Whenever I mention that I’m engaged, it’s always the same reaction; the women “aw” before remembering to congratulate me, and the men just sit there and do nothing. Steven McDermott, a 22-year-old microchip manufacturing engineer at IBM, and I have been dating for 5 years. During this time, we went to school a 7 hour drive apart 9 months out of the year. The other 3 months were spent 3 hours apart from each other because of our internships. We made it work though with relative ease. When people ask how we did it, I just say we kept ourselves busy and talked when we had the chance via text, iChat, or Skype.
Just this summer though, before Steve’s last semester, we got engaged. We had talked about getting married before, so it wasn’t unexpected. Instead, it went something like this. As we were driving down to spend the weekend at Wildwood, NJ, the topic came up in the car ride. During the conversation, Steve enthusiastically pointed out that there was an exit to a mall. I’m surprised I didn’t crash into the guardrail along the exit as I turned off towards the mall. There, I looked around with him at Macy’s jewelry selection, deciding on a ruby and diamond engagement ring.
Since then, I have been planning things as they come up with my mother, Sherry Zolinas. She has looked up every detail from the reception places to the limos. This doesn’t mean I haven’t had the final say in everything. I have. I’m just glad I’m not the one researching all of this. It’s not that I don’t care about my wedding; I trust that my mom knows me enough to cross out the obvious no’s and present the most appealing options for me to choose from.
For example, she gave me a wedding magazine to look through the other day. Getting about half-way through, my jaw dropped. There was a 4-page spread of a venetian masquerade a couple had done. I walked to the living room with the pages on display to show my mom. She knew I would love it, but she still wanted the decision to be my choice. So, rather than tell me what a good idea she thought it was, she let me make my own choice when I stumbled upon it.
In short, the theme, reception hall, ceremony location, DJ, photographer, and videographer fell into place with ease. It wouldn’t be a wedding though without problems. The first was a hurricane disrupting our engagement party, but that only effecting some travel plans. The only real problem began when the best man, brother to the groom, and maid of honor, who has become a good friend, broke up. Though I told them when I asked them to be in the wedding that I would choose the best man over the maid of honor if I had to, I’m dreading the drama to unfold.
As the wedding plans progress, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories and tips to give our readers. For now, to anyone else getting married, I will say that the most important thing I’ve learned so far is to do things how YOU want them, not how others think you should. It is your wedding after all!