Thursday, 29 January 2015

Our Engagement Story

 Understanding Frenchman and I had been talking about marriage on and off for quite a long time before we got engaged, but (as I suppose is the case for most couples), always in the future and conditional tenses of "one day" and "if". I can't put my finger on exactly what changed this summer, except a sense that, if this was going to happen "one day" it might as well be now. I think we both felt it, but neither of us said anything.
Over the summer, we went to many lovely places that would have been perfect for a proposal. Paris, on a warm July evening. The Pointe du Raz, the most westerly point in France, on a glorious sunny day. An alpine lake with craggy moutain summits behind. A verdant highland forest surrounded by Scotch mist. But somehow it never happened. (I should add at this point that this is not a criticism on my lovely understanding Frenchman, as I was quite prepared to do the asking myself if the moment felt right!)

And so it was that we returned to Paris with a glorious summer behind us, and one Sunday evening, the conversation turned to marriage and the "would you"s turned to "will you," and there we were, engaged.

It might sound like a bit of an anti-climax, but it didn't feel that way. My memories of it all are as much of that unspoken certainty growing between us as of the actual moment when he asked me the question, and as far as I am concerned, we became engaged in not one, but many beautiful places.


  1. Great story :-) Great pictures too. Congratulations again!

  2. It doesn't sound anti-climactic, that's a lovely way to put it, gorgeous photos, and I personally would rather something like that than a song and dance with him asking me as if it's his decision to make and mine just to sit around and wait for it. I mean, whatever works for other people, but that doesn't feel right to me (despite being so not brave at doing anything like that myself!!)

  3. The best story I heard was my friend who was proposed to while she wore her pyjamas in bed one night. It was like this is when he loved her best - when their relationship was the most real. Just lovely. I don't think there has to be fanfares and trumpets, I think it can be more real than that!

  4. J and I got engaged after an emotional conversation. No grand gestures or fancy things. I never even had a ring. A part of me misses that, but another part now sees past all that superficialness that could go into that (I know it's not always the case, but now, when I read some stories about girls dying for a ring or a grand proposal, I just want to slap some sense into them).

    Congrats again!

  5. Eyelean, I was thinking of your post on cultural differences when I wrote this. I really wanted to share this story when I wrote my comment but we had only been engaged for about a week and hadn't told anyone else yet, so it didn't seem right to tell the internet! But I remember from the comments that lots of people had similar experiences.

    Shannon, I've had very mixed feelings about having or not having a ring as well. So far there isn't one ...

    1. I'm glad you shared your story! I love hearing other stories that aren't proposals in front of a hundred people on an airplane, or elaborate lip syncing videos.
      And we kept our engagement secret for almost a year, so I totally get that part.

      As for the ring... I definitely did not want one. I eventually came around to ordering a wedding ring (though he won't be wearing one). But I think as with everything in weddings it should be about you personally, your style, what you want, and not what's expected. But I was not under the impression that engagement rings were all that widespread in France.