There are a few things in life I know to be certain: death, taxes, and that every Sunday, without fail, my Instagram feed will be flooded with pictures of newly engaged girls in jean jackets.
But this isn’t your typical jean jacket. It’s a ~cool~ jean jacket: usually the classic, slightly ripped blue style, but embroidered with “Mrs. ,” and embellished with a handful of fake pearls. You know, for good measure.
Some visual aid in case you’re living under a rock and have no idea what I’m talking about.
It’s not exactly a new trend—if anything, it’s actually turning into somewhat of a rite of passage for the newly engaged. But betches truly love this almost as much as they love their Stephanie Gottlieb engagement rings.
Here’s how it goes down: A friend of the bride-to-be will secure the goods ahead of the big day. You can definitely get a custom one on Etsy, but everyone knows the best ones come from word-of-mouth designer referrals. What, did you think the soon-to-be-fiancé wasn’t texting 20 of his girlfriend’s closest friends to make sure they were on standby for the engagement party? I mean, someone’s gotta make sure she has her nails done.
Once they’ve had a minute to process that yes, this is actually happening, the future bride will take approximately 342 pictures highlighting the back of the jacket and the new rock on her finger. Her friends will all likely post similar variations of the exact same photo on their Stories, tag each other, rinse, and repeat. Bonus points if it’s a boomerang, although truth be told, I thought we left boomerangs at Loopy Doopy in 2016. But I digress.
And look, I’m not trying to completely call out the jackets. If anything, I’m actually pretty fascinated by them—to say nothing of the fact that we’ve been noticing this trend since *checks notes* June 2017. It’s unclear when and where the trend originated from, but what I do know is that if whoever started it got a dollar for every time a bride-to-be wore one of the jackets in question, they could pay for a wedding at The Plaza without a second thought.
Ultimately, it’s your party and you can cry or wear the same jean jacket everyone else does if you want to. All I’m asking for is just, like, a *hint* more creativity and originality. I’m certainly not trying to be the voice of my generation here, but maybe, just maybe, it’s time we switch it up a little bit. There’s a list of things we’re leaving behind in the pandemic—hello, sourdough bread—and I don’t know about you, but I think the jacket should be on it.
I also hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s only a matter of time before The Engagement Jean Jacket™ falls into the cheugy category. And while we’re certainly not going to start taking fashion advice from the generation that ate Tide Pods, I think we owe it to ourselves to not look like every cookie-cutter bride on social media, don’t you? Our skinny jeans and Chevron prints are typing…
Here’s my proposal, no pun intended: Let’s try out a bomber jacket, or a crewneck sweatshirt, or even a puffer jacket by the time it’s too cold out to feel your face again. Y2K fashion is also obviously making a major comeback, so imagine getting your future last name embroidered on a Juicy Couture tracksuit instead. Pretty sure you could break the internet with that one, although whether that’s for a good or bad reason is up for debate.
If you love the jacket, though, you have this random stranger on the internet’s blessing to go full-speed ahead with it. It’s cute and probably pretty practical, even though you’ll wear it approximately one time. Just don’t come crying to me when all of your engagement photos look identical to all the other girls who read this website.
Images: Hollyedwards7 / Shutterstock.com
You know, it’s cute, everyone keeps saying things like “love is not canceled,” and it’s inspiring, really, it is, but if you were a bride planning on getting married this year, and now your plans are f*cked, it’s hard not to feel like love is pretty damn canceled. But brides- and grooms-to-be are taking it in stride and serving up proverbial “F you(s)” to the virus with their socially distant elopements, live-streamed and drive-by weddings, and hilariously self-aware change-the-date announcements. But the fact of the matter remains, we still have very few answers about when all this insanity is going to go away and when the wedding world can rise from the ashes.
We’ve been obsessed with all the #quarantineengagement content filling our feeds, so much so that it’s kind of making us wonder if being trapped in a tiny apartment with your S.O. for months could actually be good for your relationship. Like, if you want to put a ring on it while trying to coexist in isolation, then maybe you’re really in it for keeps?
After speaking with a handful of newly engaged couples and a few engagement experts, one thing is clear: a global pandemic isn’t hurting the proposal game. The ‘Rona might be a raging bitch, but guys and girls ready to pop the question aren’t about to throw all their plans out the window.
College sweethearts Kristi and Kelly got engaged with a pretty epic double proposal on Leap Day, just two weeks ahead of the lockdown. After a trip to the Point Pleasant boardwalk, they headed to the arcade to feel like kids again.
“We played for a little and then we decided to take a photo booth picture (it’s become our thing over the years),” Kristi recalls. “We were taking the third picture for the strip when Kelly said ‘let’s do a silly face!’ So, I immediately closed my eyes and stuck out my tongue… when I opened my eyes she was holding a ring! I was in shock and immediately started crying.”
But Kelly wasn’t the only one with a proposal up her sleeve that day—Kristi, completely coincidentally, had also chosen that day to pop the question. It took some urging to get her back home, but once they arrived, Kelly saw that the apartment was decorated with a trail of roses and candles leading to their bedroom.
“She walked into the room and burst into tears,” Kristi says, “because it was filled with pictures of us throughout the years, balloons, more roses and candles, and on the bouquet of roses was a ring for her. I got down on one knee and asked her if she would marry me! She said YES and then we got ready for a celebratory dinner for two with lots of champagne.”
Little did the two know that a few weeks later, a celebratory dinner for two would become the date-night norm for couples in quarantine. Kristi shares that “for about a week we were able to enjoy the bliss of being engaged. We were able to tell all of our family and friends through Facebook, FaceTime, and Instagram, but we have not yet been able to celebrate with anyone in person, which is a little disheartening for us.”
Days after they broke the news to their favorite people, Kristi says that her parents, excitedly, started to plan a June engagement party for them.
“Currently the party is on hold and up in the air,” Kristi explains. “We are trying to stay hopeful that we can have that special time with our family eventually, but at the same time, we’re so thankful that right now everyone is home, safe, and healthy.”
It’s definitely a weird time to propose right now with stay-at-home orders in place, but couples are strategizing how to pop the question in a special way while staying socially distant. If you weren’t stuck safe at home, what would you be doing, where would you be going, how would you be having fun with your future fiancé? That’s exactly where you need to start with your proposal. At least, that’s what The Yes Girls, the beauty and brains behind some of the world’s most incredible and personal marriage proposals, advise.
Having had a part in planning over 3,000 custom proposals since their launch in 2008, Megan Bicklein, Yes Girls proposal planner and designer, is feeling like now, more than ever, they need to show up for their clients. “We are the rock for our clients during one of the most intense, anxiety-ridden, and life-changing times in their lives, so we have to be as level-headed and supportive as we can possibly be, while taking their lead,” Bicklein says.
She explains that while some of her clients still want to go through with their proposals as planned (regardless of the restrictions at play in their respective cities), some are calling “in a panic because their vacation was cancelled and they need to come up with a new plan, some are unsure of what this means for their future, and some just really need a sounding board, someone to vent to during this uncertain time.”
Similarly to what couples have been doing to pivot their wedding plans while respecting social distancing cues, The Yes Girls are becoming well-versed in the various virtual ways to propose. “We’re currently planning a proposal right now that plays off of the virtual zoo tours that many local zoos are leveraging to draw audiences in from the comfort of their own homes. The video call will look much like the typical virtual tours being offered right now, but with a fun surprise at the end!”
If nothing else, the pandemic, as horrific and devastating as it may be, is ushering in a whole new wave of creativity and pioneerism in the proposal space.
“What we have seen more of is people caring less about the ‘showiness’ of the proposal and more about the overall mood and experience with their loved one,” says Bicklein. “Before, there was always a ‘how can I make this proposal so over-the-top’ goal behind the events, but now, we’re seeing more clients who just want to give their partner a meaningful memory to have forever. I think once the unlimited resources are taken away, we really get down to the heart of what we do this for: to help those popping the question make lasting and authentic impressions on those they love most.”
And when you’re holed up at home with all those resources taken away, something super simple can be the perfect proposal prelude. For Jess and Todd, who found love through a dating app, breakfast in bed on Sunday, April 12th (six days before her 40th birthday) was kind of everything.
“He woke up before me, which usually does not happen, and when I said ‘what are you doing,’ he said ‘I’m going to make you breakfast today.’” Maybe she was nervous about what would be coming out of the kitchen or perhaps it was more of a “let’s be cute and pretend cook together like one of those influencer couples,” but when Jess offered to help, her guy immediately told her to stay comfy and get more sleep. “He made me a yummy breakfast, brought it to me on a platter with a rose, and when he placed it down on the nightstand, he dropped to one knee. It was perfect!”
Simplicity at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
Susie Saltzman, a NYC-based fine jewelry designer, tells us that she’s seen no dip in engagement momentum since quarantine became the norm. Granted, for her, since 80% of the clients she works with live outside of the tri-state area, Zoom designing and ring brainstorming are nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that she’s any less pumped to “get the ball rolling and get people excited about the life that WILL HAPPEN once these wild days are past us.”
Since mid-March, Susie says she’s finished and shipped 18 engagement rings to clients who are ready “to move forward with their lives in the ways that they can.” And, like The Yes Girls, SS is a big believer in humble gestures to lock it down.
“I have a few clients coming up with really sweet private ways to propose at home,” Saltzman shares. I think people realize how precious ‘normalcy’ is and how much we take it for granted in our day-to-day lives. Tomorrow is not promised, and this uncertain, unprecedented time has been a true reality check for people.” She adds, “I think our inability to do some of life’s simplest activities (like go out to eat with a loved one, celebrate your birthday, take your children to school) has made people really want to embrace life once this is over. People want to celebrate their love NOW—they don’t want to wait to formalize their commitment to one another.”
That’s what Shannon’s fiancé, David (one of her older brother’s besties-turned-bae), was thinking when he proposed with flowers (brought over by his mom) after a “fancy date night in” on Friday, April 17th.
“Since we were unable to go out with everything going on, we got all dressed up and cooked dinner together. Nothing was out of the ordinary until David went to the front door after dinner and got flowers. He said, ‘you can’t have date night without flowers.’ I still didn’t think anything was going on, because before all of this, David would get me flowers all the time. I was going to put the flowers away and was in the kitchen near the sink when I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was so surprised it took a moment to realize that this was really happening. I started bawling, and with the perfect speech he asked me to marry him. I was so happy that I said yes before he even opened the ring box. Despite being quarantined, it was the happiest, most perfect day!”
“I have had a Pinterest board for our wedding for some time now,” explains Shannon. “I have so much in mind for what we want for our special day, but it’s kind of a catch-22. We have all of this time at home to be able to plan, but with so many places closed, we’re pretty limited. Also, who knows when this will all be normal, when weddings can happen, and how many people will ultimately be allowed to be gathered at once when they do.” Despite all the uncertainty, Shannon says, “It’s hard to start planning with so many unknowns, but, right now, we are enjoying being engaged and will start planning in the near future.”
True, it’s a whole new world for the just-engaged set, but somehow we think it’ll all be okay… Especially since you can still actually do a lot of wedding planning while in quarantine. While day drinking. Without pants, even.
Images: Andre Jackson / Unsplash; Kristi Hunt (3); Jessica Pollack; betchesbrides, susiesaltzman / Instagram; Shannon Martin; Giphy
3. Keep It Simple
4. You Are Not Alone
5. Enjoy The Moment
6. Hire A Photographer
A marriage proposal is (I assume) a stressful thing. Beyond the fear of being rejected, there’s the pressure to make it a Big Memorable Moment. This past week, one couple went a hair too far in their pursuit of an epic proposal—ending in a 911 call and paramedics being involved. Read on for a point-by-point guide on how NOT to stage your proposal. IDGAF how good that “top of the mountain” Insta sounds to you.
fairytale romance f*cking disaster started with the couple, Joshua Mason (27) and Katie Davis (28), flying to Denver for an eight-mile hike. Seems like a trip I’d break up with someone for booking, but k. Apparently, Mason wanted a “scenic location ‘away from any other people’ to propose,” a quote that ultimately makes me happy this story doesn’t end with Davis being murdered in the woods. Once they reached the spot he had in mind—on a nearly 13,000 foot summit, because why TF not—Mason got down on one knee, and Davis said yes.
At this point, things unraveled at an alarming rate. They’d gotten a late start, and it was starting to get dark. They had no equipment or water for an overnight stay, no cell service because they were on the top of a mountain, and no idea where they were. And this, my friends, is the exact reason I will never go camping. Also, never mind how pissed I would be that my boyfriend planned a proposal at the end of an elaborate hike—he also didn’t know how to get home or bring enough water?? If you’re going to drag someone to a secluded cliff to get the proposal you dreamed of, the very least you can do is have an exit strategy, MASON.
Luckily, another hiker found these two geniuses and brought them to a nearby camping ground. Since the couple was showing signs of altitude sickness and dehydration (is this what you always dreamed of, Mason? Is it just what you hoped it would be?), another camper hiked even further to get cell service and called 911. Side note that I am super uncomfortable with how far away they were from cell service. Like, not just one hike, but SEVERAL hikes. Why is that even legal?? Paramedics got to the couple at 4:30am and immediately moved them to a lower altitude to recover. They got back to the trail head around 6:30, at which point “Mason acknowledged that he did not allow enough time to complete the hike before dark, and they did not carry enough water or food.” Yeah, no sh*t.
Anyway, the takeaway here is pretty simple.
Hiking is terrible Don’t stage your proposal somewhere that requires equipment to survive, and for god’s sake, do it somewhere with cell service. I wish a lifetime of happiness to Mason and Davis—a lifetime that, thankfully, was not cut short due to this bro’s inability to plan.
Image: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
It’s just about summer, which means a lot of things, but mostly it means that people are extremely horny when they aren’t sweating their dicks off. In turn, that means that people skewered by Cupid’s arrow are getting engaged. If this has happened recently to your friends, you may be asking yourself, “What should I get Jaedynn for an engagement gift?”
The answer is nothing!
I imagine getting engaged feels a lot like being someone born into exorbitant wealth on a daily basis: it required no real action on your part, and the event in and of itself doesn’t actually mean much, yet people still feel compelled to heap praise and free shit upon you. That works out very well for the rich person, but it makes everyone else a sucker. In this case, since it’s not you who is getting engaged, giving someone an engagement gift makes you the sucker.
Would you give someone a gift for getting a college acceptance letter? No, scratch that—would you give someone a nice gift merely because they applied to their first-choice college? Because that’s what getting engaged is: a declaration of intent with no actual bearing until the matrimonial rubber hits the road.
Look: Your friend is engaged, and barring any sort of catastrophe, the actual good shit will happen. That means between now and the next 18 months or so, you’ll be subjected to showers (where you’ll have to buy shit), at least one bachelorette in a second-tier city like Nashville or Charleston (where you’ll have to pay for all of the bride’s shit), wedding registries, and possibly also a honeyfund (if they do both it’s a crime, but either way, it’s more shit to pay for), and finally the wedding itself (paying for travel and accommodations, and possibly a dress you’ll never wear again).
This is not a post about the evils of the wedding industrial complex (though it is evil), but one of practicality: can you afford all that shit? Does the bride need all that shit? More importantly, does the bride need a tasteful vase from Restoration Hardware on top of all the other shit you will eventually buy for her?
Fuck no, she doesn’t!
I say, she’s already gotten two very valuable things: a man’s promise that he’ll (eventually promise again, in front of witnesses to) love her forever, and a ring that cost a whole shitload of money. I think that’s pretty good for doing little more than tolerating his skid-marked underpants! Bring a decent bottle of wine to the (inevitable, and unnecessary) engagement party. Then drink the whole thing yourself.
Fuck an engagement gift!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)
For bros who lack creativity, getting engaged around the holidays is a great idea. Nothing gets you out of buying the amount of gifts she actually deserves then putting a ring under the tree/Hannukah bush/Kwanzaa lantern (idk if that’s what it is and I apologize for my cultural ineptitude).
But we have a few rules both for the proposer and the proposee—especially as it pertains to getting engaged around the holidays. Sure, it’s kind of a cop-out, but you can still make it Insta-worthy and cute if you follow the fucking rules. You wouldn’t get engaged without asking your friends first, right? Right.
Propose in the snow without having the ring securely fastened to something: This is kind of a no-brainer, but whoever is doing the proposing is probs SO NERVOUS that they’re likely to forget this v important step. PLEASE make sure that the ring I assume you spent a lot of money on is securely fastened to your hand, a box, a pillow, a flock of doves—whatever. Just make sure you don’t drop that shit in the snow.
Forget to have private time: I know the holidays are a time when gramma’s hugs, platters of cookies, mommy doing your laundry, and asking daddy for money all run together over the course of probably like, 120 hours. That’s great, but if you’re adding a proposal into that mix, make sure you have a sec to step away and like, enjoy the fact that you’re about to ruin your lives with marriage. YAY.
Propose in front of 9834785687687 people (unless she straight-up wants that): Ummm, so not all relationships are as loved and accepted as others. If you’re planning on proposing around the holidays, get the OKAY from her fam before you get down on one knee in front of them. I mean, nothing would be funnier than her sister crying and screaming IT’S NOT FAIR, her father getting shotgun, and her mom pouring another glass of wine, but if you AREN’T into that, maybe make sure you’re good to go first.
Involve family: Like we said, if you get the okay to propose in front of family, def do that (if you both are happy with that). If you opt for the quieter proposal, like, in some bushes or something, make sure to head back to the house full of relatives wearing Santa hats and smiles so you can all chug eggnog till you puke. Oh, and make sure families know BEFORE you put anything on social media. That’s just a surefire way to piss gramma off if you fuck that up.
Look hot: Whether you (the person getting proposed to) are suspicious about a proposal or not, make sure you look great. This shit is gonna get Facebooked, Snapped, Instagrammed, Tweeted, and whatever the fuck else you kids do nowadays. Get your nails did, wear a cute scarf, and be sure to do the whole Miss America hand-over-mouth “OH MY GAWWWWDDD” fake cry thing. Makes for a great photo.
Get a lil tacky with it: My cousin’s bf at the time decided to hang her 2 ct. solitaire (I KNOW) on the tree, and she missed it for 2 hrs until he yelled LOOK AT THE FUCKING TREE. I imagine it was kind of a nightmare for him at the time, but it makes for a great story now. If you’re the one proposing, don’t be afraid to get weird and creative with menorahs and Christmas trees or mistletoe. If you’re the one being proposed to and find a giant ring in one of these predicaments—embrace it.