While I tend to overshare every aspect of my life, I’ve pointedly kept the majority of wedding plans on the quiet side. It’s not easy, but I have this fear that if I tell everyone all the details in advance they won’t be as thrilled and amazed at the big day as I envision in my daydreams. But then I realized that if I don’t document this all, I’ll seriously regret it at some point. And regret sucks. So…I’ll start with the engagement details.
We got engaged on Friday, July 9 at a picnic on Squaw Peak. When Jim and I first started dating three and a half years ago, we made a list of 100 things we wanted to do together. While we’d hashed away most of the big ticket items (go to Washington, D.C., travel to a foreign country together, make each other breakfast in bed) and most of the entirely random ones (feeding ducks, baking a pie from scratch, going to Costco for hotdogs as a lunch date)…we’d neglected #55; to picnic on Squaw Peak. I can’t recall with total accuracy, but I’m pretty sure this item made the list because of how often we hiked together during our early days, or courtship, as Jim likes to call it.
I had started a new job the week this happened, and was such an exhausted ball of stress I was certainly not expecting to receive a proposal. I was looking forward to spending the weekend at the Biltmore Hotel, my birthday gift from Jim.
You see on my real birthday I’d had the bright idea of running a half marathon in San Diego. Fun, but not the best way to celebrate a birthday. So, as my gift, Jim had booked this staycation.
When I got home from work we set out to go to dinner, but I soon realized we were driving up a mountain. I’m pretty pathetic with directions, but I was fairly confident there was no restaurant out there. But maybe I was wrong. I kept quiet.
Turns out Jim had put together a picnic for us, complete with my favorite sandwiches, chocolates and wine.
The tough part was it was July in Phoenix. And really hot.
After I finished eating and had no idea Jim was proposing, I said I was hot and asked if we could leave and go to the hotel. Jim seemed to want to stay (apparently the heat wasn’t affecting him). Still clueless, I kept pestering him to leave. Why do girls do this to themselves!?
The cycle continued, and finally, my tantrum got the best of him and we turned to head back to the car. As I sat down I turned around to see Jim on one knee with the ring.
What a moment. Completely surreal. Sure I’d envisioned it daily for several years, but when it actually happens it’s a whole different ballgame.
It was amazing.
We left and headed to the Biltmore. I was unaware of the next set of surprises.
When we got to our room (glowing) I opened the door to see our closest friends gathered together in a decorated suite. I was now in double shock. A surprise engagement party. Or so I thought.
Turns out he’d planned the whole thing under the premise that it was a surprise birthday party. None of our friends knew he was proposing until we got there. In essence, it was a double surprise party.
We celebrated all weekend and I’m so glad we had the chance to spend the time together with so many great people. I’ll never forget the weekend or how amazing it felt.
That’s probably more than enough cheeseball-ness for now so I’ll cut myself off. But don’t worry, there will be more to come now that I’ve broken the seal.