An Engagement Story

It all began on June 10th, 2018.

Well, not all of it. My relationship with Casey actually started on December 16th, 2014. It was the year after I graduated high school. I met him playing video games (specifically League of Legends) through mutual friends.

I claim I’ve always known, but Casey likes to try and call my bluff on that. But darn it, I’m sticking to my guns on this one! I knew from the start that there was something really special about what was about to happen.

But on June 10th, 2018 I woke up, excited and ready for the hike I had planned with my parents and Casey. I had set up a day to go to Indianapolis and hike at Eagle Creek Park so that my parents could get used to hiking before our big hiking trip in August, and so that they could see the beautiful birds that I had always enjoyed there.

Unfortunately, it looked like rain. We decided to head up there anyway. And of course, on our way, it poured down rain. So we almost cancelled, but decided to try and stick it out anyways.

(Thank Goodness).

I won’t lie – I had an inkling that he might do it. We had already purchased the rings together and had talked about it quite a bit. I knew it was coming soon, but I figured it would be on our big hiking vacation in August. Plus, I planned this day of hiking. So why would he have been planning to propose on a day that I organized four days ago? Turns out he had planned for me to plan the hike all along. Tricky.

When we arrived, we started hiking and the rain held off enough for us to get around the bird watching lake. 

And then there, right in the middle of a bridge connecting two land-bridges around the lake, overlooking beautiful forests and two beautiful lakes, hundreds of birds, my parents (with a camera), and loads of other little critters he asked me to marry him.

There were parts of it that were there for me, for sure. Like my parents being there with their camera. And the adorable speech he gave me as he got down on one knee.

There were parts of it that were distinctively Casey. Like how the speech sounded as if he’d said it in his head at least one million times, and the awkward little hug he gave me beforehand. 

And of course, there were parts of it that were distinctively us. Like the location he chose that was a special place to us, and one that we could come back to for years and years to come.

His speech was rehearsed and so cute. He begged me not to drop my ring in the watery abyss that was underneath the rickety old bridge we were standing on as I removed it from the box. I put it on the wrong finger at first, my right hand, and we both laughed. 

My mom took picture after picture, my dad tried to hold back his desire to keep movin’ after the 100th picture. And it was perfect.

I’m forever grateful to Casey for making that day a cherished memory that I get to think back to forever. I’m grateful to my mom for capturing our love and those beautiful memories. And I’m grateful to my dad for playing along.
We went to dinner with Casey’s parents and my parents at a fancy restaurant in the next town over and I wore my hiking clothes. But it was so much fun.

I can’t wait to marry Casey. Partially because I’m pretty in love with him and partially because I’ve been waiting to get married since Pinterest existed. The wedding is planned for 2019 and we couldn’t be more excited. 
Being engaged has been a whirlwind. It has been only a month and a half, but I’ve received so many congratulations that I can’t even keep track anymore.

I have had some of the most fun of my life planning our wedding. Looking at venues with my maid of honor, mom, future mother-in-law, and Casey. Checking the cost of artificial flowers at every single craft store within a 30 minute radius. Saving over 1,000 pins to my Wedding Pinterest Board. Yeah, you could say I’m having fun.

I’ve noticed something that’s a bit off, though. Some people congratulate me. They look me dead in the eye, while Casey is standing right next to me, and congratulate me, ask me about the wedding plans, and gush at my ring with me. And in the process, they accidentally leave Casey out. While they may think this is my thing, it’s very much his too. It makes me feel like being engaged was some big goal I had for my life – like because I’m a woman it’s more of an accomplishment.

Isn’t that the weirdest thing?? I definitely never expected that aspect of being an engaged couple. Casey has been no stereotypical male in the wedding planning process, either. Which compounds weirdness for me.

He sat down for an entire evening and helped me address save-the-dates. He is super opinionated about the food, what the groomsmen will wear, and what beer we have at the wedding reception. Oh, and the music. And I love it.

I would argue that it’s more of an accomplishment for Casey, being engaged and all. He purchased my ring, he planned the proposal, asked my dad at our family Easter get-together, and then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. All I did was accept. So if you see Casey out, make sure to throw him a smile and a “Congratulations”. He’s excited too.

I know it’s easy to think that a wedding is for the woman in the relationship, but I don’t want our wedding to be like that. It should be the perfect mix of Casey and Tanea. I want us to be recognized in every detail. If that’s possible, that’s what I’m going for.

But I’m also a DIY queen so it’s going to be a craft fest for the next 6 months at my house!

Thanks so much for sticking around through the whole post, if you’ve made it this far! Make sure you head over to Instagram and leave us any wedding planning tips in the comments.

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