Blushing Belle: Being Engaged Young and Far Away

Hi, I'm Lexx.

That's me!

This is my FIANCE, Connor.

Wow, it's still super weird calling him that. But ain't he cute?

Connor and I were both screenwriting students at Drexel University. In April 2015, we both volunteered to participate in Accepted Students Day(s)—I was in a glorified "line leader" role, while Connor answered questions on the Co Op panel. After the first day of volunteering, all of the volunteers retired to 027 for free lunch. I overheard Connor speaking to Professor Kaufhold about his senior project, Kaiju. Kaufhold mentioned Ultraman in the conversation, and I--a professional eavesdropper--picked up the familiar tidbit and inserted myself into the conversation. Connor and I chatted for a while before he had to leave for a Quidditch match. I gave him my card and never heard from him again...for a whole ten days. I had seen him the next week at the second Accepted Students Day. He had added my on Facebook, but nothing. However, after those ten days, Connor noticed some interesting mutual friends and through the power of the internet, the two began talking day and night. I would go to Connor's apartment at 40th and Baring, and hang out there all night until almost five in the morning. We would talk, write, and just enjoy each other’s company. I went to Los Angeles in June 2015, and we stayed in sporadic contact. I got pneumonia in late June, early July--as one does in the middle of Summer in California--and the only company I found was Connor. In the early fall of 2015, the two were FaceTiming and chatting every night. Connor supported me through a lot of difficult moments that I was going through. I loved Connor's company. We engaged in a writing challenge together in October 2015 as I searched for an apartment for us to share. I finally found one for us to move into on October 25th, 2015. Connor bought his ticket for the 24th--the same evening as the Blumhouse Halloween party that I would be attending as an intern. On Wednesday, October 20th, I managed to grow a pair and ask Connor to be my boyfriend. He joyfully accepted the proposal. I picked Connor up at the airport, still covered in latex and blood from the party, late Saturday evening and we made the little apartment a wonderful home. We celebrated our first Thanksgiving on our own, and even put up our very first Christmas tree together. The apartment memories were full of snuggles, Let's Plays, writing Pow-Wows, and home cooked dinners. It was a splendid paradise. Connor and I stayed just as connected and in love once I returned to Philadelphia to complete my education. I returned in late June for a visit, and then back again in October 2016. We recreated our first date for our anniversary on Thursday, October 20th, 2016: Nanbankan and a trip to The Sovereign--formerly Judy Garland's yacht, and now Larry Nelson's yacht, and possibly the most beautiful yacht ever--for a few rounds of Boggle and some slow dancing. After I mercilessly spanked Connor at the longest four rounds of Boggle in the man's life, we retired to the lounge to slow dance to our song, Haley Reinhart's "Can't Help Falling in Love With You"--brought to us via an incredibly well written and conceived gum commercial Connor shared with me in early October 2015. After the song concluded, Connor got down on one knee, presented me with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and asked me to marry him. I, for the first time in my entire life, couldn't find any words. I was so overcome by joy. I finally managed to say a yes before smothering Connor with kisses. The next day, we went to Disneyland to Mickey's Halloween Party. We are dorks, but we are dorks that were written for one another.

So now that you know basically all about us aside from our social security numbers, here's the nitty gritty part that actually may be helpful to you.

We are engaged at 21 and 23 years of age, we currently live on opposite coasts from one another, and our wedding date is set for October 20th, 2018. 

There's plenty to process in that previous statement. First off, most people don't even commit to a Tinder bio at 21 years old, let alone decide to spend the rest of their lives with another human being. Both Connor and I have had to deal with the following statements, and variations of the following statements:

"You're too young to get married."
"You don't even have a job yet!"
"In two years, you'll change your mind."
"Shouldn't you wait a bit longer?"
"Are you sure you're really ready?"
"Are you pregnant?"
"You two might not be right for each other."
"Where are you going to live?"
"How are you going to make this work long distance?"
"What if he finds someone else in Los Angeles/what if she finds someone in Philadelphia?"
"Why?"

There's also the classic questions anyone is asked when they get engaged, which was kind of a bitter sweet combination of frustrating and fun to answer over and over:

"When's the wedding?!"
"Are you going to have two weddings? One for each coast?"
"How did he do it?"
"Is the ring real?"
"Who's the maid of honor/best man?"
"Did he ask your dad?"
"What did your dad say?"
"Was it romantic?"
"Who's paying for the wedding?"

Listen, folks, with big news there comes three types of people:

1. The people that love and support you through any decision--whether well thought out or totally bone headed.

2. Those who will stop at nothing until they have absolutely ruined it for you, and the entire parade is rained on, or perhaps aflame.

3. The individuals that are SO supportive because they want to live vicariously through your big news, and some how some way make that big news about him/herself. 

If you can, be the first kind of person. I wanted to write this article because I have been reading a TON of articles about getting engaged and wedding planning and things of that nature, and I feel like this one was the kind that was missing. I wanted to write an article for the couples that are facing stigma or obstacles like age, location, financial concerns, or lack of support.

Being engaged is an absolute blast--I say 12 days into being engaged--and I wanted to share my joy with people. However, there were people that really weren't happy with my news, or immediately felt obligated to give me a Power Point presentation on my bad decision. People make mistakes. It happens. Connor and I both feel that we have a future together, and that's the best future for the both of us. We have plenty of time to iron out details, but right now, we just want to enjoy the fact that we made this choice together.

No matter what kind of problems, obstacles, challenges or jerks you may face, just remember that ultimately this decision is about YOU and YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Some really important advice I have received that I would like to pass along:

"Put as much time into working on your relationship as you do on wedding planning. People spend so much time picking out center pieces and invitations, but forget that the wedding lasts for a day, while your marriage lasts a life time. Make sure that you both are as honest as possible with each other, and that you can council each other in times of need."

"MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER! Make time now, make time when the wedding planning gets intense, and make time for each other for forever. Make sure that date nights don't become a thing of the past. Make sure you feel sexy and fun with one another. Keep the flame a fire. Your love will change. You won't love each other any less, but eventually you will just love each other, not be in love--so it's important to show that you are important to each other."

"Wedding planning advice: pick out what is important to you, and ditch what isn't. I didn't want flowers at my wedding, but because everyone has flowers, I got them. I could have saved $6,000. Seriously. Have the wedding you want, not the wedding from a magazine."

"Tell each other a secret every day, something big or small, it doesn't really matter, but it's something that you can share together."

"Set rules for the future. Make sure that you both understand where one another is on certain subjects. My husband and I discussed that divorce was never going to be an option. That was twelve years ago. There are some days when we want to murder each other, but we know that we are together forever, and it's easier for us to look at the problem and say, "Is this worth it?" and if it's not, then we forgive each other. Work through your problems, don't let them define your relationship."

"Kiss. Kiss a lot."

I really enjoyed tidbits like these. Connor and I set time aside every single day to do a little FaceTime date. Lately, we have replaced our normal Let's Play watching with wedding planning stuff. He's an absolute champ at sitting through my presentation of my Pinterest boards.

What's your piece of wedding or engagement advice? Do you have any fun engagement tales? 

Check back for the next Blushing Belle Engagement installment: The Engagement Party!

Blushing Belle: Wise Words for Brides

Some advice passed down from generation to generation, heart to heart, and internet post to canvas painting on sale at Marshall's...
(contemporarybride)

On buying the dress:
"When getting a designer gown, start selections and alteration about five to eight months in advance so that the price tag matches it worth! Also, it may take some time to make and get to the store on time."

"Retail gowns will arrive at a shop faster and aren't normally as particular/fussy with alterations. More often than not, you can try these dresses on and feel their fit accordingly. This process should go down maybe two or three months previous to the big day."

"A hand me down gown you'll know if you're wearing well before. However, if you're wearing Mom's, Grandmom's, Sister's, next door neighbor's, make sure that it fits you--not only physically, but emotionally and the desired effect you wanted to pull off on your big day."

"When it comes to the fit of a gown, every bride is different. A gown should make you feel like a beautiful princess, but a comfortable, beautiful princess. Make sure your dress fits your body for you."

"Price: always keep a budget and options in mind. Sometimes one dress may seem too good to be true, but at least you know what your taste is. Keep a variety available."

(contemporarybride)

Bridesmaids:
"The bridal party dresses, accessories as well as characters are 100% YOUR choice (the bride.) Their colors, styles what have you, are YOUR choice--not Mom, Dad, Aunt Helen, etc."

"Keep our bridal party as large or as small as you feel comfortable with."

"The Maid of Honor is an important position and you only get one pick. Don't consider it a life or death decision because you'll drive yourself bonkers over it and make it about these ladies when this day should be about you. Suggestion: have more than one sister that you can't choose among? Pick a best pal and put the sisters in the bridal party! Or title them ALL maids of honor. Who's gonna call you on it?"

(thenaturalweddingcompany)

On wedding planning:
"Pinterest in your friend."

"Plan all of your versions of your wedding and then combine your favorite elements."

"Have some perspective help, but don't lose your own vision."

"Do a little each day."

"Keep a few TO DO lists."

"Get excited."

(brides)

Be careful of hiccups!

Makeup Mistakes

Top 50 Mistakes Brides Always Make

Tidbits:

"Never go to bed mad, or your marriage will be very sad. Your sex will be better, your heart unfettered, and you'll both be happy and glad."

"Alway assume he's trying to help, not insinuating or accusing. Save the aggravation for a real fight."

"There is more than one way to do it." -Tim Toady

"Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy."

"What counts in making a happy marriage is not how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility." -Leo Tolstoy

"If you fight, fight naked."

"Kiss before bed and goodbye."

"Don't fight when you're angry."

"The wedding is not a be all end all--this is an event about love and celebration. Let it happen. Enjoy yourself, this is the first day of the rest of your life."

Your Welcome

(bridenewwoman)

 

Blushing Belle: The Wedding Web Part 1

So, you're getting married and you're probably super stoked but at the same time a bit confused, which is entirely understandable. I myself have never been married before, but I have known people that have gotten married, seen quite a few on TV shows and movies, and plenty of terrible Reality Television, can't forget those magazines that haven't been updated since 2007 at the hair salon!...but I still wouldn't honestly know the first thing to do about a wedding--not because I'm clueless, but because there is SO MUCH that goes into this special day. So...here's a few awesome websites to help you make your dream wedding a reality!

Say Yes to That Dress:
(inspirationluv.com)
Shop for traditional and designer wedding dresses here, here, here, here and here

Shop for "kitschy" or "niche" or custom wedding dresses here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Gown Shopping Tips
The Knot
Real Simple
Bridal Guide
Buzzfeed (actually not entirely awful)
Martha Stewart

Planning:

Keep organized with this checklist from Real Simple. 

Check out aggregators like The Knot or Appy Couple.

Want some honest wedding planning advice? Go here, here, here, here, here, or here.

The Gifts:

Need some help figuring out where to register? Here are a few suggestions!
HoneyFund.com (a kickstarter for your honeymoon!)
Target
Pier 1 Imports
Amazon
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Kohl's
JC Penny
Pottery Barn
Sears
Zola.com (a registry aggregator)

Registry Advice? Go here, here, here, here, here, and here!