The topic of marriage has been something we've talked about since our first date. It was important to know if we were on the same page about the future together. Dating was not some casual event to either of us. It was a search for something that was meant for forever. And while our goal was the same, our perspective of it didn't always line up. The timing of when and the visions of how an engagement, wedding and marriage would occur were revisited topics during our dating life and various, ever-changing scenarios were concluded. Would we have a big wedding? Would it be located here in Canada or overseas? How long should we live together to feel secure? Are our lives compaitble? We even worked through a book that had 1001 questions to discuss before marriage to ensure that we learned as much as we could about each other. At the end of the day, we always agreed that these life milestones would be part of our future and we were entirely committed to each other.
The first step on that journey to forever starts with an engagement. I am a traditional girl at heart in the sense that I always dreamed that my partner would approach my father to have a heart-to-heart and that he would get down on one knee to ask me when the time comes. I considered proposing to my partner but knew that it wasn't really my style.
I've had different 'ideal' engagement scenarios over the years but more than anything, I had a few minimum desires. For instance, since I'm an introverted person, limiting the 'public' factor was essential. I didn't want it in a restaurant, outdoor landmark or for a flash mob to appear as I feared the prying eyes on one of the most private and personal moments in my life. I also hoped for a declaration of love - not just the simple question of 'will you marry me' alone, which was evident that I would say yes. I wanted to know why I was the one and why forever. Otherwise, I relied that David would know me well enough to make the moment memorable and special.
Two weeks (approximately) before the actual event, David and I had a discussion about acts of love and feeling in need of extra attention as I go through this pregnancy. It was suggested that we had only gone on a picnic once before and it was something that I've even publicly asked others to go on with me. David suggested we go once the weather warms up and picked the day and what we would buy to eat. I heartily agreed and looked forward to the event. We decided to buy Vietnamese sandwiches and fit in some errands in the morning - a casual Saturday since so many of our weekends were busy prepping for baby events.
David had not been sleeping well in the days leading up to the picnic (understandably once I knew why), the weather was not a guarantee with rainy days leading up to it and the sandwich shop was closed around the time we had expected. So on the morning of, I suggested that we could skip the picnic altogether and try another time since things were not lining up perfectly. David, of course insisted. We had agreed to take some photos at the park to commemorate my baby bump and perhaps use them for our public baby announcement so I got myself a little more dressed up before we headed out for our walk.
The trail is just behind our condo and is one that we've taken on many dates before. We've even done a photoshoot on it at our one year anniversary to commemorate how special that walk is to us. Since it was still in early spring, there was minimal foliage or leaves out yet so the trail is pretty open with the bare branches all around. There is one spot in particular that means a lot to us - David's favourite stop and was the original reason he took me on the walk years ago. We paused a few times to take photos along the trail and reminisced on our relationship and the changes ahead for our family. At the end of the trail, it leads to a public park and there is a tree there that marks the spot where we had our very first kiss. We had hoped to find a place to sit near the tree to have out picnic and luck was on our side as a table with situated just perfectly. I unpacked the spread that we bought to lay it out on the table. I took the standard set of pictures to commemorate our meal. Then David revealed that he had written something and took out a piece of paper. At this moment, I thought that he had written something to simply comfort me during my emotional few weeks in dealing with the baby but it was meant to be so much more....
There were discussions about whether it was important to us to fit in an official engagement before our civil wedding and baby's arrival. Ultimately I concluded that it didn't matter that much to me as I was already overwhelmed by so many events and decisions ahead. We had talked about rings many months ahead and both he and my sister approached me for preferences but I never clued in that this meant that a proposal was pending. For those who are wondering, I did not suspect anything at all leading up to the proposal In fact, I didn't realize what was actually happening until David got up from the bench and I finally clued in that he would ask me to marry him. I was too caught up in the moment and the words he shared to expect anything next.
David's side of the story:
I first planted the seed a few weeks ahead by telling Jara that I'd like for us to go on a pic-nic since it had been a long time. I kept gently... and smoothly reminding her how much I was excited about this pic-nic to make sure that the plans wouldn't change last second. On April 11th, I told Jara that I was going over to a friends house to play video games when really, I was meeting Rich at our place so that we could walk the trail, practice the speech and figure out where/when he would be filming on the day of. We spent a few hours together figuring everything out. We even moved a picnic table right next to the tree where Jara and I shared our first kiss together.
I was so nervous on Saturday April 13th but everything worked perfectly and just as I had been picturing it for the last few weeks.
A sincere thank you to Rich for helping David out with the planning, recording and editing process. We are both so grateful for your time and for capturing this once in a lifetime moment for us.