I proposed to my
girlfriend fiance 16 days ago, and it has been the most fun filled, busy, “Whoa this is happening” time of my life.
I’m 21, she’s 20. We’re in college at SMU. We’ve decided to get married in college, and the wedding is in 172 days. So I did what any soon-to-be husband would do — blog about it!
I figured I’d answer some of the common questions people have been asking me. I normally like to blog in 500 words or less. But this is not one of those times. You’ve been warned.
Q: Why so young?
Amanda and I started dating in January of 2013. Prior to that, my last relationship ended in June of 2010. Within those two in a half years, I took a lot of time to know myself. I knew what I wanted in a spouse, I had an idea on where I wanted to be mentally and spiritually, and I knew that the next person I was going to date, I wanted to be my wife.
Some people may say “You’re pretty young to be thinking about that, right?” But I’ve seen it work first hand. My mother and father also got married at the tender age of 20 and 21, respectively. To this day, they are the best example of marriage that I have grown up seeing, and they have been happily married now for 20 years. Through highs and lows, I’ve seen them remain committed to God, each other, and our family. I know myself, and I felt prepared to make the commitment.
Q: How do your parents feel?
Amanda and I talked to our parents about our intentions. Of course, I had a sit down with her dad to ask his permission before I proposed. We talked about Amanda and I’s plans, our time frame, and many other things concerning our future. I had been in conversation with my parents about it for months. Both sides of the family met back in October, and everything went great! They’re excited for us. They know marriage has its ups and downs (combined, our parents have been married over 46 years). But they believe in us, which is refreshing. We know getting married at our age is not for everyone. But getting married after college, at 25, at 30 is not for everyone either. What we’re doing is what we feel is best for us, and we’re so grateful for our parental support.
Q: How did you and Amanda know the time was right?
Really, it came from prayer, talking with our parents, and most of all, praying to God about the direction he wanted us to go. One of the fruits of the Spirit is peace, and I’ve had that before and after the proposal. Amanda and I were really intentional about our courtship from the beginning. We do our best to live for God and glorify Him in all we do. When people are inspired, that’s bonus.
Q: What are you going to do about [insert concern]? What happens if [insert concern]?
I’m a planner. I think ahead. It’s not something I try to do, it’s something I naturally do. When I was four years old, I told my mother that I wanted to be a firefighter and a doctor, but that I wanted to live in an apartment. Why? Because if I was a firefighter and a doctor, then I wouldn’t have enough time to mow my lawn or have a family. I’ve always been a thinker, even if I wasn’t completely knowledgeable about the time commitments of doctors and firemen.
Amanda and I have a plan in place for a list of things. But some things, we don’t have the answers to. We look forward to starting pre-marital counseling and talking through a lot of the details we may have overlooked about money, expectations, family, etc.
Q: How are you going to pay for everything?
You know, I actually asked the same thing at the beginning. We’re both in college, paying for school, and SMU is expensive. But after you’re married, you and your spouse can file as independents, which = more financial aid! Yippee!
Now for the wedding: it’s amazing how a lot of things are “falling into place”. God has been good to us.
1) We were able to get a nice rate at Amanda’s home church which will be the wedding and reception spot.
2) Our wedding will be in the morning, so the reception will be a light, brunch style type reception and if we play our cards right, it can cost less than $3 a person!
3) I have a good friend who plans weddings. She had decorations and other things from a wedding she planned before and the colors ended up being the exact same colors as our wedding. We got it for free.
4) I have an older friend who never went on a trip with his ex wife. He said he’d give us the trip for our honeymoon if he still has the voucher. We’re keeping our fingers crossed on that. If it doesn’t work out, we’re considering doing a smaller scale honeymoon or just pushing the honeymoon out to our one year anniversary.
5) Amanda plans to rent her dress.
6) We’re keeping flowers at an absolute minimum. Those we have will probably be fake, to be honest.
7) I have a friend who owns a printing company, so we’re able to get wedding invitations and other things for a ridiculous deal.
8) We found out that the bridesmaids and groomsmen pay for their own dresses and tuxedos. Apparently this is common knowledge, but we certainly didn’t know this.
9) Our wedding/reception venue won’t allow alcohol. Even if it did, we wouldn’t be offering any.
10) My grandmother owned her own bakery. She’s a beast. Wedding cake. Check.
11) Having ice sculptures, golden forks, and your names on napkins is cool.. but for us, it’s an unnecessary expense. So.. nah.
12) Our school offers free pre-marital counseling! We just discovered this, so we’re excited for that. We’re still going to do pre-marital counseling at a church in Dallas like we originally planned. But a double dose can’t hurt!
13) Had a family friend reach out to us about being our wedding planner! She’s planned many, and when we had our first meeting with her, Amanda and I were VERY impressed. She made us a booklet with a timeline, checklist of things to do, etc. Free of charge! Out of the goodness of her heart!
We’re still looking at options for photography, a DJ, and a few other things. But overall, we plan for this to be an elegant, inexpensive, wedding that will celebrate a lovely union without breaking the bank.
Q: How does it feel?
It feels awesome! It didn’t hit me for a few days. Maybe 5 or 6. I remember it really hitting me 12 days after I proposed at 5 something in the morning. I was thinking “Wow.. I’m going to be getting married…ME.” But there’s no other person I’d rather be with than Amanda. No other person I’d rather go to battle with than her by my side. We’re excited for both the known and unknown, the expected and unexpected. Because regardless of what happens to us after June 21, 2014, we know that we’ll overcome together, with God’s strength, hand in hand, ’til death do us part.
To be honest, it can’t get here soon enough.