For years we told everyone that we were going to wait until it was legal in Arizona before we would get married. We never felt the need to publicly commit to each other because our relationship speaks for itself. After six years of being together and happy, saying I do seemed redundant. Yet over the past year we have had wedding and marriage talks more and more, especially since we have a baby who needs to grow up with the knowledge that we are a family both emotionally and legally. And we have never had the chance to celebrate our relationship with family and friends.
Last week, John sent me a message that we had reservations at Gertrude’s, the restaurant at the Desert Botanical Garden and to the flashlight tours of the Garden. It sounded like the perfect date, especially as the Desert Botanical Garden was where we had our first date.
I figured we would take Olivia with us because we love to spend time with her and go places as a family, but John insisted on just us this time. That should have been my first clue. We actually discussed it multiple times because usually John is all about her going wherever we went, yet he was strangely insistent.
On Saturday I woke up oddly excited. Even though we had been to the garden many times, this time felt different. Again, I talked to John about taking Olivia with us and he finally said yes. We had to let Carol, our friend, know because she was coming over to our house to watch her after she got off work at Bevmo. We went to Bevmo to tell Carol of the change of plans and, as I walked in holding Olivia’s hand, John ran ahead and told Carol that I wanted to bring Olivia. As soon as we got to where they were, Carol mentioned how excited she was to get to babysit and play with Olivia. They knew me well as this immediately set off my passive side and I said “great, she will have such a fun time with you.” Then I went and found John and said that Olivia wasn’t coming with us because Carol really wanted to stay with her (they played me well).
When we arrived at the garden we started with a great dinner at Gertrude’s. During dinner I asked John “if we were to get married, where would you like to do it?” We spent most of the dinner talking about hypothetical wedding plans.
After dinner we began to walk around the garden going more slowly than we normally would and stopped at all of the exhibits. As we walked, John kept stealthily checking time, waiting for eight o’clock to roll around.
As we approached the sensory garden at about five minutes until 8 p.m., it was strangely quiet. It felt surreal and peaceful, especially since there were so many people at the garden and this is such a beautiful spot. I looked up the set of stairs and there were candles everywhere, shinning off of the fountain and across the plants. I thought it must be something like their Christmas luminaries. I said “Oh wow, that is beautiful and started walking up the stairs.”
As I came up the steps I saw a table set towards the end, on the other side of the fountain, with candles on it and a bottle of champagne and two glasses. I said “I don’t think we are supposed to be here” and began to turn around, that was when John said “yes, we are.”
Then it hit me.
I turned around to see him holding the instantly familiar Tiffany and Co. blue bag.
I believe my words were “Oh no, it is happening.”
He came close and said, “I love you so much and can’t imagine not spending my life with you . . . Will you marry me?”
I said “yes,” he slipped a ring on my finger and we kissed.
We spent the next hour or so in the sensory garden talking, alone, except for an occasional oblivious stranger. We laughed at how perfect everything turned out and I was amazed at how well John had planned everything.
When we got home, we celebrated with Carol and Mark (who were the only people to know besides the amazing people at the Garden and the sales associate at Tiffany and Co.)
We thought it would be great to celebrate with Olivia and Toby so we packed up our bags and, in the morning, we took off for a wonderful day at Sedona and the surrounding area.
Years ago I made a list of everything I wanted when I grew up; to get married, have a beautiful family, a good job, travel around the world and have great friends. Each of these has been given in such unexpected and miraculous ways, better than I ever imagined they would be. We really are blessed and it is hard to believe that these blessing just continue to get bigger and better.
We can’t wait to celebrate our blessings on 11/1/14. Our wedding day.