Jul 31, 2010
The proposal... (Luke's version)
I had a big elaborate proposal all planned and ready to go. It involved her kids at school, video cameras, and her friends. I had to scratch it because it was planned for the last day of school. I just couldn’t wait any longer.
On 4/22/09 I decided to surprise Maria over the weekend. She was heading home for a few days to see her brother and sister-in-law before they move to Germany. I figured I could drive up Friday after work and surprise her before she left. I just had to have one of her friends convince her to stay in town until Saturday morning. Hmm-good thought, but the word ended up leaking out to Maria. When Maria asked me what was going on, I told her I was just testing out which friends I could trust. What else was I supposed to say? I didn’t want her to know anything that was going on.
After some quick thinking I decided to drive to her house on Sunday (my birthday!). She normally leaves to go home after lunch and gets home around 4:00 in the afternoon. I’ll just plan on leaving at 7:00am so I get to her house about 3:00pm. That way I should have enough time to hide my car and get everything set up. The bed was just so comfortable…
9:00am – I just left the house!! Maria called me a few minutes into the drive and asked what I was doing. I told her I was driving to Lowes to pick up some trim, and was going to be working on it all day.
1:00pm – She texted me to say they are heading to her dad’s house. I still had to call her dad to ask him if I could marry Maria.
1:30ish – She called to tell me her dad has a roto-tiller he is willing to sell me. She wanted to hand the phone to him and I said, “NO, I have to work on the trim. I’ll call him in a few hours.” I didn’t know what else to say, I didn’t want to talk to him about the engagement plans with Maria standing right there.
4:15pm – Who knows where Maria is, but I just pulled into her driveway. I set up the scavenger hunt and put my car in the garage. I didn’t want to look like I was trying to break into her house so I went for a walk.
5:00pm – I started to get real tired of walking around AND very hungry. I figured Maria wouldn’t be home for a while so I went and grabbed a sandwich. At this point my worst fear was that her cell battery died and she will be home any minute. After I ate my sandwich I called Maria’s mom. She couldn’t talk, but said that Maria was sitting on her couch reading a book.
5:20pm – I called Maria’s dad to talk about the rototiller and to ask him the big question.
7:00pm – It’s going to be dark soon, I hope Maria can still find the scavenger clues.
7:20pm – Maria called to say she just left her mom’s. Omg, that means she won’t be home until about 10:30. So we talked and talked and talked while she drove and drove and drove.
10:20pm – Maria is a few blocks away. I ran into the garage and put on my headlamp. I could hear her pull into the driveway. When she got out of the car I could hear her talking. I hung up because I was worried she would her me talking to her. I could hear her running around outside gathering all of the clues. And then she opened the garage. She just stood there saying “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…”
The proposal... (Maria's version)
After a long, fun weekend at home I drove home on Sunday, April 26th. The whole drive home Luke and I talked on the phone, and when I finally arrived at my house around 10pm I was exhausted. I got out of the car, and went to the side door where I noticed a note. I opened it and read the following As I was opening the note, I read this aloud to Luke, who kept hanging up on me, claiming bad service. I even got a little frustrated because I wanted him to ‘experience’ it all with me. I went to the front door, where I found a second note. This one said “Do remember when we went to George’s Garage and the waiter served Bailey our leftover horseradish sauce from oysters?” At this point I figured that Luke had definitely written the notes since they were special, funny memories we had had together, but I decided that there was no way he could have placed the notes on my door, and that he had asked one of my friends to do it, which would lead to a surprise like flowers (Luke’s cute like that). The next note was in the mailbox, and said “Do you remember when we told that guy we take vacations to Lake Erie”? and in parentheses “It is such a nice day out, did you hang clothes on the line?” So I ran out to the clothesline and found a 5th note. This one said
At this point I was pretty excited, but again had no idea. I went over to the garage, opened the door, and found Luke with a headlamp on (it was pitch black out), down on his knee with a ring. I’m not even sure if I said yes, because I was so shocked I kept saying “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”. Luke said I was shaking.
As for why he kept hanging up on me – he didn’t want me to hear him talking in the garage! I absolutely did not expect it, being that it was Sunday, and Luke would have to work the next day. I would never have thought he would drive 8 hours from North Carolina, wait for me 5 hours, and then drive back the next day. To top it off, it was his birthday, and this was how he chose to spend it! What a great guy!! The funny memories were so thoughtful, and the scavenger hunt so fun, all in all unforgettable. Afterwards we went into the house and Luke filled me in on the funny events leading up to it, and then we called our families.
Ok, so since we have a miniscule budget, and the reception will be outdoors, I decided to work with nature, rather than against it. I fell in look with the rustic/country chic look and decided to run with it. Our colors are going to be light pink, green and ivory. Tables will have burlap table runners (verrry cheap to make), with mason jars and votive candles. There are lots of canners in my family, so the mason jars would be free (and green). I need to talk to my florist, but depending on what is in season and economical, we may go with wildflowers. Rather than a traditional guestbook, I want to have a guest quilt. We have lots of quilters in my family, and I can sew myself, so I think this would be very special. We would have a table with linen squares and fabric markers, and a line with clothespins to hang the finished ones on.
The cookie table (a western PA tradition), will have different lengths and size logs to put the cookie plates on. The cake table will also be made out of a log. I think for favors we will give out little boxes with a bulb inside, and a tag that says "Plant one on us!" with maybe a pic of us smooching .
His dad is building a 30x40' pavilion for our wedding, which will later be used to store tractors and such. I am looking into lighting, but think wagon wheels (or the more inexpensive pot rack as an alternative) with hanging mason jars with candles in them would be amazing. I also bought 21 boxes of 25ft white C9 christmas lights for $1.69 on clearance after Christmas. We were psyched, and will use them to light up the outside of the pavilion, and the "dance area" - after the wedding we will have plenty of lights for our home!
Below I have some pictures I found online (some of them from Project Wedding) that I got my ideas from. None of my ideas are particularly original/new, but I'm hoping it will all come together in the end. It will be interesting to see which of these ideas stay, and which go as I get closer to the wedding.
Luke and I went to high school together, but never talked because we were both too shy. Eight years later we reconnected and hit it off. We are planning a July 31st wedding and reception at his dad's farm outside. We have a small budget and a big guest list (it's either invite 30 or +200), so the challenge will be to have a great wedding without it looking picknicky. I'm up for the challenge, and plan to do LOTS of DIY to make our day special and look expensive. Can't wait for the big day!