30 August 2012

i've got a question for you

30 August 2012
this morning, alex tweeted this garance dore article and i can't get it off my mind. it's about the parisian approach to engagement and marriage vs. that of new yorkers and the (mis)conception that we americans are materialistic and obsessed with getting engaged, while parisians are more relaxed about marriage and don't care as much about the ring.

fair enough - you only have to look so far to see examples of gross consumerism, where the diamonds only get bigger and the weddings more ostentatious. but i'd like to think that for most of us, a ring isn't a status symbol and getting married isn't about fitting in or showing off.

what i love most about ms. dore's article is her conclusion that americans care so much about engagements and marriages because we are romantics at heart.

where james proposed

judging by my own experience, getting engaged and married is all about the romance. it's about being swept off your feet. it's about having your own personal fairy tale. it's about love.

knowing that i have always loved gazebos and thought them romantic, james took me to the lighted gazebo pictured above on the eve of our 3-year anniversary. he pulled out a chair, blanket, music stand, printed music mounted on fine paper, and his guitar from the trunk of the car.

as i sat down and he spread the blanket across my lap, he didn't say much other than that he was going to sing me a song. he played "question" by the old 97's.

when the song was done, he got down on one knee, looked up at me with shining, clear eyes and with earnestness, told me how much he loved me. how he knew with all his heart that he will never love anyone like he loves me and how much he wanted me to be his wife. and then he pulled the ring box from his pocket, opened it, and asked, "will you marry me?"

i'm pretty sure i said yes. all i remember is looking at him and nodding. and finally he said, "well, go ahead, put it on!"

thinking about it now, and recalling our wedding, makes my heart swell. it makes me think about our love and how lucky i am to have found my prince charming. is that cheesy enough for you? ok, good. so tell me, was your engagement or wedding like a storybook romance? if you're still dreaming about the day, what do you hope it looks like?


Morgan @ xoxo, me said...

I love this. I personally agree that it's not about a ring or a wedding. It's about the romance. It's about loving someone so much that you want to commit to sharing the rest of your life with them and sharing the joys, trials, and suprises that every marriage has. Unfortunately, I think some people do fall into the category of wanting a massive diamond and an over the top wedding, and therefore end up getting married for the wrong reasons. I would like to think that, for the most part though, people want an engagement and marriage for the love and romance.

Lindsay K {lastyearoftwentysomething} said...

Love this! Yes, I agree that sometimes the hype about the ring and the wedding can be overdone, but mostly we are obsessed with it because most American girls are hopeless romantics! We were raised on Disney movies for goodness sakes! :) Love your engagement story and your wedding was beautiful!!

The Now said...

I'm with you about the ring and wedding being more about love and romance. Where I am from, people can be extremely materialistic and it's easy to get sucked into the competitiveness of it all, but I try really hard not to get involved in that. In the end as long as you marry the person you love, that should be all that really matters. Easy to say I guess. And that picture of you and your hubs is just so beautiful!!!! xoxo

P.S. Make sure to check out the giveaway that The Now and Swirl are hosting. It's for a $50 J. Crew gift card.

Johanna said...

And what's wrong with being a romantic, I say? :) I think it's great that you look at marriage that way and those memories will stay with you forever. Sure, we live in a world of materialism but the look on your faces in your photos is definitely genuine. Enjoy every minute of it!

Annie said...

Ah! Love reading this story!! So romantic. I think there is a point at which people in our culture can get swept up in the "show" of it all; the huge fete, the over the top -ness that isn't really at all about love. But of course there will always be people on both sides, and I think that the majority, like you, are in it for the real deal ;)

Alex {Things That Sparkle} said...

I loved this post. And love Garance's perspective. For some Americans, it definitely has nothing to do with romance, but for others, like you and myself, it is 100% about love. And Americans happen to show their love in big grand ways.

PS your story made me tear up. Love it so much.

Antoinette said...

Your story is just beautiful!
I totally agree that its not about the ring or the wedding.
I had a very small wedding and it was the most amazing day of my life cause I married the love of my life.
You looked absolutely beautiful on your wedding day!

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

Who doesn't want a little romance, after all? Our engagement was very quiet (literally, John wrote a note that I woke up to!), but it still makes my heart thrill.

Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} said...

Nothing wrong with a little romance! Our engagement (just us on a deserted winter beach) & our wedding were just perfect because I shared them with the man I love.

diane @ a spot of whimsy said...

wow, what a great, thoughtful post. having just come out of my sister's wedding madness, i know it can get a little crazy, and be a lot of work, but i wouldn't trade that in for the love that was on display last saturday night. sure, you don't have to do what we did to get that, but that's the way we chose to celebrate their love. every couple gets to do what they want, that's the beauty of it!

i'd like to think we americans are romantics. it makes me smile :)

ELISA said...

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please follow with GFC, just leave me a comment and I'll follow u back!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

That's an interesting post...I find Americans' obsession with engagement rings to be too much, something I've seen first hand. I've had multiple male friends tell me that the engagement ring they had to buy for their girlfriends had to be a certain size, cost, etc. One friend of mine would only buy the classic Tiffany's ring because of some strange notion that it was the proper thing to do (they eventually broke up...).

Anyway, I'm rambling, but I do believe in weddings as a fairy tale (it's my job, I have to), but the ring? It's a ring people. Size doesn't actually matter, and I would much rather my fiance get me something small, tasteful, and in his budget than something massive and ridiculous. Just my opinion.

I have a lot more to say, but you're about being romantics. It's why I do weddings in the first place :)


Mary Jo at TrustYourStyle said...

That is just one of the most beautiful wedding photos I have ever seen, and you look so lovely! I think we are romantic here, and like some of the other people I do think some people focus on the wedding instead of the relationship, but it can be such a beautiful celebration.

xo Mary Jo

classiq said...

I think there are people and people: some make too much of a wedding and the size of the diamond, while others are incorrigible romantics and do everything because that's what they really want and because they are in love. Every time I look at one of your wedding photos I like them more. :)

navy and orange said...

lovely wedding photo!

xoxo navy & orange

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