In which our bride-to-be finds herself thrust into the unfamiliar spotlight of the affianced, and contemplating a wedding date in just under five months’ time.
I could tell from my mother’s slightly excited “Hello?” that she had suspected it was coming.
As, if I’m honest, had I. A surprise weekend away. A fancy lunch. A walk in the sun. A bridge. A ring.
A walk in the sun. A bridge. A ring.
Of course my growing suspicions didn’t detract from the thrill of the moment itself. Once or twice, I had idly imagined how the moment might play out, but I’d never been able to imagine how I would react. Under pressure, would I do something inappropriate – burst out laughing, for example, or sprint away?
In the end, the genuine emotion of the moment, the us-two-against-the-world of it, got the better of any weird impulses. Fortunately I was wearing sunglasses.
Preliminary sobbing aside, I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the weekend. And as we came to terms with our sudden change of status, it was nice to be able to keep it semi-secret (except from my parents after that phone call) for 24 hours before we shared it with others.
On the flight home I made a list of people to call. Siblings came first (in age order, naturally), followed by my close friends and my grandmother. I knew that other relations – aunts, uncles and cousins – would hear about it via the family grapevine.
I’m not on Facebook, so there was no faux-casual change of status available to me, and I wanted to avoid group Whatsapp messages where possible. One of my friends was still on honeymoon, too, so I decided to wait until she was back and tell others individually in the meantime.
I have to admit that this was the fun part: it was surprising and lovely how excited people were. You’re getting married!!! my older brother texted me, the morning after I’d told him. And the next morning, and the next.
And just that. What getting engaged means, of course, is that we have to get married. And while we both want to be married, we’re less enamoured with the idea of a wedding. My fiancé has been best man on four occasions, and has therefore developed a mild aversion to the minutiae of transport arrangements, photographs and dietary requirements.
So the excitement was tempered with a tiny amount of apprehension at the prospect of entering the world of Wedding Planning – a strange juggernaut that threatened to sweep us up on our path to married life.
the excitement was tempered with apprehension at the prospect of entering the strange world of Wedding Planning
We therefore decided to do it as quickly as possible, to keep any potential stress contained within a few months. Getting engaged in May meant that the summer was out, but October seemed a realistic target. We also set ourselves a budget of £10,000, which still seems like a huge amount to spend on a single day, but is quite a bit less than the UK average (according to Harpers Bazaar).
In the short term, The News has incited a flurry of social activity – dinner with friends, drinks with colleagues, brunch with parents. My calendar has never been so exciting. And for a week, at least, I’m planning to enjoy it before the hard work begins…
Days remaining: 150
How did you tell your friends and family about your engagement? And how wouldn’t you tell them? Share your experiences in the comments section below.