I am going to be a bride. I repeat this to myself about 30 times a day. I always knew that Andrew and I would be together in the end, but the reality of the ring on my left hand still shocks me every day. I’ve been mentally preparing for my wedding since I was four years old, and now’s the time to start making my fantasies come true . . . so where exactly do I start?
Andrew and I met almost five years ago, at a fraternity party back in college in New England. We went to different schools, but I was instantly hooked on his adorable smile and his shy yet confident nature. So I dismissed my rule of banning long-distance relationships. After eight months, we graduated from college and moved in together in my hometown of Alexandria, ready to start our adult life together.
It wasn’t sunshine and lollipops at first—going from a long-distance relationship to living together proved to be quite an adjustment. I had grown up as an only child and simply wasn’t used to sharing my space or my life. But time passed and the adjustments turned into a happy life for both of us. He was successful and content as an engineer contracting for the Navy, and I had found my niche working in event planning and volunteering with the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation.
As months turned into years, family members and friends began questioning when he would pop the question, and truthfully so did I (but of course, not aloud to him). We bought a condominium together and had two dogs and two cats, so I began thinking: When is it going to happen? Then on May 16, 2008, it did.
Andrew brought me to the Wild Orchid Café, one of my favorite restaurants in Annapolis. We enjoyed a romantic meal, talking about the times we’d spent at the restaurant before and all of the great memories we’d had together over the past four years. Somehow I didn’t suspect anything was different (although looking back on things, I realize I was a bit naive). We left the restaurant and headed home, with me thinking that this was such a great date night and how lucky I was to be with Andrew.
But as we arrived home, I realized something was different. I opened the door to our condo, and there were dozens of candles all over our living room, with rose petals scattered from the front door. The petals led to the floor of our living room, where they formed a giant heart. Andrew, smiling ear to ear, asked me to let our dogs out of the bedroom.
As I opened the bedroom door, our two Siberian huskies greeted me, both wearing doggy T-shirts. Dakota, our all-white husky, was wearing a Navy shirt that said “Will You,” and Silver Moon, our black-and-white husky, was wearing a white shirt that said “Marry Me?” I turned around, and Andrew was down on one knee with a gorgeous ring in his hand. Obviously, I said yes, and so it began!
Here I am, about two months later, and it still feels so new to me. So far we haven’t accomplished all that much in terms of planning for the big day, although I’ve purchased every single bridal magazine I can find to get some great ideas. We set the date for July 3, 2009, so we have about a year to get everything together. We’re having a traditional Catholic ceremony followed by a reception at the absolutely breathtaking atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. So now what? The next task on my radar is the dress . . .
I am going to be a bride. I still can’t believe it.
Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July.
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