We’re getting married! Last month in Paris, my boyfriend turned into my fiancé. It still feels so surreal!
LeBraun and I are high school sweethearts and been together for so long (we celebrated 12 years in March). We’ve basically been living like a married couple for close to 10 years. We knew this day would come, and people have been constantly asking us “when are you getting married,” for at least the last 8 years, but when it happened it was the right time for us (n1).
LeBraun has always been a romantic, and his kind heart is filled with all the best things. But he nailed the proposal AND it was a complete surprise!
I never pressured LeBraun in to proposing or really ever set his expectations about what I was expecting. Mostly because I never really had a proposal plan in mind and knew that the questions he would ask would be beautiful and romantic and perfect no matter where or how it happened. Plus I get to marry my best friend!
We had been traveling with my family (& LeBraun) throughout Russia for the past three weeks, visiting my brother who has lived outside of Moscow for the past 2 years and decided to end the trip with a four day stay in Paris since our connection was through CDG.
LeBraun and I had already planned on staying an extra week; we were already there right, so why not!
It was almost the end of my family’s trip so we decided to get up early with my sister and take some photos around Paris before too many people were out. Something we have done on several previous trips so no red flags there.
We woke to rain + dark skies, the perfect weather for sleeping in. Every day had been go-go-go since we arrived in Moscow so we all were pretty beat. It would have been so easy to sleep in, but LeBraun reminded me that my sister, Tiana, wouldn’t get another chance as she was leaving with my family in two days.
So reluctantly I got up. Note: I am NOT, I repeat NOT, a morning person. I really hit my stride around 11 a.m. so trying to “beautify” myself at 7:30 a.m. was a essentially a nightmare.’
Looking back there are so many little hints that I completely missed leading up to the proposal.
For example, my sister offered to do my hair in the morning, which isn’t out of the ordinary as she is a hair stylist, but she was also trying to get ready as well as we we're on a tight timeline. I honestly just assumed she had been cringing at my lack of hair knowledge and technique everyday of the trip and couldn’t handle it anymore.
Fully dressed (in a white romper on a rainy day) I unenthusiastically got into the Uber with LeBraun and Tiana and headed to the Louvre.
Tiana offered to take photos of us first before my dress became see through from the rain :) We walked around the glass pyramids and I tried to get LeBraun to hold my hand, pose here, etc. He wasn’t cooperating and I was getting frustrated. (I later found out that he didn’t want to walk in front of me because the ring box was in his back pocket.)
We walked around the back side of the pyramids and there was a “X” taped on the ground to which upon spotting it said, “Oh an X, let’s go stand on it!” (HELLO BRAIN! ANYTHING HAPPENING IN THERE?)
There was a photographer semi-close to us but (early morning brain-no working) I assumed he was doing what we were doing, getting photos of the beautiful Louvre before it was overrun with tourists.
I turned back to LeBraun and he was down on one knee. I remember him saying my full name (yeah!) and then I basically blacked out!
I did end up saying “of course!” at some point and he placed a stunning ring on my finger.
Turns out the X was placed there by the photographer he had hired to capture the moment. The photographer instructed himself after and guided around the Louvre courtyards so some fun post-engagement photos.
Yes, I did make terrible crying faces for most of the photos.
LeBraun must have asked me about five times during the next hour if I was happy. I was! I seriously was so excited but was in a weird, surprised haze. It was all so surreal. I was basically “like, what?” the rest of the day.
Smiling from ear to ear we stopped to get macarons at a tea salon and took them back to our Airbnb to see my family. (Those sneaks had all known and pretended to be asleep while we were getting ready in the morning!)
They welcomed us back with champagne and we ate breakfast then Facetimed his family.
We spent the rest of the day exploring Montmartre and doing what we love to do while traveling—exploring new places, meeting new people, eating delicious food, and making memories together.
Well, now that we’re engaged we’re over the moon excited (and somewhat overwhelmed) with planning our wedding, which will be sometime next summer. We are thinking small destination wedding with a big reception in Nashville. Any advice and tips are greatly appreciated.
Thank you of all the well-wishes and congratulations we have received. We are so excited for this milestone in our relationship and know the next year will be packed with decisions, which we are terrible at making, but so much fun and we can’t wait to share our wedding planning process as we go.
Were you surprised?
1000%, I was completely oblivious till the second I saw him on his knee (check out that bended-knee form!).
Before our trip, I had been busy organizing the itinerary and booking tickets while LeBraun had been doubling-down at work since we would be traveling. He works remotely so it’s not unusual for him to meet up with his friend out of the house to get work done. Though I later found out he was meeting the jewelers, etc getting everything organized in addition to getting work done.
What was your favorite moment?
Saying “of course!” He’s the love of my life. I wish I could say what he said in the proposal or hearing him ask me to be his wife, but I blacked out and don’t know what he said. :)
One of the most fun parts was actually hearing all the behind-the-scene details from LeBraun. All his visits to the jewelers, when he asked my parents for their blessing, how he carried the ring all over Russia in his jacket pocket for the past three weeks and how nervous he was that I would accidentally find it, etc.
Visiting Paris has always been a dream of mine. The culture, the language, the history! Paris has such a rich and fascinating history. I also took French throughout school but unfortunately am no where near fluent (fingers crossed one day!), which I quickly found out upon arrival.
Plus now we have another reasons to always visit Paris!
Why the Louvre?
Everyone has seen the proposals on the Trocadero with the gorgeous backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, but LeBraun wanted something different. He chose the Louvre because it was a fantastic mix of old world and new world. The classic mix of architecture styles of the palace buildings juxtaposed with the modern glass and metal pyramids in the courtyard. I love the old world elements while LeBraun loves the contemporary additions, and how both compliment each other so well.
LeBraun stalked my Pinterest pages which I horrified to find out because it was INSANELY out of date, compiled in the height of my Pinterest obsession back in 2013. PSA: Ladies—if you have an engagement ring Pinterest board, keep it updated!
He was 90% set on a cushion cut diamond when he remembered that my favorite ring is a solitary oval opal. He asked the jewelers to see some oval diamonds, luckily their buyer had just found one at a gem show in Las Vegas and overnighted it to Nashville for him to see. He instantly knew it was the one! The cut, the colors, the clarity…you know all those C’s were right on. He said he knew it was perfect when he admired it in a loop and was blown away by its depth.
The final design—a 2 ct. oval cut diamond sparkler with a 4-prong head mount and white gold shank. Simple, timeless, and elegant. LeBraun didn’t want to take away from the beauty of the stone by choosing a detailed setting.
Any advice or tips?
I loved that the proposal was in the morning, even though I still feel like I wasn’t fully functioning, because we got to enjoy the state of a newly-engaged bliss the rest of the day. Overtime I felt the ring turn on my finger (it was a little too big) it made my heart swoon!
Since we had been together so long, he was close to both my parents and therefore sat down with both of them when he asked for their blessing. My parents really appreciated the gesture and got to celebrate together.
Lastly but most importantly, take time during the day to write down in detail the day and proposal from each of your points of view. Little moments will get lost as time goes by and the most accurate and detailed account will be given the day of. Addition: We re-read our stories on our anniversary this past year, so fun!
Photography by @iheartparisfr
Dress / Zara
Shoes / Aldo
Pants / yd.
Jacket / H&M
Shoes / Aldo
Shirt & Shirt / Nordstrom
n1. Ladies—be patient! I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in wedding jealousy when it seems like all of your friends are getting engaged, getting married, and settling down. But you know what? Maybe that’s not the right plan for you. LeBraun and I knew we would get married one day and didn’t feel the pressure to do it sooner because a government issued piece of paper didn’t have to dictate our life plan. We graduated, worked, saved and decided that moving abroad to Australia for a year was what we really where we saw our lives in 2016.
LeBraun also wanted to make sure he had a consistent job for a few years, be able to make money, and therefore purchase the ring of my dreams and be able to provide for me. That was a priority to him. A marriage is not just about the bride. It’s about the couple so it’s important for the soon-to-be-groom to feel comfortable (and un-pressured) for this lifelong commitment.
n2. We called family and a few friends when we got back to our apartment and without fail people will ask when your getting married, like 10 minutes after the proposal. Answer: We don’t know, we just got engaged 10 minutes ago! I mean I was still in a shock-and-awe haze for the next week at least. Just a funny quirk.
n3. Platinum vs white gold setting: There is no such thing as pure white gold. In order to get the silvery tone, yellow gold and a silver metal such as nickel or palladium is added. Over time (especially with washes) a white gold ring will develop a gold tint from silvery finish fading. Jewelers can re-dip the shank to maintain its silver finish. I’ve had my engagement ring for just over a year now and it has an obvious tinge to it now, and I limit it’s exposure whenever possible.
Platinum is naturally silver-white, but can be more expensive. The shine may fade but the color will remain. Just something I didn’t know and to consider when ring shopping.
xx The Newly-Engaged :)