Needless to say, when I knew she was The One (and trust me, if I told you when that was you'd call me crazy) I had a LOT of ideas floating around up there. But now, it was real. I was really going to do this. It had to be PERFECT. It wasn't just about me anymore. It may be the one shot I got for this moment, but it was also her's.
DISCLAIMER: Before you do anything pertaining to an engagement, make sure you and your partner are on the same page! There is nothing worse than spending months of planning and a LOT of money making the perfect moment and finding out that your partner isn't ready yet. For myself, the two of us had been talking about getting married for quite some time so I knew I was in the clear, but if you haven't had that talk you might want to broach that subject before you take the plunge.
I started the planning by looking at the timeline. I knew that over Spring Break of 2014 my family was planning a trip to Disney World. The two of us are complete Disney nerds (her number in my phone is Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and I think mine is Woody from Toy Story...our favorite characters) so this seemed like a pretty good starting point. How magical would that be? Taking a picture on Main Street in front of the castle, when suddenly she turns and I'm down on one knee, with our photographer capturing the whole thing! The timing was perfect too. I had about 10 months to put away some money every paycheck to afford the ring, and we were hoping to have purchased a house by then. She knew that I wanted to live together before we got engaged. This seemed like a perfect idea, so I moved forward with it.
Now, let me tell you a little something about my fiancee. She's a wedding person. She works at a wedding magazine (gee, I wonder which one...), "Friday is Brideday," her Pinterest page is covered in wedding ideas, you get the picture. She talks about them all the time. Most guys might get annoyed by this, but wait! It's a perfect opportunity to do some reconnaissance! Take notes! Listen for things that can help you plan the proposal. "Those flash mob videos are so intimidating, I would be so embarassed..." Those things are hints! Over the few months after I had decided to move forward with the Disney idea, I heard her mention a few times that a proposal that drew a lot of public attention would make her uncomfortable. I weighed this against my idea. It wasn't like I was standing on a float during a parade, or spelling her name in fireworks. I don't think the entire Main Street will shutdown when I get down on my knee, so I decided that I was still good to go.
Good to go that is, until it became clear that the Disney trip was not happening. Now what? It was time for the backup plan. Except I didn't have a backup plan. Back to the drawing board. In some of my other "reconnaissance" notes I remembered her mentioning reading about a couple that did an "engagement-moon" trip after getting engaged and how much she loved that idea. Wait a minute... We have a plan to go on vacation! In 3 weeks! 3 weeks? All I could think was, "SOMEONE HELP ME I HAVE 21 DAYS TO PLAN A PROPOSAL AND BUY A RING!"