FAQs: Feeling 21… and Engaged

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.


50 thoughts on “FAQs: Feeling 21… and Engaged

  1. Wow. I am super excited for you and Amanda. I love the example that you all are setting, and impacting so many people. Praying that God blessed these next few months leading up to the wedding. You guys are awesome!

  2. Love this! Society has this notion that you must get all of your fun out before ‘settling down’. For me and Aj, marriage is a part of the fun! We want to enjoy our youth with each other, but also in a way that pleases The Lord. The good life includes the married life. God is pleased with you both. And AJ will continue to keep you two lifted in prayer!

      • Actually, “me and Aj” is correct English!

        Anyway, my wife and I got married when I was 19 and she was 22; we’ve been married 5 years now. We got through the college thing, working part time thing, wedding thing, living together thing, had a child thing, etc etc. You’ll never stop learning about each other and your love for each other will never be as strong as it is tomorrow. Marriage is hard work but it’s definitely worth it!

        Congrats again, Michael.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post. I love how you answered each questions in a very simple but clear way. I must say you both are brave for taking such a bold step at a young age, I am even more impressed by how prepared you seem (even more prepared than people who get married later), you got most of the big stuff covered. I pray your marriage and wedding is as beautiful as you both are.

  4. Hey Michael I came across your post under wedding tags and I know a few wedding photographers in your area that would offer you and your fiance a pretty reasonable deal! Let me know if your interested and I can put you in contact with them, maybe even an engagement shoot soon! Best of luck and congrats (:

  5. I love you and Amanda! ya’ll are sooo cute! Beside that, you both are so wise! It’s truely amazing to see such young people talking about Chris-Centered relationship but even your video about the “the thinker and the feeler” is very good. I thank God for using Amanda and you! U 2 really make it worth it to wait on the one, and If he comes by, to focus on God and purity in the relationship! Congrats guys, I pray God bless ya’ll abundantly! Keep doing what you do!

    Love, Lesley

  6. I love this! So exciting. I go to Taylor University, in Indiana, and I totally understand what it’s like to have people telling you to get married, but not until you graduate. So much hype. But anyway, I’m a wedding photographer…. and I’m pretty good, but I keep my prices low enough for college students like us to afford. 🙂 I’ve shot nine weddings in the past year and a half. Here’s my page, feel free to message me if you’re still looking! I think you guys would be fun to work with. https://www.facebook.com/RachelLesliePhotography

  7. Your story is truly inspiring, and reminds me of me and my husbands marriage, I’m 20 and he is 18, we have basically known each other/courted for about 5 years before he decided to ask for my hand in marriage, it’s frightening, but when God is the center of everything, everything will fall in place! I am actually a photographer in the DFW area, so if you need photos taken of your wedding, contact me! here is my website and you can also check out my blog! and also my husbands ministry!
    Blog: http://taylorshaquille.blogspot.com/
    Prophet Simon Ministries: https://www.facebook.com/prophetsimon

  8. I’m so happy and proud that someone of our generation can write and portray himself in such a positive and Godly light. Found this post on Facebook and i’m just amazed. Reading this and you’re past posts os encouraging for me in my faith as a woman in the same stage of life as you…in terms of age lol (20)! Glad that there are still good men in our world who value faith and find it as an attractive attribute! Your future wife-to-be is very lucky to have you. Congrats on your engagement and wish you both a wonderful marriage. I can tell y’all will have a strong connection because the foundation is sturdy and built on good soil!

  9. It’s refreshing to see other couples similar to myself and my husband. He turned 21 in January, and I will be 19 in March. We got married last July and it was the best decision I ever made. We had been dating for over a year and I knew he was the only person I wanted to spend my life with. He was the first guy to truly respect me and show me how to respect myself. My family loves him, my friends consider him to be a brother. He has completely turned my life around for the better. I can’t wait to read more stories about the engagement and hopefully see pictures of the wedding! Good luck you two!
    P.S. Being married to the person you know God made for you is the most amazing feeling ever!

  10. I completely understand as well. My husband and I got married at 20 and 20; I just barely made the cut off as my birthday was only a few days before! (Nice choice on the date; side note, depending on your college’s financial aid cut off, you may need written permission to turn it in after date X and before June 30th as we also got married on the 21st of June, albeit, last year.) People stop fussing about getting married in college AFTER you’ve done it. That said, the look after I mention “my husband” or he mentions “[his] wife”, is priceless. I look like I’m about 16 so it’s pretty funny to watch people freak out.You all will figure things out. It may not be easy but life isn’t easy; better to get used to living cheaply in a budget now than later. I honestly believe it’s easier to get used to having nothing and then gaining money and “stuff” because if you lose it all later, your world doesn’t collapse. Why? You were together and married before the “stuff”; you can be married and together after it goes away. We’re living in a camper…a large, nice camper, but it’s still a camper. Yeah, I miss a few things (washer, dryer, dishwasher, regular sized sink, etc…) but it’s fine. It’s cheap, we save money, it’s warm and it’s plenty of space for two people. You’ll figure it out.

  11. Amazing! Super excited for you both & I’m looking forward to seeing photos!
    Wishing you and Amanda all the best throughout this journey & marriage as well.
    I recently came across your blog and it has truly been a blessing… please continue to write, you have a host of individuals cheering you and your lovely fiancée on!

  12. To write so wise yet still young in age is awesome. May you both be blessed. If you ever need some additional wisdom I suggest you visit our pastor site: http://www.cbfc.org check out out Guarding the truth until He comes……

  13. I have to put up some advice…you two have a story very similar to my husband & myself. We started dating Jan. 2012, engaged Dec. 2012 and wedded Jun. 2013. It’s been a task, we weren’t as fortune with all the FREE stuff and the shady photographer but we found great deals with everything else. Your fiancé can look on craig’s list for a dress and the bride’s maids beautiful dressed on e-Bay, flowers, Sam’s Club & AC Moore’s. Since you’re still in college there has to be a student needing an event for a final project and a DJ, ask around (someone in the family knows someone who can spin a record you’d fall in love with). Hope this helps. Forever wedding bliss! 🙂

  14. When did you know you were in love with Amanda?

    And your blogs on YouTube have really made me rethink my views on a relationship and possibly the reason why I can’t seem to be in one. Thank you 🙂

  15. WOW!! All this information is awesome to know. I am 20 years and I never even had a bf so this is almost overwhelming to me. I look forward to more of all this and lolz. I wish you and Amanda all the best in y’all future. God bless! Keep shining for Christ 😀

  16. So beautiful. She’s a lucky duck. You sound like a very sweet and thoughtful person to be with 🙂 Congratulations to you both. I want a strong love like yours one day.

  17. Reading this, all I could say was GLORY!
    God is so faithful.
    I read your other blog “why i don’t love my fiance” and I thank God that He is/ will be the center of your marriage. Wish you guys the best.
    PS pray for your wife EVERY SINGLE DAY as you lead her lovingly in the way that Christ has called you to.

  18. Amazing writeup, wish you guys the best.It good when you comw across people with the mind of chrit in this our world full of crisis.im 16 and im not planning a relationship or marriage in the nearest future but I’m planning is to get to know CHrist and how he works deeply and to make a positive change in the lives of many and your blog is giving me little insights.GOd bless you and your wife :).keep holding on.P.S marriage is not the easiest of commitment be PATIENT! It gets better with time.

  19. Amazing and inspiring! Congrats to you and your fiance and this union is already blessed and ordained by God just by the awesome way things are falling into place with getting things together on a student’s dime. God bless and pray that nothing separates you guys.

  20. Wow, Michael, sounds like you have done more planning for your wedding @ 21 than a lot of folks do @ 35! The age of the mind matters more to me than the age of the body!

  21. Congratulations, man! I came to your blog because of your most recent post, but I’m staying to hear more about your life, engagement, relationship, and everything else. 🙂 Good providence to you both, and I look forward to hearing more from you! Getting married in college is the bomb.com in my personal opinion (my man and I got married at 21, and I don’t regret ANYTHING about it). I hope your adventure is as awesome as ours has been. And the extra financial aid was DEFINITELY a blessing for us, haha. 🙂 (If you’re interested, I also blog about tips for planning a wedding while you’re in college. :D)

  22. Really awesome!!!thank you for setting a good example for young people. The best part of it and the most crucial is that God is and will continue to be the center of your lives. Happy for you guys….congratulations:)

  23. HmMmm Ur love is inspiring, i wish a love like urs can come to me. Anywayz, i’m not in a rush, when it comes i’ll grab it. Amanda is lucky to have u and vice versa. Thumbs up!

  24. I am so excited for you!
    My husband and I were married almost 18 months ago when I was 19 and he was 23. We received so many of the same questions. “How will you do it? What if you get pregnant? what about finances? How will you be able to finish school?Where will you live?”

    But it’s so amazing the way that the Lord has continuously provided and led us. In taking this step of obedience,we have learned so much about the Lord’s faithfulness. If you guys would like to be connected with another young married couple, please do hit us up! we’ve been trying to build a network.

    Excited for your wedding and future together!

  25. Reblogged this on princesslabee's Blog and commented:
    Seriously I love their relationship. I have watched their Youtube videos. Relationships should be with purpose! I love it when he says there is no other person he’d be with other than Amanda’ and that my friend is a sign of a guy who knows what he wants. There’s no confusion there. I wish them all the best and their future endevours. So YeeY to relationships with purpose!

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