So, the big news right now is that I’m soon to be changing up my name to Mrs Hayley Hall! As strange as that sounds, I’m incredibly excited for Josh and I to enter this next chapter of our lives together and to see what the next few decades have in store. To all of you that have expressed your congratulations and left kind comments, thank you; it means a great deal and has made this period even more special for us. As a moment in time many of us look to as a memory to be cherished forever, an engagement in reality is quite strange and surreal: here I am with a ring on my finger, a pile of brochures and an email addressed to a registrar, but it doesn’t quite seem like I’m looking towards one of the biggest events that will happen in my life. Right now it feels like I’ve simply got a big old sparkler on my hand and I’m having fun organising an almighty party for our loved ones. We’ve cracked open the champagne and told the tale oodles of times, I’ve shared snaps on my Instagram account and we’ve received so many lovely cards and gifts, so I thought it was about time I shared my story here – both as a way to remember it for years to come and to let you into an area of my life that’s set to become all consuming in the following months. So here it is…
PICKING THE RING
Choosing a ring that will adorn your hand for the rest of your days is a daunting task for anybody, especially for a guy who doesn’t understand the first thing about jewellery. Although many women dream about their perfect dress or the ultimate cake, for me it’s always been about the ring; for a long time (before I even met Josh) I’ve known exactly the kind of thing I wanted, which was cemented a few years ago when I took a trip to Amsterdam’s Diamond Museum with a girlfriend. As we were the only two in the store the shop assistant insisted that we both try on everything in sight; my preference has always been a princess cut halo diamond, and that was undoubtedly the style that seemed to suit my hand best.
When it came to choosing a ring, we’d spoken about getting married so many times before (and googled endless pictures for reference) that Josh knew the kind of direction to go in. However, with thousands of options to choose from it’s no surprise that he got in a bit of a muddle and asked for help. My personal belief has always been that I’d prefer to be involved in the decision making process to ensure I had something I utterly adored, rather than chance him coming under a huge amount of pressure and picking something less than perfect. So we went shopping…
It was never our intention to go out for a first look and come back with a chosen (albeit yet to be purchased) ring, but that’s what happened. Originally I wanted a bespoke ring made for me to my exact requirements, but the timescale and faff involved started to put me off. Having tried every single ring in one particular retailer, I knew what what suited my hand and what was utterly out of the question. What’s interesting and important to know is that some rings just don’t look right on your hand, whether they’re too big/too flat/too dull, so you have to try them all to get a clearer understanding of what works. (I thought I wanted a piece of mega bling, but when I put on a certain ring Josh’s exact words were “it looks like it came out of a Christmas cracker.” It was so big and so sparkly that it ended up looking like a piece of cosmetic jewellery; not ideal.)
I’m a firm believer in fate (cemented by the way we met, which you can read about if you’re interested here,) and my ring and I were meant to be. It was the last ring I tried on in the last shop – and I wasn’t even intending to go in, but thought I’d tick it off just to make sure I’d covered all bases. It wasn’t even one I’d chosen myself, but it recommended by the sales assistant who popped it on my finger to try; it was the perfect style, the perfect fit, the perfect size, the perfect sparkle and even had 20% off as a special promotion. Instantly I got goosepimples and knew it was the one (and Josh was just pretty happy he’d be saving 20%.) That was it!
A few months after we chose the ring (and Josh secretly bought it) came the exciting part… Our first ‘proper’ date was on the London Eye, where we watched the sun set over the landscape and took in the incredible views. On the evening we got engaged, Josh had booked a restaurant that overlooked the Thames and the Eye (a special significance that I didn’t realise until later.) There’s no major story here and I don’t want to go into the super personal details, but suffice to say we had a lovely evening – but the ring was yet to make an appearance. It wasn’t until we got home that I knew something was up when Josh started to be soppier and more reflective than usual, eventually blindfolding me so he could get the gigantic ring box from out of his hiding place.
In reference to our favourite film, ‘Back To The Future’ Josh nervously asked me if I’d be his ‘partner in time’ while I (think) I grinned from ear to ear. After he finally got down on his knees to ask the question properly, I realised the size of the box was so gigantic that there was no way he could’ve hidden that in his jeans or coat pocket (a major flaw Mr Jeweller!) I’d always had the perception that rings come in little tiny boxes that can easily be concealed, but this one was so big it was about as subtle as a box of cereal. Hearing the words ‘will you marry me’ is such an odd and emotional experience and I reacted by bursting into tears and flinging my arms around Josh; he reacted by not even knowing which finger he should be putting it on! Men.
So here we are. We’re looking forward to the next few months as we plan our Big Day and enjoy all the trappings that come with it. We’ve got a date, a venue and a plan of action (as well as a tonne of Pinterest boards) so I’m going to thoroughly immerse myself in the process and enjoy every moment. The last couple of weeks have been spent googling, pinning and mentally scrapbooking and I think we both now know exactly what we want; being on the same page and having the same expectations certainly makes things easier, as there are no big decisions to make. Over the next six months or so I’ll undoubtedly be sharing snippets and advice I learn, as well as bits and bobs after the big event; I want to be able to document the whole experience for not only ourselves, but for our future generations too.
Having been looking all over the internet for advice and words of wisdom (of which too much is fluff and not enough practical suggestion,) I also want to be able to hopefully help any future brides reading this and reassure you that there’s no need to stress or worry. Although getting married is a complicated business (and so much of it relies on confirming only a few details,) it’s fun and hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime thing that should be cherished. Here’s to a new chapter, a whole new bundle of content and to spending lots of money on a tonne of stuff we probably don’t need…
Lots of love, the future Mr & Mrs Hall xx