The Oblivious Bride: The Engagement Story

Hello blog readers!  My name is Jenny Fong and I am the Marketing and Business Development Manager for The Wedding Lens.  I joined The Wedding Lens team in December and have been working mostly behind the scenes.  Well, on April 3rd, 2010, my boyfriend, Chris, proposed!  So like the old TV commercial says:   I’m not just a Wedding Lens employee, I’m also a client!

Will you be my disco queen? – An Engagement Story

Chris and I met on New Year’s Eve 2006-2007.  We were both invited to a week-long cabin trip to South Lake Tahoe organized by a mutual friend.  Earlier this year, the same mutual friend was planning…yep…another South Lake Tahoe cabin trip.  We signed up, as did 23 of our friends, knowing it would be epic weekend.  By the way, one thing you have to understand about this group of friends – whenever we have a chance to dress up, we do!  So our party planner extraordinaire declared Saturday night to be 70’s night.  Chris and I dug into our costume box to find our outrageous disco gear –my go-go dancer costume, his polyester pants and brown leather jacket.  Another friend was supplying my blond wig and fake eyelashes.  The last thing I expected in this outfit was a proposal!

As the group was getting dolled up to hit the casinos, Chris asked me to come outside to the deck with him.  There, overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe, just across the shore from Kings Beach where Chris grew up, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!  But I was so shocked and not expecting the proposal that my first words were, “Are you kidding me????  Yes!!!  But are you kidding me????”

While we were talking on the deck, Chris’ accomplice inside, our mutual friend, was telling the rest of our group what was happening.  When we came back inside, we walked into raucous cheers, complete with champagne toasts.  The rest of the night was a fabulous disco celebration – crazy wigs and all!

Wigs, polyester, and an engagement ring

Sharing the Memories

The very next day, I realized I needed to start telling my family and friends about our engagement before it leaked on Facebook!  But I knew it would be hard to explain the costume party proposal over the phone.  Plus, I was busy getting proposed to and did not have the photos on my own camera – they were all on my friends’ cameras.  So I started my album on The Wedding Lens and asked the other cabin guests to upload their photos and videos from the weekend.  I added a few close-up photos of the ring and sent the album to all my loved ones.  With The Wedding Lens, all of our friends and family got to see our engagement as if they were there with us!

Unlike other photo sharing sites, I could easily capture group photos in a single location.  This is just one of the many reasons why The Wedding Lens is better for couples getting married!

Out of Our Element…

As you can tell, Chris and I are not very conventional.  We love our crazy, quirky friends and we like to have fun.  But we have a bit of a problem when it comes to wedding planning.  I’m more interested in going to a sports bar to watch my beloved California Golden Bears than dressing up in designer digs.  I am more comfortable in jeans than a skirt, and I don’t know the difference between chameuse and chiffon.  Even though I work for The Wedding Lens, I have never had an idea about my dream wedding, so we’re starting this process with a completely blank slate.  As I wade through these decisions and go through the process of planning a wedding, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and lessons learned through this blog.  I’m calling it “The Oblivious Bride” and I hope my stories will help others who might feel just as lost as I am.

Engagement Stories for Valentine’s Day!

Proposal from The Wedding Lens!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I know a few people who planned to get engaged on Valentine’s day in past years, so I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to ask you, dear readers, to share your engagment stories!

You may have seen us post engagement stories in the past…  like the one where Randy jumped out of a plane (literally) to show Caroline how much he wants to marry her! (Randy & Caroline’s Engagement Story!)

Or the one where the weather wasn’t cooperating and Kate just couldn’t wait any longer to propose to Nicole! (Nicole & Kate’s Engagement Story!)

Anyway, share your engagement story with us! We love to hear them, we love sharing them with other readers, and we give out coupons when you send ’em to us. Just write as much or as little as you want, send a photo if you’d like, and we’ll take care of the rest!  Email me: natasha@theweddinglens.com

And, by the way, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

~ Natasha

Call for Engagement Stories!

You may remember that we posted a series of engagement stories in the past year. They were all really beautiful, sweet, and most (I’ll admit) brought a few tears to my eyes.

Here’s the scoop — We’re looking for MORE engagement stories!

We would love to publish your story on our blog. Just tell us the story of your engagement and voila! We’ll publish it, right here on The Wedding Lens Blog! (We’ll also send you a coupon so you can get your very own online photo album on The Wedding Lens!) Also, include a photo if you are up for it!

Looking for some examples? Most of the stories were from the perspective of the person who was proposed to, but they dont have to be! Check out some of our most popular engagement stories from the past year:

Now that you know what we’re looking for, share your story! Email me: natasha@theweddinglens.com.

~ Natasha

Engagement Story: Wes & Jenni

Wes sent this story and I thought it was so beautifully told that I couldn’t bear to ask him to cut it. It made me cry and I suspect it might have the same effect on you! Enjoy! (Remember, submit YOUR engagement stories to natasha@theweddinglens.com)

“Finding a ring for Jenni took longer than I’d expected. Something that we’d talked about — a sort of philosophy — was this belief that we should consume the fewest resources possible. This has led us to make large purchasing decisions based on the lasting power of an item, and looking for re-used things rather than new when possible.

I decided to try this tactic with a diamond ring, and I very quickly learned that the world’s biggest diamond supplier, De Beers, pushes its “diamonds are forever” campaign to not only encourage people to buy diamonds, but to never want to get rid of them either (more precisely, pass it down the family). A company that can control both the supply and the demand side of the curve is quite a business indeed…

The only real after market for diamonds shows up in lot auctions, which is really only useful for jewelers. Otherwise, you might be able to find something online from a divorce, and even the least superstitious might have an aversion to that.

I decided to actively seek out a used diamond, and so the logical place to start was with my parents, who had rings from their parents. These rings, though, were set in an old Hong Kong style (very high and ostentatious). I was planning on resetting the stone anyway, and it seemed the prospect of destroying the original ring didn’t thrill my parents.

My next thought, then, was to look to purchase a stone from someone who might have influenced Jenni. I immediately thought of Marie Curie, whose house we’d made a special trip to see during our trip to Paris, and who Jenni felt a special kingship, not only because of her background in radio chemistry and as a woman in science, but also because of her Polish ancestry. Marie Curie, though, famously (according to the internet) did not have any jewelry.

But her grandchildren might. I was able to locate a Dr. Helene Langevin-Joliot, a nuclear physicist working in France and international speaker on women in science, who coincidentally had last spoken at Berkeley in Spring, 1997, the semester before I started school. I could not find a mailing address for her office, especially tough without a working knowledge of French, but I did happen on a book that she had published through a company in Amherst. I wrote (what I think was) a nice letter outlining the various reasons I might prefer purchasing a used diamond, along with some photos and information about Jenni’s work and my companies.

Months later, it was still unanswered, which I’d expected would happen. I figured that she either did not even read the letter, or it sounded like a complete scam. It may as well have been sent from Nigeria. It also occurred to me that it was a good thing Dr. Langevin-Joliot was in physics, because that would minimize the chance Jenni might come in contact with her and be totally horrified.

I eventually wound up picking a gem stone from an online retailer, Blue Nile, and having it set in Park Slope at the Clay Pot, which we later found out was the store for “hipster engagement rings”. Jenni had picked out the setting because of the old fashioned look of the thing; on the designer’s website, they claim that they use tools that date back to the late 19th century.

Once I placed the order for the diamond and started the process of having the setting made, I had about a month and a half to prepare for the actual proposal. I’d decided that I would learn how to sing and play a song on the mandolin, and the tune that I eventually picked was “If I Had You”, strongly influenced by a version Nellie McKay sang at a TED conference. The song as normally sung is more of the unrequited variety, lovesick and yearning, but I thought to interpret my version in a different light, one that would come across as hopeful and promising.

On the evening I decided to actually propose, I called my parents (it was my mom’s birthday), and chatted with them. They already knew I had the ring in my posession and that I was to pop the question soon, but they had no idea how soon. My dad jokingly said that the best present I could have given my mom was an engagement to Jenni. I replied that I still had a couple hours left that night (it was 10:30pm).

After I hung up, Jenni and I started surfing the Internet in search of new bands and music, and I eventually worked up the courage to as her if I could sing a song for her. She said yes, apparently oblivious to what was about to happen. I’d hidden the ring box inside the mandolin case, and earlier that night she’d moved it around, so I was lucky she hadn’t discovered the ring yet.

I started singing, and at the end, got down on the obligatory knee and opened the mandolin case with the ring box open inside, like one of those Petrushka dolls. Jenni was so happy that she didn’t even look at the ring or give me an answer for a while. But eventually she did look at the ring, and she did give me an answer, and it was yes.”

Get your wedding photos from all your friends into one online album! For FREE! Check it out HERE.

Another Call for Engagement Stories!

As you know, we’ve been featuring an engagement story once a week. We love hearing the stories and it turns out that you like reading them! But we’re running out of stories and we need more!

So, wanna share your story? Know anyone who wants to share their story?

You’ll get:

  • your story featured on our blog
  • a photo with the story (unless you don’t want it)
  • a 25% off coupon for The Wedding Lens (though if you submit your story before the end of July 2009, you’re eligible for the coupon listed in our press release)

And, all you have to do is WRITE! No signing up, nothing. Just your story. Typed. To us.

So send your stories (or questions about this, if you have them) to natasha@theweddinglens.com. We look forward to reading them!

~ Natasha

Hilary & Carl’s Engagement Story

This was just a short, sweet story that Hilary shared with us and that we wanted to share with you!

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“Carl is not the most romantic, however, how he proposed was so sweet.  He took me to a local fondue place and got a private room for us. 

Towards the end of dessert, he whispered in my ear, “Will you marry me, Hilary?”  He was a little shy about it, which was odd for him.  I asked him what he said and he asked again to which I replied “yes” and he slipped my engagement ring on my finger. 

This ring is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and he picked it out all by himself.   He wanted to propose before a trip to L.A. we were taking later that week.  We were going to a wedding and we were both part of the wedding party.  He wanted to introduce me to all of his friends that I haven’t met and family members as his fiance and not his girlfriend.  It was very sweet!”

Share your engagement story by emailing natasha@theweddinglens.com!

Chris & Judy’s Engagement Story

Judy shared with us this great engagement story and we think you’ll like it too!

judy & chris

“My fiance and I met in the New York City Police academy. Upon graduating from the academy, we were fatefully placed in neighboring precincts — with the same days off ! If it weren’t for that, we would have never gone on our first date.

After hanging out a few times and after some long phone calls, flowers, and non-stop texting we went on our first BIG date. We went to Carnegie Hall for a piano performance and then proceeded to Central Park with hot chocolate and giant cookies for a carriage ride. What a beautiful time!

Four years later, after we relocated to Maryland to take Police Officer jobs with Capitol Police, we made our way back to NYC to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

He wanted to go out to dinner Friday night, the 13th, to beat the crowds..(13 does happen to be my lucky number) so it was fine by me. We checked into Park Central hotel, walked to dinner at the Rock Center cafe on the ice of Rockefeller Plaza. Then we walked to Central Park and took a carriage ride. He had planned to propose at the certain spot of the ride where the city comes into view perfectly and he had even researched this on the internet before-hand! (Haha!)

When the city came into view, I jumped over to the other bench to get a good picture, Oops. He told me to get back over here. So I went over to show him the picture, and he said, “I love you so much..I have something for you.” He took out a wooden box and opened it and said “Will you marry me?” My jaw dropped, I think I said “Oh my God,” and started crying and hugging and kissing him, but forgot to tell him yes! He asked me if that was a yes, and I laughed and said “YES!”  We had to extend the carriage ride so we could eat up the moment for as long as possible.

NYC is where we met, our little spot, and it was completely perfect for him to take me back there for the proposal! Our dreams and fate brought us together and our Love and friendship will keep us together forever!”

Want to tell us YOUR engagement story? Email natasha@theweddinglens.com