Did I mention I’m engaged?

As anybody who knows me is well aware, I’m getting married this year. I told myself that I was going to blog the whole wedding planning process, but now with 20 months down and just 4 to go until the big day, I see that I’m almost about to miss the boat. I do think it’s important to document things though, so when thinking about where to start my wedding blog posts at such a late stage in the process, I figured that it would probably be wise to start at the beginning.

Now, maybe it’s all the love in the air today, but I have felt particularly reflective over that wonderful day almost two years ago when we got engaged. We were in a beautiful part of the world – Sausalito, just outside San Francisco. I was fortunate enough to have worked at a conference in LA and we took the opportunity to turn it into an epic holiday! We were right in the middle of our Californian road trip and had already been to some beautiful places. The day we got engaged was great. We had spent the morning exploring Alcatraz, and we had to take a ferry there which, obviously, was great, because I love being on boats! We came across hire bikes, and conveniently forgetting how unfit we both were, decided to cycle all the way to Sausalito – a place recommended by my Dad. We cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge which was incredible, despite having to keep stopping to ‘take in the views’ (or have a break because all this cycling was killing us!). I recall being on the Golden Gate Bridge cycling behind James and taking one of my mental snapshots to add to my imaginary bank of best life memories. We cycled down to Sausalito and stopped at a quaint little Italian cafe for some pizza and a glass of wine and beer. As it was late afternoon and we were full of food, we decided to head to the harbour to catch a ferry back. The harbour was full of house boats, and was so quiet and relaxed compared to San Fran. I was scouting for otters after seeing them floating about in Monterey Harbour a few days earlier and becoming obsessed with them, and it was there whilst otter hunting, full of pizza and wine and absorbed in the calmness, that James proposed! And the best part of all is that following all the excitement – we did see an otter! Result!

Those next few hours were some of the most wonderful and exciting of my life. California was 8 hours behind the UK, but after I had gotten over the shock and hysteria (obviously I sobbed uncontrollably like a madwoman), the first thing I wanted to do was call my Mum and Dad. I realised it would be 2am for them, but James confirmed I was to absolutely call them ‘no matter what the time’ because they’d been waiting the entire holiday so far for the call. Both families knew he was going to propose and I had no idea! So I called my Mum immediately, who answered at 2am knowing full well why I was ringing. We exchanged happy tears and then James and I spent a few blissful hours in private (minus the few concerned ferry-goers who had to check if I was OK because I had cried all my mascara into oblivion and I think my eyes and face had swelled from all the drama). It was so wonderful to enjoy the fact that we were officially going to get married!

That evening we went to a bar with panoramic views of the city and waited for it to be an acceptable time to tell the rest of our family and friends. That was when I thoroughly understood the term ‘clockwatching’. When it reached 11pm, I figured that 7am in the UK was definitely a reasonable time to contact, with it being a Wednesday and knowing that everybody would be in work. It literally descended into chaos. I will never forget the various eruptions of excitement and hysteria, and the outpouring of love and support for us both. I have never felt so much love, happiness and excitement as I felt that day – we were so lucky to have our nearest and dearest as ecstatic as we were, and I honestly felt like I could have burst with excitement. I’m still convinced that some were (and still are!) even more excited than me and James. The rest of that holiday was just as wonderful as the first part, though, of course, with the added sense of bliss that comes with being newly engaged. I spent the whole holiday annoyingly telling anybody who we came across that we were newly engaged – much to James’s dismay, but I was just so excited! I milked that for at least the first year of our engagement, and soon I will be milking the whole ‘me and my husband’ thing all over again. And I am so not sorry (I may be a little sorry but not enough to stop!).

In just 4 months time we will be finally tying the knot. Reminiscing on such an incredible time in my life has made me once again appreciate all of the wonderful people in my life. It’s so important to be grateful, and I really am grateful for this entire journey over the last 2 years. And yes, I hate myself for being that person and referring to wedding planning as a ‘journey’ but really, that’s exactly what it is. A 24 month journey where we plan our future together and where I take the next step up milking things and going from doing everything for the first time as ‘Fiances’ to doing everything for the first time as Husband and Wife.

And I Can. Not. Wait!

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