Despite my life-long desire to consume as much wedding content as humanly possible (shoutout to A Wedding Story on TLC, the true OG of wedding reality shows), writing about my wedding and wedding planning always felt strange to me. Does anyone really want to know about what flowers I want? Or how many bridesmaids I’m having? The music? The apps I use to keep it all organized? As someone who shares pretty much every aspect of my life on the internet, for some reason sharing about my wedding just felt… different.
I think I’ve figured out why now, though. It’s because there is something about weddings that welcomes judgment — or at least makes people think it does. Just get engaged and let me know how quickly someone questions your choice of ring or where you got engaged or how much or little you knew about the proposal beforehand. I never want to make anyone feel that by sharing about my wedding I’m somehow implying that I am doing it the right way and someone else isn’t. That is my worst nightmare. But as someone who has found themselves turning to every online resource I could find in the midst of wedding planning, I thought maybe I could provide some insight to future brides. But, hey, maybe it won’t. Maybe you don’t need to read any of this at all but you, like me, can’t seem to get enough of everything weddings. You wish you could quit Randy Fenoli and looking at the #BohoBride hashtag on Instagram every night, but you can’t. So here you are. And here I am. And from now on you can count on this blog to bring you everything you need to know so far about my engagement, wedding, and what’s to come in the planning process. First up: the engagement.
PS: Randy Fenoli, if you’re reading, please know that you’re a star and should never change.
Jake and I got engaged on our rooftop deck in the Upper East Side in September 2018. I was coming back from seeing a movie after work with a friend (the movie was The Nun, for the record, and it was truly the worst film I have ever seen… seriously, go watch it and report back), and Jake had been texting me on my way home about being starving and wanting to get dinner. Specifically he wanted to go to this place called Peng’s Noodle Folk, which is delicious and now thinking about it makes me want their dumplings… so, go eat there, too… after you see The Nun.
I got home and there was a single rose and a polaroid of our dog Winnie on the dining table. In retrospect, this is definitely a scene from the beginning of a horror film, but at the time I just assumed Jake had gotten the rose from a guy selling them near the subway or something and was like, “Aw, cute.” Then I heard Jake yelling from the deck, “Come look at the new plant I bought!” This, also, seemed completely normal to me as we have bought our fair share of bodega plants (and promptly killed many of them) over the years. Then I walked upstairs and Jake was wearing a blazer. To be clear: Peng’s Noodle Folk is not a place where you wear blazers. I was suspicious.
When I walked into the deck and saw flowers, candles, twinkle lights, and photos of us everywhere, I knew what was up. We were not going to Peng’s Noodle Folk. I was a little disappointed. Just kidding (but seriously, the dumplings are good). Now, I know what you’re wondering: What kind of dumplings do they sell at Peng’s? OK, I’ll stop. Real question you’re wondering: Was I surprised? So I’ll be honest. Jake and I designed my engagement ring together, which is exactly what I wanted, so I knew the proposal was near. But I didn’t expect the proposal to be that night. I was blinded by The Nun and the promise of Peng’s Noodle Folk.
Seriously speaking, though, it was perfect. Jake was incredibly nervous, which I found adorable and hilarious because I knew we were getting engaged, had designed the ring, owned a dog with him, and had been dating him for more than five years. He had set up a GoPro to get photos and a ring light so it was bright enough for photos outside after, and we spent the next few hours texting and calling all the important people. It was all exactly the way I had wanted it — just us, at home, with Winnie. We knew we were leaving New York soon, and it will always be special to me that we got engaged on that roof deck that we had so many good times on as a little family of three (of course I am one of those people who considers their dog a family member — I’m not a monster). I still do wonder often, though, if anyone in the 20-story apartment building that loomed over our deck saw the whole thing happen, though. Jake setting up. Me getting there. The proposal. Winnie peeing next to us shortly after I said yes (true story). The whole beautiful thing.
So did we go out and celebrate after? Hit the town for drinks? Actually go to Peng’s in the end? I am happy to report we opened a bottle of champagne at home and ordered chicken fingers to end the evening. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Interested in hearing more engagement and wedding stuff? There’s more good stuff coming, don’t worry. Next up: Everything you’ve (n)ever needed to know about planning. If you’re interested in how I stay organized, why I chose a long engagement, and what apps I use to keep everything straight… stay tuned.