I am engaged!

On Friday night, my boyfriend (now fiance!) proposed to me at Riverside Park in Jacksonville, Fla.

Tyler and I near where he proposed, with St. John’s River and the Jacksonville skyline in the background.

How it happened: It wasn’t a surprise at all. Tyler and I have been dating five months, but our relationship has been serious from the beginning. We are both from Pennsylvania, and his mother is a good friend and former coworker of mine. Ty lives in Jacksonville, and when he came home last summer, his parents hosted a barbecue and invited me. We spent hours talking on his parents’ front porch swing, and he came to my house once before he had to fly back to Florida.

We started talking on the phone for hours each night, and it was clear from the beginning that this was something special. The night before my first 5K race, six days after we met, he gave me a huge pep talk, and I called him as soon as I crossed the finish line, and he told me how proud he was of me. We spent the majority of that weekend on the phone.

I don’t know if that’s the best example to convey that this was a serious relationship from the start, but not even a week or two in we started to talk about me moving to Florida to be with him, about getting engaged and marrying. I flew to Florida to visit him in October, and he came up here in November, and in December we told our families that we were planning to get engaged.

We’d been looking at rings online, and thought we’d found one we both liked, but we just weren’t sure. Tyler asked me if I wanted to go to Tiffany & Co. in the Mall at the Millenia in Orlando to pick out a ring.  Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said yes.

I am telling you that he took me to Tiffany’s not to sound all snooty about it, but because I am still in shock. Neither of us comes from money. We pinch pennies and try to live frugally.  He just wanted to make the experience very special for me, and it was incredible. I never imagined my engagement ring would come from Tiffany’s!  It is a round cut diamond in Tiffany’s Bezet setting. When we picked it, the Tiffany’s sales rep brought out champagne!

All of Tiffany’s rings are a size 6, and I wear a 7.5, so it had to be sent to their NYC store to be sized. Tyler explained our situation, and they put a rush on the order. It was shipped to Ty’s house in Jacksonville on Friday.

The proposal: We had dinner reservations at 7 p.m. Friday, but we left the house around 1:30 p.m. to grab lunch and just enjoy the city. I knew he had the ring on him, and there were several times I thought he was going to do it — near Friendship Fountain, at the Jacksonville Landing, but when he hadn’t proposed before dinner, I figured he’d wait until Saturday.

We had an amazing dinner at The Row, but afterward, I was so full that I was feeling sick and wanted to walk. I found out later he was getting ready to ask me at the restaurant when I stood up and was like, “We need to walk. Now. Let’s go.”

We walked to Riverside Park, and by the river, next to the fountain, he asked me to marry him! We sat down on a bench and I started to cry. We relished the moment, then drove home and called his parents, my parents and my grandparents.

What now: We are planning a summer 2011 wedding in Pennsylvania. I have a call into the church where his parents were married (awww) to see if July 2, 2011, is available. July 4, 2011, is my grandparents’ 60th anniversary, and we want to make our wedding a celebration for them, too.

We are working on a timeline for moving me to Florida. No plans are definite yet.

What it means for the blog: I am so excited to incorporate wedding planning into my healthy living blog! Obviously, losing those last 20 pounds is of critical importance now, so I am going to really be kicking it up a notch when it comes to my workouts. Tyler is a “flexitarian,” meaning he eats vegetarian whenever possible, which will help me eat healthier, too.

We are also trying to pull off a contemporary, fun wedding on a limited budget, so I’ll be posting lots of DIY adventures and tips, too. 

What are your favorite wedding planning blogs?