I know it's been a while...more on that in my New Year's post coming soon...but I am happy to be sharing a bit more about Bryce's proposal and our engagement with you here on Alexandra Bee Blog today. I had originally planned to share some wedding inspiration with you, as well, but realized that needs to be separated into it's own post altogether!
Those of you who follow along with me on Insta have been itching for this post and I'm excited to finally get my act together!
It's a long one, so grab a cup of hot cocoa, or, a cocktail and settle in!
For those of you that have been longtime followers, you know Bryce and I have been together for quite awhile. Our first date was July 7, 2011, to be exact! That being said, I might have had a bit of an idea an engagement was coming soon...and at the very least can say that I was maybe just impatiently awaiting the 4 little words "Will you marry me?"
First things first, though, let's backtrack a little and talk about ring shopping!
I'll be the first to admit that I didn't initially think I wanted to be a part of the ring shopping experience. I'm so glad, however, that Bryce insisted I be included. It's so interesting trying on rings, and it's crazy how different the styles can look on your hand than in pictures online or on other people. I ended up with a ring that was completely different than I envisioned or even thought I wanted (similar to my wedding dress shopping experience, too!).
The first time we looked at rings, it was a rainy spring day and we started the day with brunch at Can Can, our first date spot. After brunch, we made our way to a local jewelry shop to peruse rings. I was certain I wanted a round, three stone ring (like this). I tried on multiple three stone styles, though, and nothing felt quite right. I was also certain that I did not want a ring with a halo. I found halos to be beautiful, but felt like they were the "in" ring. I wanted classic, not trendy. That being said, Bryce begged me to try on a specific round halo he saw. This one was a little different than the others, as the halo was quite delicate and the center stone was set as a pave sitting up above the halo. I still knew that it wouldn't be the ring, but decided to oblige him and try it on.
Y'all--I put the ring on and immediately knew. It was "the one!" Bryce knew all along, better than me, which ring would be perfect for my hand, for our engagement.
Quite a while passed, and Bryce went back to the original jewelry store and several others to look again and again. A little over a month before our engagement, he asked that I go with him a second time to look. He wanted to be sure that the ring I would look at the rest of my life was just right.
That weekend we went to one jewelry store he had not yet visited: Adolf Jewelers. (I'm putting in a plug here, because, local friends, Adolf's is the place to go! They were wonderful in every way!)
Our experience was so fun and we realized that yes, the first ring I chose was perfect. Adolf's then ordered diamonds for the setting we selected and we went back the following week to pick our diamond. I'll share here that I really didn't picture myself being quite so involved in the process, especially not choosing the diamond, but again, I am so glad that I was. It was fun and exciting, not to mention, I received quite the diamond education from Mr. Adolf himself! After we selected the diamond, we were told it should take about 3 weeks for them to build my setting for the diamond and have the ring ready. The countdown was on!
It took a bit longer than first estimated, so I was in constant anticipation!
The night that Bryce proposed finally rolled around. It was November 22, two nights before Thanksgiving.
It was a Tuesday night, and here I'll share the first of two proposal requirements I asked of Bryce: You might wonder why a random Tuesday? I have always told Bryce to make an ordinary day extraordinary when proposing. I didn't want anything predictable (think birthday, holidays, etc), and now November 22nd will always be special to us!
I got home from work and Bryce suggested we go out to dinner. While I tended to Millie, he got the car started. Once I made it to the car, he immediately started driving. I was a bit suspicious as we normally go through the never-ending discussion of where to go to dinner (anyone else go through this!?). He started driving and was headed downtown. When we got off the expressway, he suggested we go to a favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa del Barco. He was driving straight there, and I became quite confused. Surely if he was going to be propose, it wouldn't be in the middle of a Mexican restaurant. At the last minute he turned, and it appeared that he was headed to Sine, the bar where we first connected during a mutual friend's birthday celebration. The wheels were turning now...until he drove right by Sine. At that point, I was completely confused as he drove around the neighborhood of Church Hill, suggesting several different dinner spots.
We came upon Libby Hill Park, a local park that has fabulous views of the entire city. Never having been to the park after dark, I commented on how gorgeous it looked at night as we drove by. Bryce then suggested we pull over and take a look. At this point, I knew something was up. It was freezing cold outside, so the fact that Bryce suggested we stop the car and get out was a huge clue!
We got out of the car and made our way to the edge the hill, taking in the city below. Bryce popped the question, remarking that he had chosen the location because it captured Richmond. We've both always called Richmond home, and bonded over that fact early in our relationship. He then retrieved a nice bottle of champagne that he had snuck in the car while I took care of Millie.
We enjoyed the champagne, albeit I was shivering the entire time, and were just full of giddy excitement!
Here I'll share the second requirement: I don't want anyone watching (i.e. no cameraman hiding in the bushes, no busy public place, etc)! Now, wouldn't you think a public park would be pretty secluded on a freezing cold Tuesday night? Well, guess what, it wasn't! People were coming and going like crazy! Bryce had actually scoped out the spot with the best views for the proposal, but ended up popping the question a bit further from the road down the hill where people wouldn't see! We did walk over the spot he had planned, however, and enjoyed it while sipping our bubbly!
Once we returned to the car we called our parents and made our way back to Sine to have a drink. We sat at the exact spot where we talked and talked the night we met, and used that time to share the news with some of our other best friends.
Next we headed to our most special date night spot, Edo's Squid and feasted! Finally, we made our way to Can Can, the location of our first date, for dessert. The night couldn't have been more perfect, and I loved that it happened right before the holidays, so we were able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmastime celebrating with family and friends.
The picture at the top of this post was taken at Can Can the night we got engaged, and now, I can't resist sharing a favorite engagement photo, also taken at Can Can! I need to tune back in soon to fill you in on wedding plans (Our date of June 3 is right around the corner!), share the rest of our engagement photos, and also talk thoughts on the new year! If we get the snow they're predicting this weekend, I may have some time to hunker down and write!
Did any of you get engaged over the holiday season?
What are your requirements for the perfect proposal?
Have a great weekend!