Big production proposals and being true to you

Guest post by Beth Olson

Like so many of you here on Offbeat Bride, I was never one of those girls who dreamed about what her wedding would be like. I never dreamed about getting married in a big white dress and having children and buying a home. My dreams have always been of travel, creating art, silly parties and costumes, laughter, friends and drop-of-the-hat adventures that might be as simple as bussing across town to find a specialty beer I'd been hearing about.

I'm a type A personality with a type B attitude. A theater and graphic design major who loves planning events, running weekly cheesy movie nights, meeting new people, flash mobs and generally being as involved in every aspect of my community as humanly possible.

My partner G knew this about me and was fine that I had no pointed interest in getting a ring on my finger on any sort of timeline. I'd said that many times over the first couple years together and one of the sweetest things he ever said was, “Well, if I thought you wanted to get married I would have asked you a long time ago. If you ever change your mind you'll to have ask me.”

So after nearly six years together I did just that.

For over a year I tried to put together something special but things kept falling apart, the timing wasn't right, the situation felt forced or most recently several wonderful couples got engaged including my sister and I wanted to focus on that.

G and I have been trying to practice healthier life choices recently. We quit smoking and regular exercise is, as always, on the list. This, coupled with the costumes and an almost flash-mobesque take-over of downtown portland made the Run Like Hell 5k and half marathon a more perfect choice of proposal venue than anything I had previously imagined. G's uncle passed away just a couple years ago due to Lou Gehrig's disease and it just so happened that the event this year was raising money for ALS research.

The plans started months previous as I encouraged G to join me in prepping for a 5k. I called his parents and asked their permission, just to make sure they were okay with getting me as an inlaw to their only child, and to see if they would be able to fly in from LA to join my family and friends at the finish line. Many of our friends waited for us at the finish line all decked out in wedding dresses, even the dudes! (I have very dedicated amigos.) The local news happened to be there just as we crossed the finish line and they did a little story on us and the proposal.

I thought instead of practicing what to say that the words would just come to me… which resulted in strangely nerdy blathering about time machines.

50 or 60 years from now, when it's the future and we're really, really old… if I had a time machine at the end of my life, I would travel back to the day I met you and not change a thing. All of time, all of space, all the dimensions… I would always choose you. You are my best friend. I want you to be my partner, my eternal drinking buddy (You ready? Here it comes… *gets down on one knee*) G will you marry me?

There was a moment when I was concerned because so many people think that big public proposals are loud, tacky productions that don't respect the “solemnity” of the proposal to take center stage. Well… if you know me and G, that's a pretty fitting description of us as people. It couldn't have been better!

And that's what I want to encourage in all of you. If it fits who you are, do it. Don't bunk gender roles just because you feel you need to prove you're a good feminist. Don't forego a big ass dance party because you don't have money to also host a formal sit down dinner. Don't spend valuable party time cutting cakes you don't even like eating. Do what is special to your relationship. Do what reflects who you are as a couple. Do what makes you joyously enthusiastic; it'll keep you on the right path.

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Comments on Big production proposals and being true to you

  1. You sound like people I want to know! That was pretty tear jerky, and completely awesome.

  2. “Many of our friends waited for us at the finish line all decked out in wedding dresses, even the dudes!”

    Oh man, that’s awesome!! If I could have only seen your boyfriends face when he saw everyone in wedding dresses…

    Props to you!

    (Also, is the local news story online? o: )

  3. Hi friends!
    I checked and couldn’t find the news spot online at KATU. I’ll see if I can’t dig it out of the archives somewhere (we got a copy of it on dvd from the station).

    Though, if you want to see more photos there are some beautiful shots that the photographer got!

    You’ll see G’s face in the photos, it’s pretty hilarious how vacantly horrified he looks. He said he was so shocked he didn’t even recognize his parents as anything other than “people he knew”.

    Aurora- OOH! I’m curious, How do you pop the question?

    • Initially I was planning a public proposal like you, but my fiancee is rather shy and I was worried she wouldn’t like it. I decorated a puzzle box and put the ring inside. I purposefully annoyed her so she would tell me to go away (it might sound odd but it’s a game we play with each other all the time), at which point I taunted her with “Oh, I don’t think you want me to go away quite yet.” Intrigued, she watched as I went to get the puzzle box. After a long day at work, she couldn’t quite figure out how to get it open, so I helped her. The ring was inside the puzzle box, in a traditional ring box. I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me, and she said “Da!” (Russian for “yes”). Then I asked her if she was going to put the ring on, and she said “I’m not putting on my own engagement ring – you have to do it!” And then we snuggled. The snuggles were my favorite part, other than her saying “yes”. =D

      • SO GOOD!!! I imagine a big to-do would have been a nightmare for someone who’s shy; good call on that one!

        Puzzle boxes are the best thing ever, what a great idea! I love that you knew exactly what would make the moment special for both of you, *sigh*

  4. This is awesome. A big public proposal would have been horrible for the two of us shy, homebody introverts. Our living room mutual proposal(I went first!) was just right for us. But this sounds like a great proposal for you guys.

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