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Getting Engaged

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      17.08.2011 21:56
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      My tale

      There are many milestones we pass on our journey through life. Birth, first steps, first day at school, first job, first car, engagement, marriage, children, retirement et al. Some are fixed whilst some come sooner for some than others and some do not come at all. I've recently hit one of the big milestones in life perhaps a tad later than most of my peers and I'd like to share it with you all. The milestone I recently reached and celebrated was becoming engaged to my lovely then boyfriend now finance M/ I am an old fashioned romantic at heart and certainly believe in marriage especially since my parents have been married 40 years this year. I must admit I have always dreamed of a marriage proposal and for ages felt it would never happen to me , as my last long term boyfriend did not believe in marriage. I know getting engaged and married is not for everyone Some think it is outdated and old fashioned and there are plenty of people who are happy as they are and do not want the expense or the hassle of a wedding just to prove their love. Its only a piece of paper I have heard many people say but deep down I know it has always been important to me as long as it was with the right person. I maybe an old romantic but I am not keen on clinches. Being whisked away to Paris to have your man propose at th top of the Eiffel Tower or perhaps being serenaded by a gondola might be nice but not entirely original. I would bracket them with a dozen rd roses, as being flashy but just a bit boring. To me a true romantic proposal should be one that is personal and mean something to the two of you. I would also say only do it if you both feel ready for it. There's no point in getting engaged just because everyone else is doing it or you have been together x number of years if your heart is not in it. "Just 20,000 people standing in a field? " M and I met two year ago on a dating website and we bonded over a love of Britpop and indie music. So when Pulp announced they were getting back together to play Hyde Park on July 3 2011 I bought tickets for us for M's Christmas present. The day in question arrived. It was a lovely sunny day and we were in high spirits looking forward to singing along to all our old Pulp favourites. The Hives really helped lift the mood with their bouncy songs and theatrical show As the day wore on we got into position for a fairly decent view of Pulp. Whilst waiting we marveled at Grace Jones managing to keep a hula hoop going throughout the whole of "Slave to the Rhythm" . By the time Pulp came on at around 9 o clock the frenzied anticipation really created a fantastic atmosphere. The band burst on stage with "Do You Remember the First Time" and from then on we were hooked by Jarvis's charisma, his witty observations between songs and the set of wall to wall hits. "Martin Said you were the Best" Halfway through the set the band played "Something Cchanged" which is a special song for us because it reminds us of when we first dating seriously. I remember just feeling so close to M whilst we danced and kissed in a little world of our own. It just felt so nice and so special. I almost wanted to cry with joy, as it was just such a magical song. "Something Changed " finished and Jarvis mentioned something about a couple getting engaged at their recent Barcelona gig before launching into "Disco 2000". We were dancing away when I thought I saw M fall. I was worried hoping he had not been pushed by the jostling crowd but the next thing I knew he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I was in shock about this happening even though we had discussed the possibility of getting engaged before. Once I realised what he was asking I said yes! The one thing that clearly stands out in my mind about it ll was the reaction of the crowd surrounding us. I There was a giddy atmosphere as everyone clambered around congratulating us with loads of hugs and hand shakes. The response from strangers was just so nice. I do not remember the rest of the concert in great detail. It was just a blur . We had lost our friends and although I was enjoying the gig I was feeling a bit sick and just wanted to get out and scream and shout. M had wanted to ask my dad for my hand in marriage before he proposed but it was such a spur of the moment thing he asked him when we phoned my parents , as soon as we could find a quiet place after the gig. I just remember going home in a daze wondering if it really happened, as it all felt so surreal. We decided to tell our nearest and dearest early on but keep it low key. M's brother was getting married mid August so felt it was not right to make a big deal straight away. We did not want to steal their thunder so agreed not to announce it to the world until after my future brother in law's wedding. You'll be wanting to know about the ring but I'll have to disappoint you, as I have not got one yet. It should be coming sooner or later even if I get it for Christmas. I do look at my wedding ring finger and feel likeIi have an invisible ring there. I am really enjoying being engaged and saying my fiance although I do forget and still occasionally say boyfriend! I'm not sure how long our engagement will be. At the moment we are in the early stages of bouncing ideas off each other and researching possible venues. We could marry in Reading or in Scotland we are not sure yet. We do need a bit of time to deal with a few important issues such as moving in together. This will also give us time to save up, as weddings do not come cheep. We are looking at autumn 2012 at the very earliest to anytime during the summer of 2013. We don't know yet and we still need to meet with my parents which we will do in October. Whatever happens I am so looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my gorgeous fiancé and becoming Mrs M. Update. I've now got a very beautiful 9 carat white gold ring with aa cluster of diamonds set in a very simple square

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        09.03.2010 11:51
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        Do it for the right reasons, not because everyone else is doing it...

        I am currently fascinated with everyone's obsession with getting engaged and thought I would share some of my stories with you. Names have been changed to preserve the identities of the innocent... As my 20's have now passed me by, I have settled down with a lovely guy and I must admit we are living in sin (oops). Anyway, having been engaged before with it all going horribly wrong, I am probably more hesitant than I was before to jump in...oh who am I kidding, I would love to get engaged to my current partner. But it's not something I obsess about and I have found that all of a sudden, all my girlfriends around me are now engaged, following a lengthy period of intense harassment towards their partners. Girlfriend number one... Having been with her hubby to be for around 8 years and living together for 3, GF1 as she shall be called was hurtling towards 30 and an early mid-life crisis. With no ring on her finger GF1 was becoming increasingly irritable when out with her friends. Firstly, she would throw in a little comment during conversations about wanting kids by the time she was 30, or how if "he" ever "got off his backside and proposes"....you get the idea. This would be followed by a sideways glance at her partner who was innocently standing with his pint oblivious to the scale of his girlfriend's frustration. This would only add fuel to the fire and 9 times out of 10 she would explode, storm of and screech "I'm never going to get married...he doesn't love me...whaaaahhhh....". Needless to say, he proposed on her 30th birthday and calm ensued, however sometimes you do see the veins in his neck pop out or panic in his eyes when wedding plans are discussed. Girlfriend number two... A singleton for as ling as I'd known her, GF2 had never shown any interest in settling down and starting a family. She was bit older than me, in her mid-30's, but acted and looked a lot younger. She was a successful career woman and the most independent woman I have ever encountered. Then Bam! Before you know it, she had met some guy on the number 44 bus and was engaged within 6 weeks. GF2 is now regularly having chats with GF1 and both take greater pleasure in telling me how I out of fashion since I'm not engaged and planning a wedding. Girlfriend number three... ...was more subtle than GF1 but pressured her partner just as much. She had just bought a lovely flat with her boyfriend of 5 years (join mortgage, commitment?) and even though she was only 22, she needed more security. Her first line of attach was to get the potential mother-in-law on side. She would drop hints about weddings and friends who were getting married and how lovely it all was, to which the mother-in-law in waiting inevitably would comment, in front of her son, how she would love to see that and eventually become a grandmother. Queue the son bolting out the door at Olympic speed. Then it was time to embarrass him in front of his friends, asking them to be best man and ushers if they ever get married. Thankfully her boyfriend was exceptionally laid back as I am sure most guys would have ran to the hills by now. The crunch point came on a family holiday for her birthday. She proclaimed that if he didn't propose to her on the beach at sunset on her birthday she was leaving him. A hollow threat and he knew it for the birthday came and went with no proposal and GF3 stayed by his side, albeit with red eyes from crying most of the day. His plan worked however and he popped the question in front of the whole family on the final night of the holiday with the most enormous diamond you could ever imagine. She was ecstatic, arrived home as high as a kite and they've been planning their wedding now for a year. Some of our engaged friends have been so for so long I can't even remember when they got engaged. "We've set a date! 24th May 2023!" I'll buy the gift now just in case inflation soars. Don't get me wrong, I am over the moon for them, but many of my female friends think getting engaged and ultimately married is their god given right. I don't. I think, like having a child, it's a blessing if it does happen and you should do it for all the right reasons. I hope one day my boyfriend and I will get engaged and if we do it'll be short with a wedding that suits us not anyone else. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy living in sin...

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          27.05.2009 23:37
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          Lucky me having TWO rings :)

          Just found this category through someone elses review and couldn't resist telling my happy story :) Bit of background....... I met my fiance when I was 16 and he was 27, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) said I was far too young, such an age gap would never work etc etc...but we knew from day one it was something special, yes I was young but I was not naive or stupid! We booked our first holiday together within 2 months of getting together (Feb 2003) and the holiday was for Lanzarote, somewhere neither of us had been before for 2 weeks in July. Sadly 3 weeks before we were due to jet off my beloved uncle lost his long fight with cancer, instantly I wanted to cancel and be there for my mum but she insisted Uncle Michael would not have wanted that and she had my dad and brother to look after her, his funeral was before we went so we got to say goodbye. So its July 2003, we've been together 6 months and off we jet...... Its not an overly romantic story I must admit but its full of all it needs to be; love. Having a drink or three for my uncle (naughty me, still only 16) we were drunkenly chatting and decided life was too short and people should do what they want, spur of the moment... Thought no more of this and finally fell into bed. In the morning Nick said he was just nipping to the supermarket for some food, I was sat at the edge of the pool dangling my feet in to stay cool when he returned. In his hand he had a ring box, by now everyone round the pool is looking...he just opened the box, no 'will you marry me?' or anything but I could see in his face what he meant, he held the ring out and I stupidly asked 'Which finger was it for?' (think I was just checking I hadn't got the wrong end of the stick lol) he grabbed my hand and put it on my ring finger :) The ring was a perfect fit, it was a silver band with a big pale green stone;the stone was Olivine (a pale green precious gem native to Lanzarote) he promised a 'better' ring when we got home but I thought it was incredibly special and meant a lot. Sadly when we got home I realised my hand was obviously a lot warmer when on holiday and the ring nearly fell off once in the cooler climes of England! I took it to a jewellers to have it made smaller but the silver used was Spanish silver and they could not resize it without adding more so the band was strong and it would need importing, the cost of this was huge so sadly I can now only wear this ring on a necklace or on my fatter fingers. Still its with me every day. I got my replacement, a 1/4 carat clear clarity diamond on a thick gold band a few weeks later. Another perfect ring from my perfect man. P.S- nobody was over enthusiastic for us when we got engaged either, saying it would never last. We've proved everyone wrong and are still going strong (after a few ups and downs) 6 and a half years later :) getting married next year.

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            27.02.2009 20:14
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            21st Birthday - 21 presents - 1 diamond ring

            My husband proposed to me on my 21st birthday. We had been together for 3 years and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We were renting a little 2 bed flat and the proposal took place there. When I left to go to work on the morning of my birthday there was a present in the car, when I opened the boot of my car to get my jacket out there was another present and this went on the whole day. When I got home there was dinner made (which hardly ever happened) and more presents. I was 21 that day and had had 20 little but meaningful presents by that point. We then sat down to watch Coronation Street as I used to be hooked on it. After it finished I found my husband on the floor on one knee and presented me with a ring box and said "Marry me!". He told me that he saved the best till last. I was gobsmacked and really didn't expect it. I said "Yes". The adreniline rush was just surreal and then we had to make all the phonecalls and send text messages. It was a brilliant 21st birthday and one I will never forget. We didn't have an engagement party as such just went for a couple of drinks with close friends the following night. We had a years engagement before tying the knot in March 2004.

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              30.12.2008 16:43
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              It's quite nice really.

              I have been engaged since August of this year. It was an odd sort of a proposal, inkeeping with the general tone of our relationship I suppose. It was a couple of days before my birthday and Boyfriend (I'd rather stick with descriptions rather than names in my reviews) and I were in our living room watching the X Factor as was usual for a Saturday night. In the ad break he said he wanted to show me a magic trick he had been practising - he hs been doing magic for years and is really rather good at it so this was quite a normal thing for him to do - and got out three metal cups and three small balls (standard kit for a cups and balls trick). He then did the usual procedure for a trick of this sort and as usual I was distracted from his sleight of hand at the appropriate moments. When he picked up the last cup there wasn't a red ball there but a small black box. I looked at it dumbfounded a moment or two and when he asked me to open it, I saw the ring I had pointed out to him in the window of a local jeweller. It was a strange proposal but for me it was just right. So that's the story of the proposal. I've found that being engaged is pretty good. We haven't set a date or made any firm plans as we want to wait until we have enough money to get married the way we want to. We are going to have the wedding in Las Vegas to minimize all the boring stuff like inviting people, registering for gifts and all that nonsense. It also means that the only people there are going to be people that this means a lot to which are the kind of people I want around on my wedding day. I think it has made our relationship better in the sense that arguments seem kind of trivial now as there isn't the fear that each time we argue we might split up but I wouldn't use this as a reason to get engaged! My advice is only get engaged if you want to marry the person who has proposed to you. I know this may sound obvious but I think a lot of people get engaged to reassure themselves that their relationship is OK when really it isn't. Hopefully our engagement will end with a lovely wedding but even if it all goes wrong, I'm glad I said yes.

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                07.09.2008 18:46
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                what would you buy

                What would or could you buy for an engagement party present. I am flabbergasted and in a state of panic.. Have you been to an engagement party or what did you recieve a present for your engagement party... I have been invited to a friends friends engagement party they are a young couple and she is 5 months pregnant. Did not want to turn up empty handed eating their food and drinking their drink.... i did ask my friend what she is buying and she has bought a bottle champs and a card, i have bought a card though what would you think is a nice gesture or present. i know there is no point in buying drinks as they have gone out and spent money on drinks!!! the party is on thursday as that's the new weekend so what do you think baby clothes (not sure if a girl or boy) kitchen appliances (they live in a flat) drink (nope) ummmmm please extend the list and then hopefully i can choose from this list. shame i can't award someone for the best answer like yahoo

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                  09.08.2008 22:53
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                  Everyone happy

                  I shall always rember the day I got engaged. Hubby and i had been together for years, had a daughter and were not having much luck on baby number two coming. Decided that we had been together long enough, dating nad living together (our daughter was 9 when we got married). We decided that we would get married. We went on a day trip to France with some friends and when the uero train got half way between England and france my hubby asked me to marry him. I said oh yes please. When we got back to england and went to collect our daughter from my mums he said to our daughter that we were going to get married and she was over the moon, but wanted to see daddy ask me so daddy got down on one knee in my mum's kitchen and asked me again in front of our daughter. we got married fairly quickly after that, just hubby, me, daughter, my mum and dad, hubby's dad and sister (mum had passed away a few years before). I had a lovely red dress as it was near christmas. Ten months later our son was born. Daughter was so pleased as she had wanted a baby brother or sister for years and nothing had happened. so getting engaged and married did the trick.

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                    06.05.2007 17:28
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                    If its right for you, it will happen.

                    Getting engaged is one of the happiest moments of your life and the fact that you are considering it must mean that the other person in your life is extremely special to you. It really doesn't matter if you have been together 6 weeks, 6 months or even 6 years, you will know if it is right. I had been with my boyfriend Mark for almost a year and since we met back in March last year we have faced a few raised eyebrows. Firstly because we met on the internet (yes there is a review somewhere!!) then because within 6 months we were living together, granted we are looking for our own home together but we are very fortunate that our parent's allow us to live together in their homes, something that some parents would just not permit. ~*~*Where does engagement come from?*~*~ This is the period in which fathers used to negotiate a price for his daughter as he would indeed be losing a working member of the family, but things changed and the role was reversed, fathers were then paying their son-in-laws to marry their daughter. Engagements are now less informal than they used to be and everyone is different so they way and reasons that they chose for getting engaged vary. No matter how long they might have known each other the announcement of engagement will still bring an element of shock and parents should always be the first to be told, traditionally it is the Bride's parents that are told, Mark insisted on seeking my father's permission but this is now a tradition that is rarely followed still. After the bride's parents the groom's parents should be told then followed by close family and friends and you should always be prepared for different and unpredictable reactions as family and friends also have to come to terms with your engagement as well as yourselves. ~*~*How do you know it is the right time?*~*~ Only you can answer this question, the only answer I could suggest is that you will know when the time is right when you both talk to each other about the idea of engagement and it is a mutual decision. I sometimes feel as if I have demanded getting engaged which isn't the case I decided to test the water with Mark to see if he was as committed to me as I was to him and he seemed relatively pleased that I had broken the ice and mentioned this, but then I went into overload and have to admit I have gone about it all the right way, the only surprise I will have is when it does happen as I have pretty much pestered Mark for all the answers to my questions and reluctantly he has provided them to me. This is one of my regrets I wish I had mentioned it then left it there. I know too much!! ~*~*Why do we get engaged?*~*~ There are many reasons for couples for getting engaged one is that women only want the ring which is true in most cases as it is a symbol of unity for another person and that you are committed to that person, granted you should not need a ring to prove this but all the same it is one of the most treasured possessions a woman can have before receiving her wedding ring. SO it has to be said that most people get engaged as they want it to symbolise there life long commitment to one another. I have often asked myself this question and also to Mark and we both agreed this is because we have met the person that we want to be with for the rest of our lifes each other. Some may say that at just under 12 months of knowing each other how can we possibly know that we want to spend our life together? Well we live together and know each other pretty well I went out with my last boyfriend for 18 months and knew less about him that I do with Mark and that is because it is a more mature relationship but only because we discuss with each other what we want and are not walking into the unknown, we both know what we want in our future and we both want to do that together. ~*~*Long or Short Engagements?*~*~ The length of engagement is determined by how long the couple needs to make plans for there forthcoming wedding, the majority of this is decided on by the finance factor as a wedding can be so costly and takes a lot of planning, the average engagement lasts around 12 months, however mine will be longer than that as we want to purchase our first home together before we get married so we will not be a married couple living at home, but this is looking more and more likely with raised living costs being announced on the news everyday! An engagement should be enjoyed as you spend time getting to know each other even more without the responsibilities of being married. ~*~*Will you marry me?*~* Of course I am not asking all my fellow dooyooers to marry me, but a few pointers to help you on your way if you are indeed in a similar situation to me and are ready to take the plunge. Always plan ahead, you need to think through and be sure that this is what you want to do. Choose your time carefully, make sure that you are both in a happy frame of mind not stressed or worried Don't secretly choose the ring unless you are a 100% sure that you know what they will like, remember they will have to wear this for a very long time, and they may wish to be with you when you make the decision, most couples now agree it is a joint decision to choose their ring. Mark wanted to be soley responsible for the choice of my engagement ring and I argued saying that I could want something completely different which I did I had always said I wanted white gold and ended up with yellow gold so it was a good idea to go "window shopping" with him. Don't propose in the bedroom, try to make it special and remember people will ask you about your proposal. ~*~*The Proposal*~*~ Before I went away I had an idea of the date I thought Mark was going to propse and that was the 20th March. As soon as we arrived on the holiday I was on edge whenever we got into a situation where I thought he might ask me I freaked out and ran a mile, but on one night he had planned the most romantic evening, he had booked us into a restaurant at Disney's Contempary Resort for a meal at about 9pm, as we were staying off site we had to get transport from Down Town Disney to the hotel but Mark hadn't thought about the buses before hand and we ended up on the wrong bus and it was quite cold so I was in a mood and we finally arrived at 10pm and the night was ruined. He had planned to take me up on the roof of the Contempary Resort to watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom but as we arrived to late he couldn't do this and the proposal fell on another opportunity.... The 2nd Attempt Mark then decided he would propose in Epcot and we were sipping Champagne in France in the World Showcase and he offered me another glass, again I freaked out as I knew here was where he wanted to do it and I encouraged him to carry on walking. Mark then decided he would do it later that evening during the fireworks but me being temperamental I went into a mood as he pulled me into a water fountain and then the moment was once again ruined by me! Mark had got so fed up of trying to do something special he just wanted to ask me so as we were leaving on the morning of the 20th March from our hotel, I turned around to see him sat on one knee and heard him say "Kelly, will you marry me?" I thought he was joking until I saw the ring and of course jumped on him and said yes and gave him a kiss, he had suprised me and that was what I wanted to have the suprise and have no idea. He does say that he wishes it would've been more special but he was fed up of things going wrong but I don't mind it was still special to me. We have now set a wedding date for 28th June 2008 and are planning the wedding so there will be a review coming up for that in the next few months leading up to the date, we had wished to have an earlier date but our venue "Peckforton Castle" was already booked up for the summer!! Thanks for reading and all your kind words xxx

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                      06.05.2007 16:50
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                      Collingwood21 gets engaged

                      In February of this year (just after Valentine’s Day as it happens), the Office for National Statistics announced that rates of marriages in England and Wales were at their lowest level since records began in 1862. Rates had fallen 10% in one year alone, the report went on to say, and the average age for a first marriage is currently 31.7 for men and 29.5 for women, four years older than in 1991. These figures showed that the long-term trend for decreasing numbers of marriages and for increasing age at first marriage was continuing at an escalating rate, as cohabitation becomes more and more socially acceptable. Women were also (naturally) largely to blame for this drop in the uptake of such a valued social institution, as we dare to have careers and become less financially dependent on our menfolk (frightfully inconsiderate of us, I know). Alongside this, we regularly hear of rocketing divorce rates and bitter battles over property, money and custody of children when marriages disintegrate. You could be forgiven for think that the UK is falling out of love with the idea of marriage. Yet, I can’t help but notice a second trend alongside these gloomy doom-mongering warnings of our slide into moral degradation: weddings seem to be more popular than at any time I can remember. Has anyone else noticed how weddings are everywhere you look at the moment? Aside all the “celebrity” weddings that are splashed across all available forms of media these days, there are TV programmes such as the BBC’s “Wedding Stories”, whole racks of magazines and countless websites devoted to the theme, and all sorts of new “wedding services” popping up. Weddings are terribly fashionable these days, darling. But if they are so fashionable, why are we apparently having fewer of them? Partly I think it is because of the trend to get married abroad (where there is no requirement to register your marriage upon return to the UK) and partly because of expectations of lavish nuptials (with the average cost of a wedding now at around a staggering £15K, it is going to take you until 30 to save up enough money!). However, I think a lot of this contradiction is because there is a greater emphasis now on weddings rather than marriage: weddings are getting so ostentatious, are such big business, that this is all we seem to see. And I think that, sadly, many people get hitched now just to get the wedding and don’t look much beyond the honeymoon. Personally, I have always seen things the other way around. My parents have been happily married for over 30 years and were an excellent model of the benefits of marriage for me as I was growing up. I like the idea of marriage: of standing up and saying you will stick with someone through good and bad, you will always be there for them, you will support and be supported by them. Although I am ambitious to have a good career, I don’t think that marriage need be a hindrance to it – rather it can be a source of support and security while I pursue my career. On the other hand, I have never been keen on weddings. I am not remotely girly, and I find anything involving dresses, flowers, jewellery and me wearing make-up to be a huge turn-off. I have actually had nightmares about wearing a wedding dress! The thought of having a wedding of my own has therefore been a vaguely scary rather than a happy prospect, but one that I never really thought I would have to face. Even when my Other Half drunkenly admitted that his thoughts had turned to marriage a couple of years ago, I just thought that it was the beer talking and he would never actually go through with it. All of that changed 7 days ago. The two of us had taken advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to have day trip to Bamburgh castle on the Northumberland coast. The setting of the castle is quite superb, overlooking a stretch of beautifully unspoilt coastline with views across to the Farne islands and Lindisfarne from the castle mount. After touring the castle, he persuaded me to take a walk along the beach with him before returning to our car. We soon came across a quite unexpected meadow area hidden amongst the towering sand dunes, secluded and private with the castle as our backdrop, and only the sounds of the sea and the local wildlife to be heard. As I settled down for a bit of relaxation in this peaceful spot, he wandered off into the dunes with his suspiciously large rucksack; admittedly the size of his bag had triggered my “he’s up to something” sensors, but I was still deeply surprised when he emerged dressed in a tuxedo and got down on one knee to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. Apparently I looked like a rabbit caught in headlights…but I said yes! How could I refuse such a good proposal? It was romantic, in a wonderful setting, the mood was right, and it was very personal. It was also unique – I doubt those dunes have witnessed anyone else removing their trousers for quite such a romantic endeavour! Take note any would-be proposers reading this: a proposal is something that you and your intended will remember for the rest of your lives, so going to the effort of doing something special will help create a memorable occasion for the both of you. Choose something that the person you are proposing to will appreciate – if you are intending to marry them, you should know them well enough to find something right. My Other Half (ooooh, fiancé now!) has been with me nearly 9 years and knew that (1) I find castles romantic, (2) I really wouldn’t like a public proposal, and (3) I love him in his dinner suit, so this was perfect for us. Knowing my eccentricities, he also immediately reassured me that we could have a small wedding and we could do whatever was needed for me to not find it scary. Tradition now dictated that a number of things should happen. Firstly, that my father’s permission for the marriage should be sought. This was all well and good in the days when a daughter was her father’s possession, but as I am 28 and have been living with my partner for 5 years already, we considered this to be a bit redundant. After all, he would probably be glad to be rid of me by now! Instead, we proceeded straight to phase two – informing our parents of our engagement. We were admittedly a little nervous of this, but I suppose given that we had been together for so long it was hardly unexpected, and they were all really happy for us. With that hurdle cleared, we were free to announce our engagement to the world. We chose not to place a formal announcement in the paper, but to spread the word informally through seeing friends, phone calls, emails (and reviews on dooyoo, of course). The traditional meeting of the parents was also not necessary; we had met each other’s parents and they had met each other years earlier. A lot of people were by now asking me about “the ring” – and I bet a lot of you are wondering why I haven’t mentioned it. After all, isn’t “the ring” the key part of the whole engagement process? It is “the ring” which seals the engagement, which symbolises the engagement of the woman to the world, and which gives the woman something to flaunt. Truth is, I didn’t want one. I don’t like them aesthetically, I am not girly enough to carry one off, and I don’t fell comfortable expecting my partner to buy me something so expensive when our budget is so tight. Someone I once worked with literally almost bankrupted himself buying a fancy engagement ring for his girlfriend, and I couldn’t bear to put that kind of pressure on my Other Half. Besides, engagement rings were bought largely to prove that the man could afford to support his prospective wife (he can’t), and to act as an insurance policy against him breaking the engagement (I would be better off selling his rare books on ebay in such an eventuality). And you know what? I am just as much engaged without a ring, and not buying one meant we could afford a nice meal out and a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Much better! This past week has been a surprising and happy one. I feel closer to my (lovely, patient, understanding) man than ever before, and am proud to be engaged to him. As we have lived together for so long, I’m sure there will be readers questioning the point of getting engaged. Surely it won’t change anything? Well, I think taking this momentous step will offer something extra for our relationship, as we will be each other’s family rather than just people who live together. I am very glad to live in a society that permits us to test our relationship by living together before committing the rest of our lives to each other; I know that living together first doesn’t work for or isn’t the choice of many couples, but it has been great for us and I find it reassuring. I can get engaged knowing it is to someone I can live with as well as be friends with, and past experience has taught me that enjoying someone’s company doesn’t necessarily mean that living under the same roof as them will work. I would like to recommend getting engaged, but what matters is that it is to the right person at the right time. Getting engaged because of family/peer pressure, because you have “been together ages”, because you want a wedding, or because you are afraid of losing someone is not a good idea. Becoming engaged for the right reasons can be one of the happiest and most romantic times of your life, however, and I hope that many other dooyooers find it the case. (P.S. I would love to hear about any other good/bad/romantic/funny proposal stories dooyooers have!)

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                        03.04.2007 08:55
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                        Buy her a ring to prove your love

                        Do people still get engaged these days? Yes, of course they do, a friend of mine has just announced her engagement but she is not exactly in the first flush of young love - she got engaged on her 40th birthday! But it does seem to me that not many young people announce their engagement these days - years ago the newspaper columns would be full each week of such announcements, telling the world of your intention to get married. ROMANCE Ah for the old romantic days when to get engaged meant you were betrothed (what an old fashioned word!) to your true love and would soon be married. The suitor was supposed to get down on one knee and ask for your hand in marriage, after first of all asking your father for permission to marry his daughter. But is it like that in real life? How many of us can honestly say our beloved got down on one knee? I can't! My late husband proposed to me as we were walking back from the pub one lunchtime with work colleagues. One of the girls had got a new dress ring and I had been trying it on and on the walk back to the office my boyfriend said "Would you like an engagement ring of your own?" Of course I was delighted that our romance was being made official and that night he asked my father for permission to marry me - a bit daft considering I was 23 and my father was probably glad to get rid of me!!! CHOOSING THE RING The following day was a Saturday and we set off to choose the ring. He had already made up his mind that it had to be from the most prestigious jewellers in town. We looked in the window and I had always thought I would like a diamond solitaire for an engagement ring, but there on one of the pads was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen - but the price tag was extortionate!!! Amazingly the same ring seemed to jump out at my soon to be fiance and he asked if I liked it. I said "Yes, but have you seen the price!" Lovely man that he was, he said I was worth every penny so off we went into the jewellers. POSH SHOP It was a very posh shop and we were shown to a table in an alcove and asked to see the tray of rings. I did try on a couple of others but there was no doubt about it, the ring that had jumped out at both of us was THE one! It was carefully packed into a velvet lined box and then placed in a posh carrier bag and my fiance went to pay. Only there was a problem - he realised he had left his cheque book in the car!!!! This was in the days before bank cards so it was somewhat embarrassing!!!! Unruffled, he just stated he would be back in a few minutes and rushed off to the car, leaving me sitting there feeling rather silly and hoping the snooty assistants would not think I had been dumped because he couldn't afford the ring!!!!! Never mind, it was all sorted out and off we went, the carrier bag dangling on my arm - I was not going to wear the ring just yet. CELEBRATION Should we go out to lunch now, my fiance asked, so he could put the ring on my finger in style. But I wanted to get home and flash my diamonds at the family so off we went. How disappointing!!!! My parents were out shopping and my sister and brother were also out, so there was nobody around. Nevertheless he put the ring on my finger and we had a glass of champagne and sat down to wait for everyone to arrive home. SURPRISE Our engagement came as a surprise to a lot of our friends, but particularly to colleagues when we both returned to work on the Monday morning. We had tried very hard to keep our romance low key and it seemed we had succeeded as when I proudly showed off my sparkling diamonds to the girls in the office, some of them asked "Well who have you got engaged to?" Who says office romances are really hot gossip!!! Ours certainly took a few by surprise, which all added to our excitement. PLANNING So now we were engaged, we received lots of lovely cards and gifts and decided on a wedding six months' ahead. It was all very exciting and romantic, planning our future together. MISSING OUT I do think these days young people miss out by not doing things in the order that we used to do - get engaged, get married, move in together and have kids. I know to some people an engagement ring is an unnecessary expense, but to me it is a sign of commitment and I think any girl deserves this from a man if he truly loves her. These days it seems an engagement ring is bought at any time, not as a declaration to the world that you are intending to spend the rest of your lives together. OLD FASHIONED Okay, I know a lot of you will think I am just an old fashioned romantic, but I still say getting engaged is a wonderful way to show how much you love each other and the ring a symbol of your love. So come on girls, revive the romance and insist on a sparkling ring if he wants to prove his love to you and wear it with pride, declaring your love for him. It doesn't have to be an expensive ring - you can get some lovely diamonique from the QVC shopping channel and who will know but you? Wearing that ring on the third finger of your left hand will tell the world that you are "spoken for" and that someone loves you enough to want everyone to know. POSTCRIPT - after reading some of your comments on this review, just thought I should add that if there is a sudden rush of engagements being announced by Dooyooers, do be sure to let us all know!!!!

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