Unexpected Things to Expect When You Get Engaged

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An engagement is full of surprises

I will admit, I was never one of those girls that thought about my big, beautiful wedding or made plans for an engagement. I always assumed if I ever got married, I would simply go to the courthouse. After all, what is important is the marriage not the wedding. That is just one day of your life. I was also under the impression that most men did not care how they got married and most would be pleased to find out there was no need for any type of ceremony. Well, let's just say I've been quite naïve my whole life. Being engaged has indeed been full of surprises.

I had no idea how much preparation went into simply being engaged. I thought the engagement period was this fun time when you appreciate your fiancé and eventually you get around to figuring out when you go to the courthouse to get things done. If you want a large wedding, then sure, you are going to start planning for that in advance. Other than that, it is all about the glory of being in love, having a nice ring, making your other female friends jealous... oh wait, did I just say that? But yes, I was apparently wrong about all of this.

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One ring to rule them all!

My first major surprise in the engagement process is the ring. The ring is beautiful and very exciting.... for me. I never imagined it would be so exciting for everyone else. I understood people would want to see it. I even expected some of my friends would be super enthused about it. What I did not know is apparently 95% of the population loves looking at engagement rings.

When I went to work with my newly acquired engagement ring, I went to show it to one co-worker. The mere mention of the engagement ring attracted every single other person in the entire office. The best analogy I can use on this one is imagine going to a house full of cats and opening a can of tuna in the middle of the kitchen. Suddenly cats appear out of nowhere and all of them mill around you. The same thing happens when you break out an engagement ring in the middle of an office. There were people I did not even realize existed that came from the farthest corners of their cubicles to see my ring. I was swarmed!

This is how I felt...

Viva Las Vegas!

Since I recently learned that a courthouse wedding is not what all men want (who would have guessed?) I have embarked on an epic journey called: "Planning a Las Vegas Wedding." You never know... you may see a future hub coming from all of this!

Here is what I thought planning a Las Vegas wedding was all about:

1. You get some plane tickets and reserve a room.

2. You show up in Vegas.

3. You find some cheesy place with an Elvis impersonator.

4. You get married.

Surprise! I was totally wrong! It is not that simple. A crazy amount of casinos/hotels have wedding packages. Sure, I knew plenty of people get married in Vegas, so of course there must be lots of options. I, however, did not realize there were so many options.

As it turns out, not only can you get married at an Elvis chapel, you can get married in front of a fake volcano, or on a gondola, or in front of a man-made waterfall, or with some sharks at an aquarium, or on a pirate ship, or on and on and on.... I still have not found a wedding package that offers the possibility of riding live unicorns, but I guess I should not even rule that out yet. It seems as if anything is possible in Las Vegas.

Everyone takes engagement photos now... everyone

I thought that I had plenty of time to be concerned about dieting and looking skinny. Wrong. Apparently everyone takes engagement photos now, but no one can give me a good reason on why. As it turns out, I am expected to take part in this fun-filled event.

So now this means for me I need to start dieting and exercising sooner than I imagined. I have to squeeze myself into a nice outfit. I have to find a photographer for this occasion. Also, I think I am supposed to come up with a theme. I think. I am not sure on that one. I would like for the theme to be: low-budget. I have a feeling my theme is unacceptable. On a similar note, I would also like for our wedding song to be, "Thrift Shop." Considering the mortified looks on the faces of anyone that hears this great idea, I think I am losing that battle as well.

And then there's the questions

People ask me and my fiancé the weirdest questions when they find out we are engaged. They also asked questions right off the bat that seem a little soon. The first night we got engaged, many people swarmed us with Facebook messages, texts, and calls. Some of the questions included:

Have you picked a date yet?

Sure, we decided that within the first 5 minutes of being engaged.

Where are you having the wedding?

Why, we totally have that planned as well. We decided that 10 minutes after he proposed. We already called places and paid a deposit even though it was 8 o'clock at night.

What did you say when he proposed?

I guess I said, "yes" or we would not even be having this discussion now.

Were you happy?

I sure hope so! I doubt I would have said yes if I wasn't.

I luckily have only had a few people joke about whether I am pregnant and if it is going to be a "shotgun" wedding. Thank goodness. Let's hold off on the annoying children questions for now.

Taco Bell's "Will You Marry Me?" packet and my ring.  Thanks, Taco Bell, for also celebrating my engagement.
Taco Bell's "Will You Marry Me?" packet and my ring. Thanks, Taco Bell, for also celebrating my engagement. | Source

Facebook

What I least expected during all of this is the Facebook engagement experience. If you do not know what I am talking about, then you obviously have not gotten engaged since you've been using Facebook. Once we got engaged, naturally we changed our status from "In a relationship" to "Engaged." And so begins a chain reaction on Facebook.

The first thing that happens is everyone and their brother finds out you are engaged on Facebook. Even your friend that you have not seen since 3rd grade congratulates you. This is just fine since this is actually the easiest (and lowest priced way) to announce you are engaged. You will get so much attention it is actually ridiculous.

The next event is a little scary. Big Brother Facebook is watching you and starts to make marketing changes on your page. I went from shoe ads to bridal gown ads in less than 24 hours. On the right of my screen, I get to look at wedding photographers, invitation suggestions, bridesmaid dress ads, flower shop coupons, wedding ring options, and much, much more every single day now. In my feed, I get fun-filled recommendations for "liking" bride-related pages. Did you know I can win my wedding dress if I like one page? How about a coupon for my wedding photographer if I like a different page? Thanks, but no thanks, Facebook. Can you put my shoe ads back?

Bridesmaids

I never realized how weird it is picking bridesmaids, but it is. I almost feel as if some women are auditioning for the role. I get subtle hints like, "Well, if I was a bridesmaid I would do this...." Alright, maybe that is not subtle at all, but I keep getting hints just like that.

It is tough picking bridesmaids because I feel like it should be a crew of women I really trust. Basically, if I would trust a chick to back me up during the zombie apocalypse, she has earned her place as a bridesmaid. Also, if she has stuck with me as a friend for longer than 10 years, she should have her spot as part of my bridesmaid posse; let's face it, it is not easy to tolerate me that long. Also, it should be someone that genuinely wants to do it.

I've never wanted to be a bridesmaid. As a matter of fact, I have never been a bridesmaid ever. I am totally OK with that fact. I've had friends that have been bridesmaids repeatedly. Do they actually enjoy doing this? Is this really that much of an honor? I guess I never paid attention before.

As it turns out, I've never paid attention to a lot of this stuff. I've always known a big wedding was a lot of work, which is why I don't want one. I never realized how even the smallest wedding can cause drama. I never realized just how much planning goes into it. I guess I have a lot to learn. I suppose I have even more surprises ahead of me. Perhaps I can even squeeze a few more hubs out of the topic, too.


Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle

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Comments 18 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well Sheez, I didn't know you were engaged. All silliness aside, congratulations, Jeannie. That is fantastic and I'm very happy for you.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 2 years ago from Iowa

I didn't know you were engaged, either. Congrats! I am so excited about your engagement for the very selfish reason that I know it will generate more awesomely funny hubs like this. : )


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Sorry billybuc! I should have shared the news on my Jeannieinabottle Facebook page. Things have been crazy in 2014. Not only did I get engaged, I got a new job, failed at the new job, and went back to my old job for part-time temp work. I am moving in June and hoping to find a new job there. I am going nuts! I just realized I had not bothered to put any of the last hubs I've written in any groups and that is so unorganized and unlike me. I did fix that issue though. :-)

And thank you! :-) I am very happy to be engaged.

DeborahNeyens - Thanks so much! Oh, I am sure you can look forward to many exciting updates in the future. For instance, if we indeed do go to Vegas, I've never even been on a plane before. I can only imagine what will come out of that!


JessBraz profile image

JessBraz 2 years ago from Canada

I love love love LOVE this hub! I smiled and nodded my head and everything you wrote!

I got engaged two summers ago (my fiance and I were chatting the other night and I said "last summer when you proposed.".. and he reminded me that was TWO summers ago.. whoops.. time fly's when you're dodging questions from people about when the wedding is!) .. I've experienced and can relate to everything you wrote about here.

I also never dreamed of my wedding growing up and what you said about the marriage being more important than the wedding day is something I've said so many times in the past two years that I've lost count. I whole heartedly agree with you on that front.

The FB wedding posts are *incredibly* annoying. Glad to know I'm not the only one suffering through that. :) The only thing I've found that is slightly more annoying is my future sister-in-law and other friends sending me wedding related pins on pinterest.. like they're telling me to get a move on already.. Hold your horses sister! I'll do it when I'm ready. lol

As far as engagement photo's go: I haven't done them. I still don't quite understand why you need them and when you're supposed to do it (or what they're even used for?!) ... Do you take them not long before the wedding and use them for the wedding announcement or invitation? ... Or are they just keepsakes for you and the groom? .. And if you haven't picked a wedding date yet, when do you do the engagement photos.. Is it tacky to have engagement photos done when you've been engaged for two years already?! lol.

This is why I've never wanted a wedding either... My head is spinning and I haven't even got past engagement photos! I feel your pain and confusion and now I'm rambling.. lol.

This was an awesome hub! Voted up and across!

Cheers!

Jess.

PS- "I would like for the theme to be: low-budget. I have a feeling my theme is unacceptable" .. I think that theme is perfectly acceptable! :D

And "Thrift Shop" is an awesome song... My fiance wants to walk into our wedding reception (assuming we have one) to Jay-Z's "Holy Grail" (ain't gonna happen. lol.)


Rafiq23 profile image

Rafiq23 2 years ago from Pakistan

Interesting hub! I also experienced the same situation when I got engaged. It's a new experience and a new world out of your present world, which changes your life in every respect. You have just entered the first stage of conjugal life! Let's see what marriage has in store for you? Hopefully, you will have lots of surprises in the shape of happiness and joy.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Congratulations! You will have plenty of fodder for hubs as you embark on this new adventure. It has been a long time but I do relate to the ring thing especially, as if they had never seen one. It made me a bit annoyed I had to do my nails and keep them pretty. I'm so happy for you. I'm sure he must have a good sense of humor.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

OMG, hilarious . Congratulations!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Best Wishes. One of my top 3 hubs is How a Mother Can Enjoy Argument-Free Wedding Planning. You might want to send it to your Mom! Enjoy this time in your life.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

JessBraz - I am so happy to hear from someone else that feels the same way I do. The whole engagement photo situation is so confusing! I think we should just go to a Sears portrait studio if need be, but I guess it is supposed to be more romantic than that. People just get so carried away now. And the Facebook ads are driving me nuts. I wish they would go back to the way they were! I want to buy my dress at Old Navy or something, not a bridal shop. Thanks so much for the votes and for making me feel not so alone!

Rafiq23 - It is interesting to think this is just the first step in a long journey. Thanks so much for checking out my hub and thanks for your comment.

FlourishAnyway - Oh yes, there is going to be a lot to write about. Yes! The ring situation is so funny. I never imagined even men would be so interested to see it. Hahahaha... I have been painting my nails more, too. I thought I was the only one! And yes, my fiancé does have a good sense of humor... he will need it if he is going to tolerate me and my wackiness. ;-) Thank you!

lambservant - Thank you so much! :-)

Kathleen Cochran - Thank you for the suggestion. I will make sure to check out you hub. I think we'll need it!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Congratulations, Jeannie!

When my second husband (now ex-husband) and I got engaged, we had planned to have a small wedding on a lake near us, with just a few friends. Then the friends started making plans for the setting, reception (we were just going to throw a party in the back yard), cake, etc. We finally decided to ditch everyone else's expectations and went quietly to the courthouse. We spent the weekend at the beach by ourselves with no entourage to worry about. Just remember, this is YOUR wedding and YOUR memories. Have fun!


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Congrats on your engagement! I'm glad I read this hub because I didn't know most of what you wrote. Like you, I figured most guys would want simple, fast, and easy. Since I'm 47 and never been married, I don't think I may never have to worry about it because Mr Right just hasn't come along. But if he ever does, I'll thank you in advance for the advice and the warnings.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

bravewarrior, I think you made the best decision. My fiance had a courthouse wedding before (I will be his 2nd wife) which is why he thinks it is bad luck now. So I guess it is Vegas, here we come! I hope some nice wedding planner there will just take over. I just want really good cake and pretty flowers. I am not that demanding. Thank you!

sheilamyers, thank you! You and I are on the same boat. Who knew about all these surprises? I am almost 38 and this will be the first time I walk down the aisle. I had rather given up, but you never know what the future brings. Life (and planning a wedding) is full of surprises.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Congrats, Jeannie! I enjoyed your perspective on this topic and wish you all the best with everything.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thank you so much! I thought I should have a little fun with this subject matter. ;-)


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 2 years ago from American Southwest

Congratulations! Among me and my friends, what I have seen is the weddings where the bride and groom decided to do things the most inexpensive way possible turned out to be the most fun weddings and most lasting marriages. I think there is some tendency for everyone at a really expensive wedding to be thinking "I hope they aren't spending this much for a marriage that will be over in six months..."

And yes, bridesmaids are such a touchy question I avoided the whole thing by having my only bridesmaid be my only sister.

A friend from my old singles group finally got married in his late 40s, a couple years ago, to a lady who was about 40, and they got pregnant about as soon as they started trying. Having other friends who tried very hard to have children and didn't, I told him after waiting that long he doesn't deserve either such a nice wife or a healthy baby, but God was good to him!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks so much! I agree with you. I think when a lot of money is spent on the wedding, everything becomes all about the wedding and not the marriage itself. It is as if everyone loses sight on what is important.

The bridesmaid thing is tough. It seems as if everyone I talk to has some type of bridesmaid drama. I hope to keep mine at a minimum, but we will see. I've already had some interesting issues, but I will spare you the details.

I guess you just never know! You would not think they'd be that lucky to get pregnant off the bat like that, but who knows what the future brings? Life is funny like that.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

You're right Jeannie. Being engaged is still a BIG DEAL in our circle of friends and family, especially among ladies. :)

For us men, it's not different, usually done with shoulder taps, 'congrats, bro' or affirmative gestures, even an early blowout (LOL).


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I guess I never thought about how much people would fuss over the engagement. I guess it is better than not saying anything at all though. :-) Thanks for your comment!

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