it any less special, check!

In his hand was the burgundy bag from the jewelry store and this was how the proposal went.

personal photo

“Here’s the bag…

and here’s the box… (pulling out each part as he speaks)

and here’s another box.

And inside…”

While hugging me to him he said, very straightforward, “Miss Road Trip, I love you very much and I want to marry you very much.”

Well, that wasn’t so much a question as a declaration of intent, it didn’t really call for a ‘yes’ answer so, you know, what’s a girl to say?


And that was it: we were officially engaged!

And he did get down on one knee after that. Go figure, we were too busy being giddy and laughing to worry about “traditions” at that point.

Of course, the next thing was calling the family and, well, I knew Mom would be hurt if she wasn’t on the top of our list. Unfortunately, she didn’t answer her phone the first few times we tried her (while T made dinner–it was his week, how quickly we returned to “normal”) so we had to put off our calls for another hour. And then, of course, make it Facebook official to tell everyone else!

Yes, we spent much of the rest of our usual “date night” checking Facebook for responses.

And all my worries about no one being excited for us? Totally unfounded. It was the best, best-case-scenario I could have ever hoped for.

Did you still get giddy for the engagement,
even if it wasn’t a suprise?

*It should be noted that when I first broached the subject with Mr Road Trip, I asked what he’d say if I said I was thinking about marriage not being completely off the table anymore. His reaction? And I quote: “Yay!” I almost feel like we should include that in our vows, somehow.

Anticipation or Aprehension

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
A figure waiting on a bench, looking out to sea

image via stock.xchng | photo by coolza

The ring was ordered and I knew the official proposal would be coming whenever the ring was ready. We were told a couple of days but I figured on a week, just to keep myself from going absolutely stir-crazy.

I was excited for the most part, but as the week wore on there were seeds of dread that started to sprout.

I was excited and happy BUT also a little embarrassed to be–like I’m not allowed to feel this way. Like, been there, done that. The do-over is cool and all, but keep it low-key.

I might have also been a wee bit gun-shy; before I’d closed the door to marriage I’d been engaged a couple times without making it to the altar (apparently I inspire a forever feeling in some men, at least at first). I was afraid this over-cautious feeling would last through the whole process–2 years+!–and that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it fully until it was done, and then it would be too late.

Lots of deep breaths, lots of reminders to live in the moment.

I think a lot of encore brides face this fear: we’re not young, fresh with stars in our eyes, etc. We’re more mature (supposedly), we know what can happen when a marriage goes wrong and are a little jaded about some of the happily-ever-after-isms out there.

Or, at least, that’s how we think other expect us to be. As much fun as I’d had reading wedding books and magazines, thinking up ways to make that day more us, and soaking up all the inspiration that was out there on the Internet, I was still feeling a little weird–not about the engagement becoming official so much as announcing it to our friends and family.

I started wondering if those family and friends would be as happy for us as I wanted them to be. Some would, I was sure, but what about those who just kinda took the information and had no reaction? Would that hurt? In my mind it already did. As much as I consider myself to be realistically optimistic, I’ve always lived by the “expect the worst, hope for the best” maxim. And I’ve got a doozy of an imagination for the worst case scenario.

The Wednesday before the engagement was the worst (almost-in-tears-at-my-desk-worst) over the imagined slights of those around us who took the news with ‘oh, okay, whatever.’ I was so glad when T didn’t come home with the ring that day and confessed my fears.

Getting it off my chest made a world of difference, though. By the next day I was back to looking forward to the upcoming reveal.

Did you ever worry about how other people
would react to news of your engagement?