Engagement Journal: First Month

Hi, friends! Let me just begin by saying that I still haven't fully grasped the fact that it is here; I am writing the words: We are ENGAGED! If you did not see our announcement on social media, then this may be the first you are hearing of it. While we were in Canada for our 6-year dating anniversary, Sam got down on one knee and, in the most private and romantic way, asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect moment. I'm sharing the full story below (mainly so that I never forget a single detail of it) but, I also wanted to share a few updates on the past 16, whirlwind days since we have been engaged!

Because I want to share this whole wedding planning process with those of you who are interested, I figured that the easiest and most fun way would be to write a quick journal entry every few months. I have heard from friends and family that the process can be overwhelming and can feel as if it passes by in an instant. But, being a blogger, I couldn't allow that to be the case (are you surprised?). I want to remember how we were feeling, what we were nervous and excited about, and on the day after we say our "I Do's", I don't want to feel like we blinked and it was over. This is a season of our lives that we will never be in again so, I am more than happy to soak it in and share every special moment with you. 

HOW HE ASKED: It all started with a dinner reservation made by Sam at 360, the upscale restaurant at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. The restaurant is known for its breathtaking views overlooking the city. The CN Tower was built in 1974 as the world's tallest tower, a total of 1,815 feet. It was one of the main reasons why Sam and I had chosen to visit Toronto this year for vacation. The restaurant spins slowly while you are dining so that you can experience the city skyline in its entirety.

We arrived in Toronto earlier that day after leaving the cabin on the lake. After checking into our hotel around 4pm, relaxing from the day's travel, and getting ready for dinner, we hailed a taxi for our reservation at 6pm. Unfortunately, the traffic between our hotel and the restaurant was SO bad that it took us over 30 minutes just to move 2 blocks. Being the anxious person that I am, I was absolutely convinced that they would give away our table for being late and that we wouldn't be able to reschedule before heading over to Niagra. I was bopping around in the taxi, pressing my face against the dirty window every time we stopped, trying to get a peek at the traffic, and preparing myself for bad news. I think that my obsession with The Amazing Race over the years had kicked in because I kept telling the taxi driver "very fast, please, sir, very fast" (we're in a race for a million dollars!!!) while we were literally grid-locked in traffic. After calling and calling the restaurant and tower with no luck, we finally changed out of our fancy shoes (travel tip: always carry a practical pair in your bag), jumped out of the cab, and hauled ass on foot. Once we reached the base of the tower, we both looked up in awe of how incredible this structure truly was in person. 

Once inside, significantly late, we took a very, very quick, glass elevator to the very top where the most stunning views (and mouthwatering aroma) awaited. They placed Sam and I in the middle of the dining room at a two-person table; on either side, a family. After peering overtop of the family next to us to see the view, Sam explained to the waiter that it was our 6-year anniversary and asked if they could move us to a more private place with a window seat. I was extremely thankful and smiling ear to ear. We were absolutely mesmerized by the views of the skyscrapers (below us), the crystal blue lake, and tiny specs of cars. I asked him if we could stay there for the rest of our trip. After our fair share of staring out at this beautiful city that we had just been introduced to a few hours earlier, we ordered cocktails - mine: Watermelon Sangria, his: Whiskey Sour. Followed by the Albacore Tuna Crudo, 45 Day Aged Alberta Prime Rib, Crispy Pork Belly and Seared Sea Scallops, and Banana and Toffee Verrine. By the end of our 3rd course and 2nd round of cocktails, 3 hours had passed and we had traveled back in time, reminiscing on our very first date, 6 years from the day. Thinking about how thankful we both were that we took the chance after being 'just friends' for 4 years prior. 

On our way out of the restaurant, we decided to explore the rest of the tower's exhibits, including the glass floor. The glass floor is a space 1,122 ft high where you can stand and it looks as if you are floating above the city. We took a few touristy photos on our phones, lying on our backs in formal attire and giggling at how silly we looked. As we got back up, I turned to exit the exhibit and Sam grabbed my hand, and whispered "I've been waiting a very long time for this" as he dropped to his knee. I'm pretty sure that I blacked out at this point but, he said that I was saying "Yes, yes, yes" before he even got the full question out. 

I can't recall a happier time in my life than the moment that I realized that the man I have loved since I was 18 years old was asking me to be his wife. It was such a private and romantic night that the two of us got to spend together and I wouldn't have had it any other way. 


THE PHRASE I CAN'T STOP SAYING: "We're getting marriiiiieed!!" (I've been squealing it to everyone, everywhere). When people say that they want to "scream it from the rooftops" - like, yes, literally. I stopped counting how many strangers Sam and I told the day after we got engaged while traveling around Toronto. I think that at some point, Sam was just straight out starting conversations with that. 

WHAT EVERYONE IS ASKING US: "How did he ask?" and "Have you set a date?"

CURRENTLY FEELING: Happy, Loved, Celebrated, (a little) Overwhelmed, Excited. 

CURRENTLY DOING: Soaking in this engagement period before the chaos of planning and deadlines begin. We will never be in this season again so, we are taking our time and really remembering how it feels (a big reason why I started these journals). I'm consciously trying to stay in the "now" instead of thinking "next, next, next". 

MOST NERVOUS ABOUT: Probably our budget. We don't want anyone to go into debt over our wedding day including ourselves and our family. 

BIGGEST QUESTION MARK: Where we should have the wedding. It's the first major decision that we will make and at this point, we literally haven't even picked a country, let alone a city or venue. There are just so many amazing and different options out there. 

BLOG LIFE: Before we got engaged, I already had a very long list of projects to work on when we got back from vacation. Unfortunately, these things don't just disappear now that I have an engagement/wedding to plan. I decided this week to carry out the partnerships that I have already signed on for but, I am going to hold off on taking more until after we say 'I do'. I will still be blogging, however! I am SO excited to share our whole planning process (as well as our normal content) for those of you who are interested. But, at least this way I won't have to worry about any hard deadlines or letting down a brand partner. Instead, I can organically work on what I feel called to share at the time and just enjoy.

FIRST THING WE DID: We had to get the ring sized last week with our jeweler, Radcliffe; it was almost a full size too big. My biggest nightmare in the world was that it would slip off of my finger while going potty (TMI, I know) and be flushed down before I could retrieve it. This actually happened to one of my friends - thankfully not with a wedding ring but, still.  

SECOND THING WE DID: We just sent out invites for our engagement party where we can celebrate with those closest to us and where our families can fully meet! The party is going to be a bit unconventional (we've kind of ditched the "rules" already) but, I think that it will set the stage for how our wedding process is going to be. 

EXCITED TO SHARE: We are in the process of planning our engagement shoot with the most amazing/talented vendors and it is going to be so, so special. It will be unlike any content on here currently. I am beyond excited to see our vision come to life. 

MOST IMPORTANT TO US: Staying relaxed and enjoying this process. We don't care at all about a big fancy cake, extravagant dress, or expensive centerpieces. I know that certain things will be stressful but, I am going to continue reminding myself of the 'why' and focus on the feel of the big day rather than what it looks like. 

ADDED TO THE PLAYLIST: 'I get to love you' by Ruelle - the first song that we added. We listened to it on our last night in Canada in our hotel room while watching fireworks over Niagara Falls and polishing off a bottle of Riesling. Happy tears definitely came to my eyes. 

SUBSCRIBED TO: A few different podcasts that I heard were informative and fun - 1. Bridechilla Podcast, 2. Put a Ring on It, and 3. Wedding Planning Podcast.  

FIRST PURCHASE: A wedding planning book! I did my research over a few days and settled on "A Practical Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Wedding You Want with the Budget You've Got (without Losing Your Mind in the Process)" Bonus: It was less than $15. I've only read a few pages so far (I am trying to pace myself) but, we already have an official mission statement! #MAJOR

SOMETHING WE TALKED ABOUT TODAY: Finding dance lessons on Groupon - tango, salsa, waltz. We are excited to spend the first few months doing the tiny, fun things like this!

Are you recently engaged or married? Do you have any tips to share with me? I would love to hear them! Drop a comment below or via Instagram

xo Anna Elizabeth