When I was a girl, I never (ever) thought about my future wedding. I never kept a scrapbook that outlined what kind of flowers I’d want or if I wanted a horse-drawn carriage or if the reception would be catered. I never picked out the kind of ring I’d want, and I never thought about bridal gowns. I just never thought about any of it. In hindsight, maybe I never thought a proposal would happen. Maybe I didn’t want to be married. (If you know me or have been reading my work for a while, you know that my family or origin was a challenge, and if what I saw with my parents indicated “marriage,” I wanted no part of it.) But the point: I never considered what the proposal, the engagement, or the wedding could be for me. I thought about other things. I thought about events that were possible.
Today, however, as a photographer, I have captured my share of wedding proposals. These proposals can be simple and intimate with a photographer there to capture the moment of surprise and acceptance so the engaged couple can share the moment with loved ones later. Other times, though, these events are much more elaborate and require planning. Family and friends are in on the surprise proposal and are often present for the big ask. The photographer (me) is there to capture that special moment but also, all the other ancillary moments as friends and family surround the newly engaged couple and offer their congratulations and best wishes. Proposal shoots are fun, happy events for the couple and their families and friends.
But back to me and my lack of engagement awareness. Over the past year, I have witnessed a half-dozen proposals that were beautiful and moving. I have found myself wondering, “why didn’t that happen to me?” This is surprising, as again, I never thought about it. These days, I think about it. I would have wanted someone to bend to one knee, ask me to marry him, and offer me a rock of a ring. I wouldn’t need elaborate—simple suits me fine—but I wanted the experience, nonetheless. I think I’m grieving a little that it never happened that way.
It’s a modern thing, no? A hundred years ago, there weren’t (I don’t believe) elaborate proposals with photographers and catered meals and whatever is in style at that moment. It was a simple exchange: a question and an answer.
A few days ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about “The Greatest Proposal Ever,” and it has allowed me to move beyond my pity-party mentality and think about something more significant.
This is her post:
The Greatest Proposal Ever
“The greatest love story one could ever read about is between God and humanity. While meditating on this great love story, that still small voice whispered; ‘some men drop to a knee, I laid on a cross.’ For God so loved the world that he wanted to spend eternity with us. So, He planned the mother of all proposals: He laid down his life, to make me and to make you His Bride. His great love for each of us caused Him to willingly lay his broken, beaten, and bloody body on a splintered, rugged cross — taking each arm and spreading them out, and echoing a personal message across time, regardless of race, education, financial status, “Will you marry me?”
The Bible says, “We love him, because He first loved us.” During this month that is known for LOVE may we take a moment and reflect on John 3:16 and the Greatest Love Story Ever written, God’s love story.
I loved my friend’s post. It spoke about my sadness of never having had that romantic proposal (the proposal that I never really knew I wanted). My friend reminded me that I have received the greatest proposal of all, and it was one that no man could ever top.
So, I have that, and I’m grateful.
1 thought on “Proposals”
So enjoyed reading this.. I have always admired your gifts. Maybe you didn’t think about it, because you do desire simple. So there was no exaggerated fantasy, you would know when the moment presented itself. It would be an intimate moment, no production. Therefore it needed no outline.
I love you my friend, always have and always will.