On Being Engaged - How He Asked
I remember the first time I assisted a local photographer at a wedding he was shooting near Plymouth, UK. I though it was an amazing opportunity to get some experience as an event photographer and to earn some extra cash being “poor” student I was at the time.
I must admit I never really was into weddings. It wasn’t my dream to meet prince charming and walk down the aisle in big fluffy dress. I never fantasised about how my wedding would look like… and never thought much about being engaged.
Since that first assisting gig in Plymouth back in 2008, at quite traditional wedding with all the formal family photography etiquettes, rules and regulations, I felt weddings are way too formal for my liking. I am not very traditional or religious. I question everything and I think I’m always right. Any type of establishment freaks me out.
But from that moment in Plymouth, weddings and engagements became my full time job and I must have shot, assisted and attended more than 300 weddings for the past 10 years…
And as beautiful, memorable or fantastic they were it never made me wanna get hitched.
So last week, on the 28th of July 2016, me and my boyfriend celebrated our 10th anniversary. We celebrated the big 10 by announcing our engagement to the world. Family, friends and Facebook of course...
You probably want to know how he “did it”… and whats next… so let me tell you!
We went to Warsaw for two weeks to shoot and chill, eat and play. I absolutely love Warsaw. It’s a city that gets me, I feel deeply connected with WAWA and I get quite emotional when I’m there. It makes think. It makes me laugh. It makes me human again. It’s like a reality check in a very positive way.
We did pretty much everything that good tourist do. We visited galleries and museums, we walked around Lazienki Park million times feeding squirrels, watching peacocks, listening to Chopin and Mozart. We hanged out by the river, ate as much as we possibly could (there is always a room for Lukulus “Napoleonka” or a doughnut - way too good to say no to it! Or quick cream cakes at Slodki OMG! Take me back!)
We went to the summer palace of the King Jan III Sobieski in Wilanow, a place I remember from my childhood, when I was running around stunning gardens looking for my favourite sculptures and statues, imagining fairies flying over the lake. Warsaw really takes me back. Way back!
We decided to hire little rowing boat on the lake in Wilanow. And in the middle of the lake, when the sun was warm, when ducks were busy cleaning their feathers, when other couples floating on the lake exchanged kisses, Matias pulled out my Mothers engagement ring and said:
As you can imagine I’m not very romantic. I’m a crazed perfectionist, control freak who likes things my way or no way.
I was like… what? He is just being silly. I thought he is being sarcastic because we are on a rowing boat in the middle of a bloody lake… And this is as cheesy as it gets right?
And then I saw the ring.
I love this ring so much. It reminds me of a time when my Father loved my Mother. Something I have never witnessed myself. Somehow it’s a symbol of innocence and purity for me. The only evidence of their love apart from me and my brother. Something that was real very long time ago. Something precious. And perhaps it reminds me of my roots and where I came from.
It’s only small and very delicate. Not even sure whether or not the diamond is real (Mom says yes).
Anyway. I said: What! You’re asking to marry me?
And it was there and then I thought wow this guy really loves me! After 10 years together, working together, sleeping together, traveling together, house and dogs together he still wants more. More of me!
As much as I’m not romantic it made me feel warm inside.
I look at the ring now on my finger and I feel like there is so much more out there for both of us.
And it’s simply wonderful seeing Matias grow, witnessing his passions, his dreams, seeing him eat (making sweet noises), seeing how he loves animals and nature the way I do. It’s really fun to grow alongside someone who can always pick you up, who always has patience and time for you, who thinks you are beautiful and funny. Someone who sees good in you and rolls with the bad.
Who pushes you to be better, who pushes you to reach your goals.
I feel super special today. And I kind of secretly love calling him my fiancee. I think it sounds sexy.
After all the weddings and engagement shoots I have witnessed and photographed I finally know how it feels. And I wish everyone in the whole wide world to feel this way, even for a moment.
Feeling of belonging, trust and acceptance.
Pure partnership and living together not for one another but with one another. Respect and communication. And I guess there is no need for words, or rings or papers when you really feel this way. Because you simply know. You know this is right and it’s real. Hope it will last forever.
Wedding plans??? Well not quite yet! I’m slowly getting my head around the ring on my finger.
I think it will be very secret, very quiet, fun elopement… Palau, Tulum, Exhuma or somewhere far far away with lots of sharks… to keep Matias happy. Sending all you lovers out there high five! Let’s keep it going…
Wedding or no wedding, engagement or not, eloping or family gathering - being in a relationship that is strong and rooted is an exception nowadays. So let’s cherish it while it’s real.