Marriage is a huge step. One of the biggest of a lifetime! And when you're ready with the right person, you couldn't imagine it any other way. My fiance and I haven't been together as long as other couples. Just over fifteen months, or 1.25 years depending on how impressive we wanted to make it sound to justify it to skeptical relatives.
I was expecting it when he proposed. In a way, I knew it was coming. We'd talked about it off and on as something we definitively wanted to do. But as third year college kids in the thick of work and the thin of cash, we didn't really plan on acting on that any time soon.
Even recently, when he finally did pop the question, we planned on a longer engagement. He asked me February 29th, at 3 AM, sitting on the utterly desolate swings of a sleep-stricken playground, holding my hand the whole time. We knew we wanted a late fall or early winter wedding. We had thought the end of November or the beginning of December sounded nice. But it seemed as if we were going to have to wait until 2013 for that to happen, because getting married in nine months would be crazy for two broke, in-debt college kids with nothing to their names.
But we didn't want to wait. And the more the friends and family started asking "So have you set a date?" their eyes and voices large and hovering, waiting to hear the good news; the taste of "In winter, end of 2013" soured in my mouth. After only a day, I said to my fiance, as we got into bed to watch cartoons together "Do you really want to wait a year and nine months to get married?". That was when everything changed.
It was another moment where I knew saying yes was the right choice. We were on the same page, yet again, as we both had and hadn't been throughout our entire relationship. As he hesitated with a distinctive pause that is native to his speech, he seemed caught. Finally, with a steady gaze and voice to match he said "No. I don't." We spent the next hour talking about how we could ever manage a wedding this year. And finally, we picked a date, and went to work. We began planning a life changing event nine months in the future, and it wasn't having a baby!
In posts I'll soon put up,I'll discuss the good fortune that has fallen into our laps in the first week of our engagement and sincerely helped with our wedding planning. Part of that was luck. Some was fate I'm sure. But a lot was scouting and planning. We're young. We're quirky. We're getting married on a budget so small that it makes a shoestring look like an aircraft carrier. But we're going to pull this off, have the wedding we truly want, at a completely affordable rate.
In an era where the average wedding costs roughly $22,000, we're setting out to do the ultimate challenge: tie the knot and not go broke doing it. I've already learned a lot in the last week, and I'm sure I'll learn more. And from venue photos, to seating charts,from invites to open bars, I want to share my journey with whoever wants to hear it.
So this is us, hunkered down, strapped in, all arms and legs inside the vehicle, and holding on for dear life. With every small moment in the day I catch a glimpse at my engagement ring or the loving man that will become my loving husband, I smile and know that we are making the right choice for us. For all of the other moments brimming with hectic phone calls, desperate saving sprees, and the agony of making a guest list all I can think is:
"Help! I'm having a wedding!"