Alyssa and Collin's Proposal to Each Other
How We Met: We met in elementary school. The story is actually so ironic. There was a little boy who was absolutely head over heals for me in the 4th grade, but had to switch to a different school in 5th grade. Yet, his love for me did not fade. He told everyone in his class about how I was not just a beautiful girl, but in fact an actual angel. He even went as far as giving me a little piece of jewelry with an angel on it on Valentines Day just to prove his point.
All the while, little Collin is hearing of this girl with unearthly beauty and decides to look for her when his mom decides he might transfer to her school. During recess, he searched far and wide, but he could not find a girl of such description. So finally he asked someone who Alyssa was. And once he took one look he said…”That’s it?” The story still makes me laugh. It was so not love at first sight, and that’s what I love about us.
How He Asked: “It’s two are Halves of One.”
On the morning of July 12th, I woke up thinking it was just any other Sunday. So I opted to sleep in a little before heading off to church (my biggest regret). After church, I spent the day shopping for dresses for a dinner date with some friends at Olive Garden. However, once we were on our way to dinner, we took a small detour…
We ended up at a sentimental silo that Collin and I always trespass at. From the beginning of our relationship, it was always a secret haven that we would picnic at. We’ve even have movie nights there and hike in the woods.
I was completely clueless as to what was happening until Collin started walking down the path. My friend Sarah looked over at me and said, “I’m going to have to ask you to get out now.” He took my hand and guided me down the path that was lined with flowers, candles, and signs with dates on them.
“8•27•06: This is the day we first met…”
“12•14•11: This is the day we first kissed…”
“5•6•12: This is the day I asked you to date me….”
“6•12•12: This is the day we said ‘I love you’…”
“7•12•15: And this is today, and today is important because it is the day that I ask you to marry me…”
He lead me further towards a table covered in flowers, chocolates, sparkling cider, and more candles. Then, he grabbed a wooden ring box he made himself and knelt down. After my head returned from the clouds, I was wearing a beautiful, custom made engagement ring and hugging my brand new fiancé.
Shortly after, a car comes driving towards us and out walks our closest friends, one even came all the way from Tennessee to surprise me! After taking some pictures and cleaning everything up, we did actually go to Olive Garden. Afterwards, we all said our goodbyes and headed home to tell my family. However, once we got to my house, there were cars lining the road. Not only had he totally surprised me with a proposal, he also surprised me with an engagement party as well.
Once again: Shout Out to Collin for being so amazing and planning that whole thing. The boy has game.
So for weeks, Collin had been talking about how excited he was to wear a wedding band and how one of his friends even had an engagement ring. So I picked up on the hints and ordered him a ring with my handwriting engraved on it. On the inside it says, “one’s not half two,” and the outside says, “it’s two are halves of one.” It took me days to find the perfect quote, but E. E. Cummings finally came through. It is the perfect description of us and what we mean to each other.
It took a while for it to be made and shipped, but finally it came in on a Tuesday afternoon. And with that, a whirlwind of planning took place. I already knew I wanted to make him a scavenger hunt. So finally I decided on the places and wrote out all the clues that night. The next day one of my best friends and I went to each of the four places and took polaroid pictures. I had a chalkboard sign in each of the pictures so together they wrote out “Will you marry me.”
Then on Thursday morning after he went to work, I stopped by his house and dropped off his first clue along with a gift bag of road trip snacks, a mix cd, and a gas gift card. He followed the clues and put together the message and ended up back at the silo where he asked me to marry him. Once he got there he ran down the path. I lead him over to a picnic blanket set up with pillows and a basket. Then I knelt down and gave him his ring.
The history of engagement rings themselves is not the romantic gesture as it is today. It is speculated that it began as men marking their women as a sign of legal ownership. In essence an engagement ring or wedding ring meant that this woman was his property.
“Pre-History: The caveman tied cords made of braided grass around his chosen mate’s wrists, ankles, and waist, to bring her spirit under his control.
Circa 2800 BC: Egyptians are buried wearing rings made of a single silver or gold wire on the third finger of their left hands, believed to be connected directly to the heart by the vena amoris.
2nd Century BC: According to Pliny the Elder, the groom gives the bride first a gold ring to wear during the ceremony and at special events, then an iron ring to wear at home, signifying her binding legal agreement to his ownership of her.
1st Century BC: Puzzle rings first appear in Asia, where sultans and sheiks use them to tag each of their wives.”
Although today it is not seen that way at all, the tradition has stuck that only women wear the engagement rings. However, it is not because of the misogynistic view that she belongs to her fiancé, but that she belongs with him. Yet Collin and I wanted a different, deeper symbolic connection to each other. We wanted to show that not only do I belong with him, but he also belongs with me. We belong together, equally invested and committed to each other.
Yet, I wanted to take it a step further and show him just how much he meant to me by actually proposing as well. From the beginning of time, cultures have seen genuflecting as a sign of deep respect. Religions kneeling during prayer is just one example. This newer tradition turns the engagement ring into a romantic gesture full of love rather than ownership. So I decided to propose as well to display that not only do I want to show the world that we belong together, but that we respect and value each other. (Plus, it was so dang fun. I encourage you girls to try it some time. I had a blast.)
It may seem weird and slightly redundant, but it was what we wanted. We are two people that are halves of one relationship. Halves as in equal parts of one whole. I know this may not be for everyone, but it would be cool to see more men wearing engagement rings and more women proposing to their fiancés as well. And I hope that by sharing our story that it will encourage a new way of looking at engagements.