Advertise Here

How—and Why—I Proposed to My Boyfriend

SHUTTERSTOCK
Harmony Sage Lawrence and her fiancé, Sean Parker (not to be confused with the Facebook entrepreneur of the same name), both of whom are 27, met in their freshman year of college. After seven years together, they knew it was time to take things to the next level. The only question was how. Instead of following the traditional man-popping-the-question script, they decided to think outside the box. Here, Harmony explains why she decided to propose—and what she wants any naysayers to know

Sean and I met through friends in 2006, during our first semester at The Evergreen State College in Washington, and the first time we hung out it was actually pretty traumatic.
We were supposed to go on a night walk with a mutual friend on the huge chunk of property we lived on at college. The friend who was going to go with us bailed, so Sean and I ended up going together even though we didn't know each other very well. Turns out, we didn’t know the woods very well, either, because we got lost for about an hour and a half before we finally found the trail again, got back on it, and ended up in a meadow. We were trying to figure out how the trail led out of the meadow when we started hearing this animal screaming. We managed to find where the trail picked up and were heading out with this animal still screaming at us, but we didn't know what it was. A couple years later, we learned from talking to friends with similar experiences that it was probably a cougar following us out of the woods. That scary night was our first time really hanging out, and we were officially together by the beginning of January 2007.
After we'd been dating for about a year, Sean and I started talking about the future of our relationship. We'd discuss whether we were both interested in sticking it out together, and we were. By year three, things were pretty solid and we knew we'd eventually get married. We'd felt like best friends from the start of our relationship, so we were very open with each other about how we saw it playing out.
Our communication style is all about honesty, even when we fight. I can get really anxious, especially during travel, and Sean can get stressed from work a little more quickly than me. When either of us lashes out because of that, we always initiate a conversation afterward like, "I'm sorry, I was feeling really..." We discuss it, and every conversation ends with "I love you." Our communication is built upon mutual respect.
As our relationship evolved, we started to talk more about marriage plans and got into discussing whether we would have a formal engagement. Even if the actual proposal was going to be a surprise, we thought it was important to discuss specifics, like whether we'd each feel comfortable with a public proposal and who should do the asking. Around fall or winter of 2013, Sean was like, "What if you proposed to me?" I wasn't surprised when he suggested it. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do proposal-wise, and we both figured I could come up with something special. We saw it as a fun way to mix it up. I wanted him to forget about it a bit, so I waited until February 2, 2014.
To surprise Sean, I made the proposal seem like something we would normally be doing, which is shooting a dress I'd made in an outdoors location. I do photography, retouching, and clothing design, and Sean does photography and filmmaking, so it made sense. I also wanted to set the proposal up so he would catch it on video because I knew it would be important to him to share the moment with friends and family. I wore this avant-garde dress I made that looks like rose petals. Way back in college I'd started getting really into costumes and avant-garde dresses, and I've been making them for 12 years. So much of that time has been with Sean, so I knew it had to be an aspect of the proposal.
For the actual proposal, I was trying to figure out beforehand precisely what I'd say to him. Still, I knew when I got to that moment, I'd just tell him whatever came out of my mouth. I was really nervous, and I ended up just going for it and talking about how much I loved him. He totally wasn't expecting it! He was so happy, but he was also shell-shocked from the surprise of actually having it happen. It's funny because I was starting to feel the same way, even though I'd planned the whole thing. Right after the proposal, we were both like, "Oh wow, we just made this official!"
I decided to get us necklaces instead of rings. I knew neither of us would want something we were forced to wear all the time because we both do a lot of work with heavy equipment for our jobs. Rings would be a bit of a burden, but we both like necklaces and wear them a lot. I wanted to find ones that symbolize commitment and oneness in a relationship, and I finally did. The necklaces I got us have these fossilized ammonite shells (ammonites are ancient sea creatures). One fossil had been cut in half to make two necklaces, so we each had part of it. It's like the grown-up version of one of those heart charm necklaces that you share. It just felt like us.
If any of our friends or family were weirded out by my proposing, they didn't vocalize it. Even some of our more conservative loved ones were saying they were very happy for us. I think that happiness is because they know us and who we are, and they understand that this was something that felt good for us. The only negative response we've gotten is from people who don't know us and have seen the video. Since it wasn't very obvious how Sean was feeling when you watch it, they'd say things like, "He really didn't like that," or, "Oh, he's definitely feeling uncomfortable." Sure, he was surprised, but we were both so happy with how it went. If I could tell those people anything, it would be that we're living life the way we want to, and they should, too. If you want a traditional marriage and partnership, that's totally cool. I've never really felt like I have to fulfill a perfect female gender role, and Sean hasn't felt like he needs to do everything a stereotypical guy does, either. We both agree on that, which is why we work so well together. Even in the beginning of our relationship, I was totally fine paying the bill if we went out, and Sean has said he can see himself being the more involved parent if we have kids. It's not that we try to defy traditional gender roles, but we certainly don't let them define us.
We're getting married in September 2016, and it'll be pretty casual. We're thinking of going back to the coast where I proposed, having a small ceremony with family members and close friends, and then doing a bigger wedding party after. You just have to do what makes you and your partner most comfortable and whatever fits your lifestyle. This is what worked for us.
--
Harmony Sage Lawrence is a dress designer and photographer living in Portland, Oregon, with her life and business partner Sean Parker. She creates avant-garde dresses themed around fairytales and nature, then takes them out into the world to photograph. More recently, she has started providing free education for dressmaking and photography on YouTube.
Share on Google Plus

About DPA BLOG

I am Dat Edo Girl Call me sassy or Nasty|A heart breaker| A smooth talker| Humanitarian| freelance Writer| CopyWriter|A leader and a follower lol :)|Gist me the latest in town|
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

0 comments:

Post a Comment

All content except noted photos and videos copyright © 2017, DPA Media. All rights reserved. *Any images or videos not listed as mine are copyright to their respective owners and were used under creative common license or fair use standards. IF A PHOTO OR VIDEO IS YOUR MATERIAL AND YOU DO NOT WISH IT TO BE ON THE SITE, PLEASE EMAIL ME stachysross@gmail.com AND I WILL REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY. | Content created and maintained by ME.