I kind of can’t believe we’ve been engaged for over two months. But then at the same time, it feels so natural / right for us to be “engaged” that I kind of forget what it was like to NOT be. (Except I definitely need to stop wearing my ring to the gym. My trainer had me doing deadlifts the other morning and my ring was basically tearing up my hand…ew) Let’s recap what we’ve talked about so far:
- Mike proposed and then I finally told you guys the whole story.
- Then I gathered some of my initial thoughts on being a bride.
I do have some updates for you guys!!
We set the date.
Mike and I will be saying “I Do” on March 22, 2014. Initially, we were completely set on March 8th. We even told all the venues we were considering this was our first choice. But then, a late season snow storm (ok it was more like a rainstorm but people totally freaked out) hit DC on March 6th and Mama POTR (my mother) didn’t sleep for 3 nights. She also started watching way too much weather channel and was spouting a lot of very bizarre statistics about the occurrence of late season snow storms. We all agreed that if we could get the same prices, it was safer to go for March 22nd (I won’t even begin to discuss the snow storm that occurred on March 24th in DC because we’re not changing the date again). Keep your fingers crossed for an early spring 🙂
We booked the venue.
We will be hosting our wedding at the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn, VA. I knew I wanted a hotel venue because it just seemed a LOT easier and a lot of stuff already comes with the package. Plus, since the majority of our guests will need to travel to the wedding, it is easier to have the reception at the same place where people are sleeping. The Zimmermans do not condone drinking and driving. But we strongly encourage you to drink! Initially, I really wanted to have the wedding at a venue in DC but we couldn’t find many options (that were in our price range) that could accommodate our numbers. While Mike and I are very committed to not having a crazy over-the-top wedding, we cannot commit to having a small wedding. We just have large families and large extended networks of friends who we want to be included in our day. I am committed to keeping the final number under 200 but it’s creeping up. Arlington venues had bigger rooms but still offered proximity to DC. Even better, the Key Bridge Marriott’s ballroom is on the top floor with gorgeous views of the Potomac River, the Kennedy Center, and my alma matter, Georgetown. SCORE.
We took our engagement photos.
A wonderful family friend is a very talented photographer and he came down to DC last Saturday to take our engagement photos. We were hoping for Cherry Blossoms but no cigar. However, we happened to pick the day of the Kite Festival which was actually really cute. Waiting for the pictures and I’m nervous / excited. I’m worried I made weird faces lol. We will likely use one of these photos for our save the date and the others on our wedding website (which is still VERY MUCH under construction). Here’s a couple that my mom snapped on her phone during the shoot. Can’t wait for the real images!
We have confirmed our wedding party.
We are having a small wedding party, which I think is the ideal match for our personalities. I will be having my best friend as my maid of honor and two bridesmaids (one friend and one cousin). Mike will be having his brother as his best man and two groomsmen (my brother and his friend). We are currently working out how we want to include other special people in the day including readings, ushers, musical performances, etc.
We also have several things in the works that aren’t 100% confirmed yet but looking good. They include:
- A church for the ceremony – it was important to us to find a ceremony location where we felt comfortable. I would like a family friend (who is a minister) to perform the ceremony and want a church that looks beautiful but also aligns on some of my social values.
- A photographer – I am in talks with someone who I know / have seen her work etc.
- A DJ – I am in talks with someone recommended by one of my bridesmaids. I know him / have seen him work as well.
- The dress – We are VERY close to the final one. I went shopping again with my mom this past weekend and I think we might have found the one. No details though … have to leave some things until the big day!
So what’s next??
- Confirm all of the above. Most importantly the church.
- Finish the wedding website
I welcome ALL advice from former and prospective brides out there (or non-brides who have opinions… this is an inclusive environment!)
I thought I would start off by telling you guys how Mike popped the big question!
The lead up: To be clear, I was completely surprised that he asked me that day, but I knew that he was planning to ask me at some point. We had really been talking about it a lot since the summer. At that point it was more like, this might be like … it? And by the end of October, we were both certain. We talked about it and decided it was the right decision for us.
The Ring: I’ve honestly never really given much thought to my engagement ring before. I’ve thought more about the wedding, but haven’t spent time conceptualizing what kind of ring I wanted. I also felt pretty uncertain about buying a diamond. I feel pretty uncomfortable about the diamond industry worldwide and wasn’t sure I wanted to buy into it. I was just really undecided about it… which is really unusual for me. Then Mike had the perfect solution. His mom, who is potentially one of the most wonderful women I have ever known, offered him her engagement ring if he wanted to give it to me. It had belonged to Mike’s grandmother too, so I am the third generation to wear it. He showed it to my best friend for her seal of approval and she loved it. She also verified it was the right size.
He asked my dad: I know some people don’t believe in this tradition anymore. But Mike and I had talked and he knew it was important to me that he talk to my dad before proposing to me. Unbeknownst to me, Mike asked my dad one morning over Christmas. I went out for a run and he talked to my parents while I was out. He said he wanted to ask my dad in person while he had the opportunity.
The proposal: Ok so you have all the back story. Wednesday night before my birthday (which was on Friday) Mike and I had planned to go out to a nice dinner just the two of us. We like to celebrate holidays just the two of us in some small way. Looking back, some people were acting a LITTLE weird (My best friend asked me twice what I was wearing… which was unusual haha but I didn’t think of it at the time). I met Mike at 6:30 at La Tasca in Chinatown for a glass of sangria. I immediately noticed that he was SUPER dressed up (like slacks, button down, jacket, and a pair of black dress shoes I’ve never once seen him wear). He said he just dressed up because it was my birthday, and I believed him. We went to dinner at Graffiato. Over delicious food and great bottle of wine, we had this amazingly gushy conversation about how happy we were and how much we loved each other. Then he gave me THE SHOES (and a really beautiful birthday card).
After dinner we got frozen yogurt for dessert. I thanked Mike for an amazing birthday celebration and he said “well I have another surprise waiting for you at home”. I was totally shocked! But we took the metro home and Mike asked me to wait in the hall while he checked on his surprise. When I walked into the apartment all the lights were out and there were these awesome electronic candles on (our cats are not exactly candle friendly). There was a huge bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine, and another card. I thought this was the surprise and thought it was so romantic! Then Mike told me to open the card. On the front it said “I Love You” and the inside said, “I Love Us” and Mike had just written “Forever” in the card. Then he said “I want to be with you forever. So, Christina, will you marry me?” He got down on one knee and had the ring and it was just… perfect.
My thoughts: I couldn’t be happier with how the proposal went. I had made it clear to Mike that I really didn’t want a big production. I definitely didn’t want scoreboards lighting up or skywriting or anything. Plus, Mike is adorably shy sometimes, so if I made him do a big embarrassing spectacle in public he probably would’ve died. This was perfectly us…simple, personal, and private. And the cats were there! But they were terrible celebration partners. I cried SO much after saying yes. It was like it finally hit my like a tidal wave of emotion. I couldn’t believe this moment I had thought about for so long had actually happened. I am also obsessed with my ring. I love the history of love and family that comes with it and the design is gorgeous. Very “my style”. I also love that he involved so many people in our lives. My parents knew, his parents knew, and he planned it with my best friend Sarah. Everyone came to celebrate that weekend too. It was… amazing.
Next Steps: We took a little time just to soak up the engagement moment. But we would like to get married in March of next year, so we really do need to start getting moving on finding a venue. Right now we’re making contacts, setting up appointments, and doing all of that! I am really looking forward to getting a venue. Then I feel like I will be able to start visualizing the event. I’m hopelessly lost on “colors” so I will definitely be looking to the more creative people in my life, like Mike’s mom. My mom and I are all business planner types so we’ve got that logistics on lock down 🙂
I’d love to hear other proposal stories! Please feel free to share them!!
Hey there! Remember me? Don’t worry I didn’t forget you 🙂 These last couple weeks have just been such an incredible whirlwind. I really didn’t want to take a moment away from soaking it all up. I’m sure you understand! I was SO appreciative of everyone’s comments and congratulations. Literally my Facebook couldn’t keep up with everything. I didn’t get to respond to everyone like I wanted to but please do know that it meant SO MUCH to me.
So let’s see… where did we leave off? Oh RIGHT, Mike asked me to marry him!!! Spoiler Alert: I said yes. Duhhh. So I’m not sure exactly how I’m gonna deal with the whole wedding thing on the blog. I mean I notice a lot of other bloggers have like wedding tabs and all these posts, but I don’t know if that’s something I should do too?? I mean don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely going to be writing about wedding stuff on here. I’ll probably just add a “wedding” category and file all my posts under there? Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a wedding blog. I don’t even really do Pinterest (I know, I’m a huge let down). Anyways let’s catch up a little and then I want to leave you with a fun running workout!
So after Mike popped the big question… the family descended upon Arlington / DC for an epic love-fest and celebration of all things Christina. I mean, it was my birthday TOO after all. It was basically the best weekend ever. We had a big family dinner at Zaytinya with my family, Mike’s family, and my bff Sarah (who is basically family and she’s my MOH so she gets special perks).
And the next day we threw a party at our apartment. This was already planned for my birthday but it morphed into a birthday / engagement party which was super fun. People brought MANY bottles of champagne and we have a lot of booze leftover. Hooray! Sarah is my favorite. MOH FTW!
This was the ONLY picture Mike and I took together all weekend, which is very unusual in my family. We must’ve been so excited, we forgot to take pics. This pic was clearly a joke because A. I mean, look at my face, and B. I get uncomfortable with the hand on the chest pictures.
Anyways… we’re very happily engaged and I’m finding it really difficult to keep my nails constantly manicured. I mean, am I made of money here?? But I’m doing what I have to do 🙂 So since I’m not running the marathon any more, I’ve had a lot more freedom in my workout schedule which has been pretty sweet. Also the weather has been crappy and cold as all get out, so I’ve been getting inventive in the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been using a bunch of workouts I’ve found online including a couple from Active which are AWESOME. But on Sunday, I made one up on my own and wanted to share it with you! I wanted to do a one hour workout split between running and lifting weights. So I came up with this 35 minute Speed Pyramid that was super fun. If you don’t know all your paces exactly, just use the noted progression of intensity and see how you do!
Hope you’re glad to have me back… I certainly missed you all 🙂
Today’s post is a short one but I just had to share.
I thought that this was the best birthday present anyone had ever given me:
But shortly after receiving them I was shocked again and have decided that no, THIS is the best birthday present I have ever received:
That’s right…. MIKE AND I ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even begin to describe to you the excitement I feel at the chance to spend the rest of my life with the most amazing man I have ever known. He has brought love, joy, security, and happiness into my life that I never dreamed was possible. I’m taking everyone’s advice and just savoring this moment of being engaged to the love of my life. I’ll share details soon but for now I am just the happiest girl in the world (and I started crying on the metro this morning thinking about how happy I am… so don’t worry I haven’t changed at all)