Almost a Mrs.

Married


Exactly one week before I met Spencer for the first time, I was driving home from another lukewarm date with The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” pouring through my speakers. It was raining in Annapolis; I had a long drive home. The man I’d met for coffee had been nice and polite, but there was no spark. No chemistry. When we shook hands goodbye, I knew I wouldn’t see him again.

And yet, I felt . . . so hopeful.

I remember everything about that Sunday: meeting with girlfriends earlier in the day; walking through the city; the squish of my toes in my too-small boots. It was a chilly March afternoon and I’d already received my first email from Spencer, though I’d set this Annapolis date up before we’d firmed up ours. I don’t remember when I emailed him back, exactly, but I know it wasn’t long after I got home. I just felt in my bones that good things were afoot.

That hope was not misplaced.

After years of getting-to-know-yous and falling-in-love-with-yous and wondering and excitement and a little indecision and lots of laughter, it’s official — officially time.

I’m getting married. To my best friend, my confidante — a man so thoughtful and sweet and mine that I can hardly stand it. Sunday is our wedding.

It’s been a long journey — one that started long before Spencer and I even met. But I can’t look back on the last decade of love lost and found without a sense of purpose, gratitude and joy . . . because as pedestrian as it sounds, every detour eventually brought me to Spencer. And I feel grateful every day to have him by my side.

I’m taking a blogging break for our big day and following honeymoon in West Virginia, but I plan to make my triumphant return as a married lady on November 18. I’m sure I’ll have lots of moments and photos to share! I can’t wait.

Thank you for coming along with me on this wild ride . . . and, well, every ride we’ve taken together in the last five years. It’s been so fun sharing wedding updates with y’all, and I’m sure I’ll have many stories from the other side!

Signing off for now . . . but so excited about all that’s to come.

See you soon!

xoxo


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Engagement photos


Photography is so important to us.

Before we were even engaged, I attended a bridal show with my sister and a friend (whose wedding is next weekend — yay!) at the lovely Flora Corner Farm. There we immediately met Maggie and Betty, the dynamic mother-daughter duo behind Birds of a Feather Photography. I was so enamored with their soft, vintage-inspired photos and sweet personalities that I immediately came home to show Spencer their work. I felt a little silly, being as we weren’t “there” yet, but I just couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.

It was October, a good two months before he proposed, but we’d quietly gone to “check out” rings the weekend before. I figured it was the first of a few trips, maybe, and that we’d talk a few more times before really broaching the subject of marriage again. I got a funny, puckered look on my face every time we talked rings . . . mostly because I was afraid he wasn’t thinking rings.

But he was.

Unbeknownst to me, Spencer returned to the store days later for the ring I loved. We got engaged on December 16 — but you know that already! Though I’d vowed to wait until after Christmas to really start wedding planning, I couldn’t help myself. I was so excited and eager to start researching venues and colors and dresses, but I knew my first mission: getting in touch with Maggie and Betty.



We met with them just after the New Year, our first “official” wedding-related meeting, and they were the first vendor we booked. We signed our contract with them before we even officially had a venue . . . or a date, really. I just knew their photography spoke to me, and we had to have them. Thankfully, Spence felt the same!

Now just 198 days from the wedding (!), things are shaping up. And feeling really real. We had our official engagement shoot with the ladies back on a brisk day in March, and I was so thrilled with the whole thing that I barely felt chilled. I talked about choosing to keep my hair wavy, and that decision that still makes me smile. It was just a really fun evening!

And after seeing the results, I’m so thrilled we chose Birds of a Feather. The images are exactly what I was hoping for — ethereal; lovely; serene — and if these were so awesome, I cannot wait to see the pictures from our wedding! Though these expenses can be pretty intense, I know we will never regret a single cent spent on photography.

Pictures capture emotion, devotion, love. They encapsulate a day and preserve it in a way our memories, ever faulty, cannot. I’ve never heard someone lament, “Gee, I wish I didn’t have so many pictures of this once-in-a-lifetime event.” Because seriously? You can’t have too many pictures. There is a balance between documenting a day and really savoring it, but that’s why we’ve hired professionals. They will help us remember it forever . . . even as it passes in the blink of an eye.

Here are a few of my favorites from our engagement shoot, held at Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard, Md. If you ever find yourself in Southern Maryland, first of all? Um, call me. We’ll go crab pickin’. And then I’ll direct you to this place, because it. is. gorgeous.


Engaged1


That ring you’ve been just dying to see

I know, I know: on Christmas you were seated by the fire, snuggled up to loved ones with mugs of peppermint hot chocolate, and the whole moment would have been just perfect, but . . . as desperately as you tried to soak up the holiday, it was impossible. Why? You were preoccupied, friends. You were preoccupied because you hadn’t seen a real, close-up photo of my engagement ring.

Well, worry no more. Here it is. Sparkly and lovely and a little too big for my finger, but don’t worry — I’ll be getting it resized. Just as soon as I’m back from visiting Spencer’s family in New York, where I will be flashing this baby around in more than a foot of snow at New Year’s.


My ring


Erm, I’m kidding, of course . . . not about flashing the ring (totally doing that), but about everyone wanting to see it. Trust me: I’ve been on the other side of engagement announcements approximately 1,876 times, and it’s not always pretty. While my life has changed post-proposal, the world itself continues to turn. Others go about their business, oblivious to the fact that we are betrothed. And in an effort to not be That Person on Facebook and elsewhere, I have tried to limit all wedding-related commentary (for a while) and not annoy everyone within a 50-foot radius.

Unless you’re one of my two officemates. Or my sister. Or my parents. Or my actual groom-to-be.

Then you’re screwed.

I always thought I’d want a round-cut diamond — but I fell in love with this ring when we “casually” went to check out jewelry in October. It was actually the first one I tried on that day and, after wandering around the mall for a few hours checking out diamonds elsewhere, we went back so I could try it on once more. And after trying on a dozen others, I loved it even more.

No firm plans have been made just yet, but I’m definitely researching, planning and crunching numbers. We’re looking at the fall of 2013 — my favorite season. We see reds and leaves and apple cider. Or I do, anyway, because I’m trying not to slam Spence with too many conflicting thoughts until I have a clear idea of what I’m envisioning — and what we can afford. And I figured we’d wait until after January 1 to start the nitty-gritty discussions, anyway. Seems like a good “It’s a new year!” type of talk.

Though if you took a peek at my color-coded spreadsheets right now, you’d think, “Yeah, she’s definitely doing a great job of waiting until the new year.” And you’d be right, of course, because I’m not good at waiting — and am incredibly organized. Files and sticky notes make me happy. Though I have no real clue what I’m doing and can’t see anything but $$$$$$$ signs everywhere I look, this phase — the planning phase, the dreaming phase — has been very exciting.

As is the idea of spending my days with this guy.


Spence at sunset


P.S. Thank you all for your concern over my recent health scare. Ironically, after I started my round of doctor’s appointments and tests, the pain I’d been feeling mysteriously disappeared. I’ve felt well the last few weeks and, after some tests, what the doctor thought was going on turned out not to be a problem at all (thank goodness). Fingers crossed that I continue to feel A-OK. Thank you again!


So I have a little (big) news for you!

Spencer and Megan get engaged
{Photos by E. Guy Stephens Photography}


Spencer and I met on a windy March day in 2010. We’d arranged to have coffee at a local cafe on a Sunday — a date I figured could go well (and lead to dinner), or poorly (and wrap up after just one drink).

I’d joined an online dating site two months before and had a few nice dates, but they’d all just been . . . well, um, nice. Though there was nothing wrong with any of them, I didn’t feel that spark. That connection. That camaraderie and mutual interest and excitement. No butterflies, if you’ll pardon the cliche — just a couple of nice excursions with nice men that ended with a shrug of the shoulders.

But then.

Spence walked in wearing a red T-shirt and green shorts — a wardrobe choice I’d come to understand is totally standard for my adorable, endearing scientist. After exchanging a few emails about photography, we set up our date for that weekend — and then I waited. On his dating profile were a variety of photos — some with long hair; some with short; one with a beard, and one without. After trading phone numbers, I sent him my first text message: “So should I expect you clean shaven, or with a beard?”

“Clean shaven,” he replied, joking, “I clean up pretty nice.”

He was right.

Our bond was immediate. We talked for hours that first day, leading from coffee to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Our common interests filled every crevice of conversation. Though he grew up in Western New York and I’m a Maryland girl, we come from similar backgrounds and share many philosophies. We parted on March 21 with a hug and a promise to get in touch. He texted me before I’d even gotten home.

And I already knew.

It seems silly to say that, I’m sure — and I don’t know that I’ve ever believed in love at first sight. But from the first afternoon Spence walked into that cafe, pushing his curls out of his eyes and turning a mega-watt smile in my direction, I’ve been his and he’s been mine. After doing my share of dating, I felt confident I’d know when I found a good thing — a real thing. I never doubted our connection, never questioned our relationship. From the first “I love you” to today, right now, I’ve never wanted to be anywhere but at his side.

On Sunday, Spence and I drove into downtown Washington, D.C., to see the holiday display at the U.S. Botanic Garden. We had a date there in 2010, our first Christmas together, and have talked often about how much we like the greenhouse. It’s my favorite place in Washington: easy to find and explore; packed with gorgeous flowers and other greenery; a prime photo spot.

And on the very same bench where we’d taken this picture almost two years ago to the day, Spencer asked me to marry him.


Spencer and Megan get engaged


As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I said yes!!!!

We’re both so, so excited — and it almost doesn’t feel real! Spence asked our friend and talented photographer Guy Stephens to meet us downtown to capture the moment and immediately after, making our first engagement shoot just a few minutes after he got down on one knee. Guy and his family were wonderful and the photos are priceless — especially because I was in such shock at the time, I don’t even remember Spencer putting the ring on my finger! We walked from the Botanic Garden to the Capitol, where we took photos by the Christmas tree and generally soaked up our first moments as a newly-engaged couple.

I’ve already gotten to call him my fiancé a few times, and it’s exciting and scary and awesome all at once. I mean, I’ll never have a “boyfriend” again.

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Thrilled. We are thrilled! I can’t stop smiling and had to come here and tell you all at once. After all the family and friend phone calls/texts were made, of course — and after I had a day to let the news marinate! But after that? Here. I’m all here. You know I wouldn’t leave you hanging after all we’ve been through together.

And I can’t wait to see what the future brings — as Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.

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Spencer and Megan get engaged

Spencer and Megan get engaged