Posted on Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 10:17 am by Administrator
I knew I wanted to marry Ashley very early on in our relationship. I always thought the saying, "when it's right, you'll know" was cliché, but it couldn't have been truer for me. Within a month of dating, I knew, and it was nothing like what I expected. But it was amazing. It was easy and it just felt right being with her.
I introduced her to my parents a couple of weeks later and then called my mom the next day to see what she thought. I remember her saying, "I think we'll be hearing about wedding plans a year from now." And she was right.
Ashley and I talked a little about rings and a little about proposals. Some of the criteria for the proposal were:
- I had to meet her parents first (they live in Wisconsin)
- We had to have been dating at least a year
- It could not include a jumbotron
The ring had a few requirements too, it was supposed to be delicate, elegant and classy. I kept that in mind. Meanwhile, I started planning.
We made a whirlwind trip to meet her parents in June while I was preparing to play Hamlet. I was studying lines for much of the trip, but I loved her parents. And they seemed to love me. Step one was complete.
In August, I came up with the beginnings of my plan to propose. I had seen some photos online of people who had hollowed out a copy of "Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince" to "The Unbreakable Vow". I loved the idea, but anyone who has read the book knows that's not the most pleasant of connotations, and ends up with the death of a major character. I decided that wasn't an association I wanted to make. But I did decide to use the idea.
We had recently read Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus together, and we both loved it. And I thought that would be a perfect book to use. It even had a chapter titled "The Lovers" with a beautiful description of the two main characters almost frozen, about to kiss and slowly moving towards each other.
Meanwhile, I went ring shopping with my mom. Ashley and I had gone to Joint Venture Jewelry before to look for antique cufflinks for me, and we had seen several rings we loved there, so I brought my mother there to start the search. I told myself I would shop around. And we did. But only at Joint Venture!!
We spent over an hour looking at rings and I found several that I loved. I had narrowed it down to 2 choices, but I couldn't decide. As soon as I could, I sent Holly, Ashley’s mom, a long email telling her my plans and how much I loved Ashley and the photos of the rings. I asked which one she thought Ashley would prefer, she told me I had done an amazing job and that she would love either one.
In the end I chose the one that spoke to me more. It's a princess cut diamond with 2 pear-shaped sapphires on either side. I loved it. Partially because I hadn't seen any other rings like it, and partially because of the way the sapphires seemed to set off the diamond and make it shine even brighter.
I knew I wanted to propose on our 1 year anniversary. And I knew I wanted it to be at the same coffee house where we had our first date and first kiss. I wanted something special and intimate but in this pretty public place, and I knew I couldn't do it alone. So, I brought in my brother and his girlfriend, Kristal, to help me set things up.
On November 9th, I took Ashley to some of our favorite places. At the end of the day, we headed to New World coffee. A year ago, I was running late because of traffic. A year later and I'm frantically texting my brother to see if things are ready and then telling him we were 5 minutes away so he could put the ring out.
We pulled up and I walked Ashley over to the setup. The book was sitting on a music stand. On the ground I had, "You are nothing I ever expected, and everything I ever dreamed" spray painted. We stood there for what felt like forever while she read the page the book was hollowed out to out loud.
When she was done, I took the velvet pouch the ring was in from her and got on one knee. I had been practicing what I was going to say for weeks, but in that moment I forgot it all. A few short months earlier I had learned Hamlet's lines in under a month. Now I couldn't remember the words I had thought of and practiced. But I remembered a few things. I told her that I loved her more than anything. I told her I could think of nothing I wanted more than to spend the rest of our lives together. I used her full name. And I asked her to marry me. It's still kind of a blur though.
And She Said Yes!!