Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Engagement Story

When I read that Betty Beguiles is hosting engagement stories, I couldn't resist, I just had to write mine!

When David and I first started dating, he lived about an hour away.  About four months after our first date he moved several states away for graduate school.  At that point, we really had to make a choice as to where (and how quickly) our relationship was going, because long distance was very hard on us (me particularly).

After we had been dating about a month I remember thinking, "This is a man I could marry and live a very happy life with."  But the key word there was "could", it wasn't yet "will".  When he moved, our relationship could have gone two ways - we could have broken up or we could have made a commitment to each other to make it work.  After a lot of prayer and discernment, we decided to stay together and the first time I flew out to visit him in Indiana, he gave me a promise ring.  We saw each other almost every month throughout that school year, usually when he flew out to visit me, although I did visit a few times.  

Toward the end of the school year, we started discussing marriage in earnest.  I only had one year left of college, and it didn't make any sense for us to be geographically separated any longer than necessary.  But I also wasn't willing to move away from my family and friends (and best job prospects) to live near David if there wasn't a greater commitment involved.  And it was quite obvious that God had put us together and was calling us to marriage, so why wait any longer?

My grandmother offered me the ring that had been my great grandmother's wedding ring to use as my engagement ring.  It was beautiful, almost exactly what I had wanted when I thought about the engagement ring of my dreams (and I had never even known it existed).  The only thing that was missing was the center diamond (when my aunt had inherited the ring, it wasn't her style so she took the center stone from the setting and made it into a new ring).  This made it even more perfect, as I had always dreamed of a sapphire engagement ring.  I told David about the ring and he asked me to bring it with me the next time I visited.

Knowing that David already had the engagement ring, my family anticipated that he would propose sometime that summer.  We had planned a family trip to stay in cabins near Blue Mesa, a place my family had vacationed together every two to three years since I was a preteen.  My family was so convinced that this was where and when he would propose that my grandparents packed champagne so we could celebrate afterwards (although they were careful not to let on to David about that)!  I thought that it would probably happen too, but I didn't want to get my hopes up.

Two days before we were set to leave Blue Mesa to return home, David still hadn't proposed.  When we were alone, my mom said to me "What is wrong with that boy?  He hasn't even spoken to your father yet."  Time was running out and it didn't look like there was a proposal in my near future.

The next morning, David and I left early to go to the lake that we had visited with my parents a few nights before on the pretense that we were going to meet a family friend was camping near the lake.  We hiked around the lake "looking for his family friend" until he found the perfect spot in front of a hill of wildflowers where he promptly got down on one knee, opened a box with the ring, and asked me if I would marry him.  He looked so nervous, his lips were trembling as he spoke.  I said yes. 

His family friend was real enough and lived in the area, he wasn't camping at Rainbow Lake that day.  Although I don't necessarily condone starting your engagement with a lie, I have to hand it to my husband for knowing that had he just asked me to go on a hike with him, the whole family would have been alert.  Like the gullible girl I am, I didn't suspect anything even though that entire week I was waiting for that moment!  The only person who was on to him was my dad.

It turns out that he had talked with my dad and asked for my hand days before, on the same day we had previously visited the lake.  My dad had told him, "Tonight, when we visit Rainbow Lake, pay attention to how we get there because it might be a place you'd like to propose."  My father, in his infinite wisdom, had kept the conversation from my mother because she just can't keep a secret.  

We stayed there a little while savoring the moment for ourselves, then returned to the cabin to tell my family.  By some miracle, they were all there - my grandparents, parents, brother, uncle and cousin.  As I tried to get them all together in one room to make the announcement, my grandmother pulled me aside and told me that whatever I wanted to do could wait because I needed to make lunch for David - he must be so hungry!  Just like my grandmother to worry about feeding everyone first.  I finally convinced her that the food could wait, pulled her into the room the others were in and announced that we were engaged!

That night, we had a champagne toast after dinner with the champagne my grandparents wisely brought in anticipation.  We were married one year and one day later.

Now that you are done reading our engagement story, find the links to other great engagement stories here.  I've only read a few so far and I can't wait to read the rest.  They are fabulous!


  1. My wedding ring is a sapphire wrap -- they're my favorite gems too. :)

  2. So sweet! Many (belated) congratulations!

    (I think our moms have a lot in common! Hurray for wise fathers!)

  3. What a great story! And how fun that your whole family was there to help you celebrate.

  4. Hi Mandi,
    how funny, while you were commenting on my post, I was trying to comment on yours. (Blogspot is being difficult to me, and signing me out randomly, then bringing me back to the sign in post.) I love my saphire engagement ring. And I always love hearing of other success stories from Catholic Match.

  5. Hi Mandi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yay for West Lafayette! I wanted to tell you, before you move, you have (and I do mean have) to stop by St. Boniface in Downtown Lafayette. It is a beautiful parish with wonderful priests. They should be having a big celebration on the Feast of Corpus Christi!

  6. Thanks Beth, I have been wanting to go to St. Boniface. We usually attend St. Ann and we've been to all the other churches in town at least once, except for St. Boniface.

  7. I can't believe I'm just now checking out your blog! We have almost the same life!

  8. Hey Mandi! I just wanted to let you know that St. Boniface is having 40 Hours Devotion next weekend, closing with Vespers and a Procession at 7 pm on the 26th. :)

    St. B isn't air conditioned, so sit by a fan :)

  9. Catching up on your blog... I love your ring! Gorgeous! What a great story.


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