The blushing bride.
Well I’m going to have a big engagement picnic at the end of this year, mid December sometime. I think our actual wedding ceremony might be quite a bit smaller than the engagement picnic. I have read up on engagement party ettiquette and seems I’m more or less breaking most of the ‘rules’. How unlike me!
- The party is supposed to be hosted by my parents, which it will not be.
- The party is not supposed to be hosted by me, which it will be.
- You are not supposed to invite anyone who will not be at the wedding… I am going to invite a whole bunch of people who likely won’t be invited to the wedding.
- I’m not going to be drinking alchohol
My reasoning for having a really big engagement party is that really, J and I are married already. We are committed to one another. This party celebrates that commitment.
The wedding is going to be more serious, in that for me I will be making an unbreakable oath in front of the old gods. And so I don’t want too many people around, especially people who might dislike Paganism. There aren’t many people I feel comfortable with sharing something so personal, but I will open myself up for the sake of our close friends and family who ARE really wanting to share that sacred moment with us.
But J & I’s choice to be married, to spend our lives together, to have children together… that is a social thing, that is something that everyone knows, and I want to celebrate it with everyone who is happy for us and wants to celebrate with us.
So, It will be held in the start of Summer, in a local park beside the river, where there are big twisted trees that provide a good amount of constant shade, enough for about 3 classrooms-worth of people (I go to uni, shush). So it can be 60-80 people well shaded. There are crunchy leaves underneath and it looks like Autumn, even in Spring. It will be a picnic, there will be blankets and cushions and plastic chairs and barbequing, and food, and I will ask guests to bring a dish with them. I will decorate it and it will look awesome.
The dress I bought for the engagement party which was a pale purple, I dyed it darker purple, so now it is a one-of-a-kind dress that exists nowhere else, and the colour looks amazing.
I was walking through a shopping centre with J when I saw a girl walk by in a hot pink dress in the exact style I wanted, I knew as soon as I saw it. I pointed out her dress to J… and watched as she walked into a shop selling the same dress, she worked there. Good advertising!
So we went in and I tried the dress on in all 4 colours it came in: hot pink, sky blue, light yellow and lavender purple. I decided on the lavender purple, but to be honest I loved them all except the pink one.
J’s reaction to the pink one amused me. “… It’s very… pink,” he said, which gives me the impression that perhaps he doesn’t like me to wear pink.
I went into the shop wearing a flannelette jacket over a singlet top and jeans and sneakers, my hair in a messy ponytail and wearing glasses. Needless to say, the shop assistant was awful to me. And apparently J was getting dirty looks the whole time too. *sigh*
I love the dress though, the style suits me perfectly and I bought it with money that my mum and gran gave me to buy an engagement pressie with.
It has a bow at the pack, is short skirted, has funky 1 inch shoulder straps and looks old-fashioned, classic and feminine but not lacey-girly… just… 60’s female, if that makes sense. Feminine in the way that suits me.
I’ll post pics if I can find some!
That is the cost of my wedding ceremony venue hire.
It is going to be in a pine plantation forest up on the way to the coast.
I’m so happy!
And then for the reception we will probably have it at my mums house.
Or maybe I’ll search for a place closer to… I mean there is a campsite near there that we could book and set up with tents perhaps. Hrmmm.
Okay so I feel it is time to retell the proposal story. J wrote up a detailed version into a word document, but he doesn’t feel comfortable with other people seeing it. So I’ll do my own edit leaving out the naked bits. Yes there were naked bits, as is usually the case with any good story!
The day after my birthday, the 9th of August, J and I were driving around when he mentioned how much things have changed since we started our new relationship, and how much better he feels compared to how lost he felt back earlier this year. When he talked about that though for me it brought up all my memories of him breaking up with me, of the pain that i went through while he was so uncertain about how he felt about me, how it constantly hurt me how he would get back together with me then say he couldn’t do it two days later, how he would say he was ‘trying to love me’ but he couldn’t, which of course made me feel like there was something wrong with me. So I was reminded of that pain and I got upset. I started crying, and J took me home and tried to comfort me, but I felt so damn uncertain.
All my insecurities due to what happened in the past came out. I talked to him about his ex, whom he wasn’t over when we got together, and mentioned I was worried he wanted to be with her, not me. (In our previous relationship, while he still lived with her, I was only allowed to sleep over on nights that she wasn’t at home, so as to make sure she wasn’t upset by it… imagine how that made me feel!) I talked about how he was so flaky back in those days, and what if he left me again? I expressed how unsure I was, that I knew he loved me ‘for now’ but I felt that he might take it all away again at any moment.
J explained that how he feels is completely differently now, and that he was sorry that he had put me through that, and that he wishes he could change the past but he can’t- all he can do is show me now how sincere he truly is. He said that he is in a completely different headspace now, that everything is so different for him. These are his words from his retelling of the tale: “I tried to reassure her that what happened back then was not in any way an indication of how I felt towards her now. So much had changed for me, so much had been irrevocably altered in my thinking that there was no way I could or would ever allow the things that happened back then to happen again.” He does love me. And he proved it through actions, we made love.
Afterwards, we were lying together and J took off my right pinky finger the cute little ring he had gotten me as a romantic gift a month or so ago. He started to put it onto my right hand ring finger, and said “hang on, which is the right finger?” and I said “yes, put it on that one, because the left hand one is the wedding finger.”
He then started putting it onto my left hand ring finger.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I exclaimed, laughing in shock. He didn’t stop, but explained that he is so serious about me that he intends to one day put a ring on that finger, and that he was putting that ring there to remind me.
So basically we was proposing that he would one day propose.
His words: “It was at this point that I told her that I had no doubts about wanting to be with her, that I could not imagine my life without her in it, and that I wanted to be with her. To demonstrate just how much I felt this, I took the ring that I had given her a while back, and put it on her left ring finger, saying that this was just to show that I did want to eventually get her a proper ring for this finger. And that one day soon I would do it right and propose properly.
I said this, because at the time I was thinking about how I imagined proposing to be, and that this wasn’t that… and I wanted it to be right, and perfect… not realising just how much I was ballsing things up…”
I was confused, but understood what he was trying to indicate, I realised he meant he was that serious about our relationship, and took it how it was meant.
J: “After this moment, gem expressed a modicom of confusion, asking me to clarify. And I said, “What I want you to do is think of us as not engaged. Just know that I want to be and will be.” Gem was (quite understandably) a little confused by this, but I think tried to accept it as the message that I was trying to give. The reason I said that was to try and ensure that it wouldn’t take away from the moment that I -did- actually propose…”
Then we went for a walk in the local park, and it felt a bit strange after so much emotional excitement. We came home and both did our own thing for awhile. I thought about it, and wrote a diary entry about it and how confused I was. And then I went up to him as he played a game on the ps3 and said I was confused about what exactly this ring meant, because usually when a guy puts a ring on that specific finger it means something very serious, and that I take getting married very seriously.
J: “We talked about it some more, other things that came up were along the lines of “So when people ask me about it, what do I say?” To which I replied, “Tell them the truth, tell them you’re practically engaged.” This is about when I think the penny really started to drop for me… but there was one more misstep that I apparently couldn’t help but make”
He said he didn’t want to tell his mum yet though, because it might ‘give her a heart attack’.
Yeah. He said that.
I took that poorly, as maybe you could imagine. I felt “fuck this!” about it all, and took the ring off and was going to leave the room, but he held me as soon as he realised how bad his words sounded.
J: “Gem was rightly offended by this and took the ring off, and tried to walk away… I did not let her. I held her for a time, and finally got things in place in my brain. Then I, with ring in hand, got to one knee on the mattress, and without hesitation spoke what was in my heart and mind.”
He then picked up the ring and got up onto one knee (we were sitting on the mattress in front of the couch in our lounge room) and had a strange look in his eye and so I inwardly screamed in terror and I scooted back so my back was against the couch, and sat up a bit straighter. I was wearing my pyjama pants and one of his old shirts.
He said these words, which I have already posted here, but will repeat just so this story is complete:
“Gemma Louise Stephens, you are the most incredible person that I have ever met. My life has not been the same since I met you and I cannot now imagine my life without you in it. I want no other person but you. You make me so very happy and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you so much. Would you do me the great honour of consenting to be my wife?”
I imagine I must have said yes, and it was very sweet, and he was looking into my eyes the whole time he said it, and I knew he meant every damn word. And argh!
So we kissed and it was all very exciting.
And then J said he wasn’t sure what we do now, so I said ”… well we celebrate!” And I went and got changed into this wine-coloured evening dress and we put candles on the dining table, and I covered over the puzzle I was doing with blue velvet fabric as a tablecloth, and we heated up a meal my best friend A had made me for my birthday and we sat across from each-other holding hands, looking into each-others eyes, in shock and happiness.
J: “As odd as this will sound… after that we went back and laid on the mattress once more, snuggled up to each other for a good long while, and then Gemma started doing her Sudoku puzzles and I started playing the game again. We were just both still buzzing with excitement, and I think both of us just needed to return to something ‘normal’ to help process what had just happened. But we were still right there, side by side, together, with each other, and doing things beside each other… as we will be from now on.
Then, after a while, we went to bed… … there were many loving looks, many silly grins and gentle embraces. I lost count of the number of times Gem said “oh wow…” and I more than once, was just lost looking into the eyes of the woman I love, sharing her excitement and happiness…”
It took me ages to go to sleep, and then I woke up at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up, and figured that he was just being ‘romantic’ last night, that he didn’t really want to be engaged to me, so I would give him an out when he got up. When he got up I asked him what he wanted to do today. He replied that he wanted to take his fiance into the city and buy her an engagement ring.
And he did.
So today J and I are going to go over to my Gran’s for dinner to thank her for her card that she sent, and to celebrate. I haven’t seen my Gran in a long time, so it will be good, even though sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable in her house. But J will be with me, so I won’t be afraid.
I made bananna scones yesterday and they are delicious so I’ll take some over to share.
Then after that we will go over to J’s parent’s place to drop off a key to our house to his Dad, because we are going away on the weekend and his Dad will feed our cats in the evening! And my best friend A will feed our cats in the morning- J organised that, it is weird to have him communicating with her, but good. It’s like he is part of my life or something! We will also pick up the camera J’s mum has kindly gifted to us. She wrote me a lovely letter which I got yesterday which basically contained marriage advice, all of which was good advice that I will heed. And she thanked me for making J happy. :)
Then tomorrow morning we will go down to visit my Dad, whom I haven’t seen in hrmmm ages! I saw him last year for a brief visit. This time we will be going to his place, which I haven’t been to for years, and just staying for one night, and then later on, in uni holidays, we will visit again for a longer stay.
So J will finally meet my Dad… yes, he has not met him yet.
To be honest I am a little bit nervous, but not too nervous. My Dad has mellowed a bit in his retirement, so I’m sure he will play nice as long as he likes J, which I reckon he will. And J, despite considering himself a hermit, is really good in social situations. But I’m still nervous. I’m not sure what it is that I am nervous of exactly. I am maybe a bit nervous that Dad will make mean comments to J. I am maybe a bit nervous that J will say something that makes my Dad think poorly of him, though I know his opinion doesn’t matter. I am nervous too that J might dislike my Dad, and nervous that if he does it might affect how he feels about me, and then maybe he will decide he doesn’t want to marry me after all!
Whew, well, glad I put that out there, because it is absolutely ridiculous. J’s feelings for me won’t change if him and my Dad don’t get along. J knows everything there is to know about me, pretty much. I’ve told him everything. He knows my full story. He still wants to be with me.
I’m also really excited about seeing my Dad. I miss him. I know that seems weird, because there are a lot of things about his personality that I don’t like so much, and I don’t agree with a lot of the things he’s done, and I don’t forgive him for the things in the past. But still, he is part of me, and I will be happy to see him again.
So I have made these tealight lamps for my engagement party, and I will reuse them for the wedding.
I got some old jars that I had been keeping dried herbs and rose petals in, and cleaned them out. Then I wrapped this soft lavender fabric around it, it used to be a shirt I’d wear over togs at the beach, but it had fallen apart, so was scrap material.
the fabric is really worn and see-through. I secured the fabric with random ribbons from my crafts collection.
Then I put about an inch of gravelly soil from my garden into the jar and then put a tealight candle inside. I lit them and the effect was a magical soft lavendery-amber glow.
J really likes them. :D