There is nothing like those first few minutes/hours/days of being engaged, when—even if you’ve been together for years—everything immediately feels indescribably (and wonderfully!) different. One second Sam was my longtime boyfriend, and the next he was my future husband.
As a wedding magazine editor, it was hard for my brain to stop itself from jumping right into planning mode, but I resisted and instead focused all of my energy on settling into my new “status”: fiancée. Here's what we did—and didn't do—following our engagement:
We didn’t call anyone . . . at first. As excited as we were to share the big news with our families, Sam and I enjoyed every single second of living in our own little bubble. After some crying, laughing, and photo taking, we continued our hike (if you read my engagement story, you know we were on a mountain in Colorado when he proposed), reveling in the fact that we were the only people in the world who knew we were engaged. I’ll remember those special moments between the two of us for the rest of my life.
We told the families. I had always envisioned my future husband asking my dad’s permission to marry me. Sam pulled that off flawlessly, surprising my parents and siblings with his plans days before we left for our trip. And even though they—and his parents—already knew, it didn’t make calling them from our hotel an hour or two after the proposal any less exciting. It was so fun to hear about Sam’s proposal preparations from their perspective—like how Sam’s face lit up when he found the perfect ring (less than a week before the vacation, I might add!), how my sister screamed with excitement (and dropped my ring—thanks, Reade!) when Sam told my family he was going to propose, or how Sam’s sister, Rachel, sent him a picture of the exact spot—circled in red—where he should pop the question. I feel like they were a part of making that day the best of my life, and it means the world to me knowing everyone has our backs as we take this next step in our relationship.
We celebrated. Sam could not have planned the timing of the proposal any better, because right after our hike, we were all set to check in to our hotel. Even though I knew where we were staying, as I was the one who made the travel plans, the fact that we had just gotten engaged made everything at The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek that much sweeter and more romantic. The following evening, we made a reservation at Elway’s, a steakhouse in Vail owned by one of Sam’s favorite Denver Broncos quarterbacks, John Elway. Sam’s parents called the restaurant ahead of time and told the staff we just got engaged, and even had a bottle of Champagne delivered to the table. Knowing our wedding day—and all the parties leading up to it—will be shared with friends and family, it was so special to be able to celebrate just us. Plus, after all of Sam's hard work on the proposal, he deserved to be wined and dined, too!
I mean, come on! Look at the view from our hotel.
We shared our news with the rest of the world. When we broke the news to our families, we told them to keep quiet—especially on social media. I knew we’d post about our engagement on Facebook and Instagram eventually, but in those first blissful days, we weren’t ready to let everyone in on our secret. In fact, we waited five days, until we were home from vacation, to officially update that relationship status to “engaged.” That gave us some time to absorb the wonderful commitment we had just made to each other, tell the grandparents and other extended relatives who would be hurt if they found out via a status update, and enjoy the remainder of our vacation—without checking our phones constantly—as a soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs.
No matter how the proposal goes down, I think it’s so important for all brides-to-be to soak up every moment. Go ahead and take a ton of pictures of that new sparkler, pick up mementos from the spot where it happened (I even saved a rock from the mountain we were on), and call each other “fiancé/e” every chance you get. It’s such a special time. Enjoy it—shamelessly!