Europe, as always, was fabulous. Although I am the biggest American patriot you will ever find, it is nice to sometimes leave the land of apple pies and baseball and indulge my wanderlust. I’ve been privileged to visit Italy many times in my life, but this recent trip was my first opportunity to visit the City of Love. It turned out to be quite an apropos title as well, because you see, I came home with quite the lovely souvenir:
That’s right, the wedding photographer finally has a wedding of her own to plan, and she COULD NOT be more excited about it! I can’t say it was a complete surprise, however. This proposal has been a long time coming!
For quite awhile now (over six months, according to my e-mail history) Jason and I have been discussing “The Ring.” Being a wedding professional, I see a lot of weddings and a LOT of rings, so as you can imagine, I’ve always had some very specific opinions about The Ring that I would be wearing for the rest of my life. Knowing me and knowing this, Jason didn’t even attempt to hide the ring-buying process from me, so we both jumped into it headfirst. We spent months looking at different ring designs, researching the four Cs, trying to find the perfect center stone, and checking out jeweler after jeweler. At times the process was much more emotional and frustrating than it should have been – until we met Eric Olschwanger. I’ll talk more about Eric later, but if you’re in the market for any kind of custom jewelry, Eric will save you time, money, and stress, and will give you an impeccably made piece for a fabulous price.
The Tiffany Legacy Ornate ring, which is the ring my lovely was based off of. Photo property of Tiffany & Co.
So fast forward to earlier this month. I had been subtly slipping Jason some hints that it might be incredibly romantic to propose in Europe, and he had not so subtly told me that pigs would fly before he would take our ring overseas and risk losing it or having it stolen or confiscated by security or some other completely irrational fear. It had gotten to the point where he actually seemed to be genuinely angry at me when I would bring it up, so I quietly began to lose hope for an epic proposal under a sparkling Eiffel Tower.
As we descended into Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport, I asked my beloved what he looked forward to most during the trip, maybe subconsciously hoping he would reveal his plan right then and there. Instead, he coyly deflected and quickly changed the subject. I was, naturally, oblivious. Later, as we unpacked in our hotel room, Jason proudly showed me an e-mail he had just received from our jeweler Eric stating that some “last minute changes” to the ring had just been finished and would be ready to pick up as soon as we returned from Europe. “Aren’t you excited?!” he asked. I tried (futilely) to hide my disappointment, gave up the last shred of hope I had been clinging onto, and just tried to enjoy myself in the most romantic city on Earth.
Attempting to look Parisian and NOT look disappointed.
On our second day in Paris, we spent the majority of the afternoon and evening with my clients Abby and Zach, the new Mr. and Mrs. Boatwright. They had just gotten married the previous Sunday, and Jason and I flew with them to Europe for their honeymoon to do a destination Day After session. We wandered around the Louvre, the Tuileries, the Champ du Mars, and finally finished up our photo spree at an illuminated Eiffel Tower.
You can’t see it (I hope) but these two are completely miserably cold right now.
It was approximately 20-something degrees and snowing, and Abby had been roughing it in a thin strapless wedding dress all day, so the poor girl was on the edge of frostbite. Finally I realized I could torture her no longer, so I announced that the shoot was finished and that we could pack it in and head back to the hotel. As I began to pack up my gear, Abby asked me if I’d like a photo of myself and Jason – you know, since the lights were already set up and everything was all lit up and beautiful. Not wanting to watch my client turn into a popsicle before my eyes, I initially refused, but she insisted (I later learned she was totally in on it, and although I’m sure she wanted nothing more than to find the nearest blazing fireplace, she kept her promise to Jason – I owe you one, Abby!!). I grabbed Jason and yanked him in front of the camera, wanting to get the photo done quickly, but for some reason he kept wanting to talk to me. At first I ignored him, but he kept talking, mumbling something about how I had asked him at some point what he was looking forward to most, and how this was it. I gave him the obligatory “Awwww,” a quick kiss, and resumed my pose so we could get the photo finished and get my clients to a heater pronto. Then he grabbed my hand and said “I’m not finished….”
I’m not exactly sure what happened after that moment, because it was all one big amazingly happy blur, but I think the photo proof speaks for itself:
Needless to say, I got my Parisian wish, I got my perfect ring, and most importantly, I got my white knight. Jason and I have been together for almost three years now, and they’ve been three of the happiest years of my life. We began our relationship playing saxophone in a parking garage stairwell, and it’s been an awesome ride ever since. He gets me like no one else, he knows my every emotion and pet peeve and fear and weird quirk, and he embraces all of it. I love him more than I ever thought I could love someone, and I am incredibly lucky and blessed and grateful to have found him (and kept him!).
I know that you guys are just dying to ask me who MY wedding photographer will be (I get that question roughly 736785 times a day) and let me just nip that in the bud right now and say I have NO CLUE!! I certainly have a list of people whose work I love and admire, but choosing my wedding photographer is a huge decision that will be influenced by several factors, so I’m not in any rush to make a decision. We have set a very tentative wedding date – 4.11.11 (yep, it’s a Monday!) – but we’re far from finalizing anything. We’re excited about taking our time and enjoying being engaged, and yes, planning the most epic, amazing, fun, creative wedding we can possibly imagine!
Sorry ladies, he’s aaaaaaaaall mine.