Our Engagement Story / by Rachel Nordgren

Our Engagement Story | Rachel Nordgren
Our Engagement Story | Rachel Nordgren

Hans and I got engaged after a mere three months of dating. Which, in retrospect, sounds like absolute crazy pants. Maybe it was, but our engagement story definitely holds it's own in my opinion!

May 2013 - Hans and I were coming up on celebrating three months of dating, and had already seriously discussed getting engaged. Our relationship had begun with the intention of figuring out whether or not we wanted to get married, so I wasn't exactly surprised that Hans was moving so quickly.

We went down to my parent's hometown on the first weekend in May, toting Banjo and a gigantic cardboard box in the backseat. Hans refused to tell me what was in the box, and I didn't at all suspect that it was part of a proposal scheme because I had told Hans I didn't want to get engaged until April. The next morning, he and my father took a walk where Hans asked for permission to marry me. He had some guts to ask my father the DAY he was proposing!

There's a particular Starbucks in my parent's town where I went all during high school to do my homework and have Jesus time.  That Starbucks is also where I wrote a small pile of letters to my future husband and journaled my way through a battle with clinical depression. It's a hallowed stomping ground, and Hans and I had yet to go there together. I never in a zillion years would have imagined it would be the setting for our engagement story.

Hans had hinted at a special date that evening involving said Starbucks. He insisted on bringing the behemoth cardboard box inside, much to my embarrassment. After getting coffee, Hans told me to open the box, in which I found a huge rose, a vase, a table runner, candles, a short letter...and another box.

That box held another rose, another letter, and another box.

THAT box held yet another rose, another letter, and yet another box.

...and so on and so forth, for something like 6 or 7 boxes.

All of the roses were different colors, since different colored roses mean different things, and each letter corresponded with the meaning of each color. Hans wrote about our friendship, my sweetness, purity, and our love.

Our Engagement Story - Love Letters | Rachel Nordgren
Our Engagement Story - Love Letters | Rachel Nordgren

Naturally, of course, I had to stop and Instagram what I merely thought was an elaborate date night. I probably spent about an hour digging through the boxes, while (unbeknownst to me) the baristas snapped photos behind the counter.

Our Engagement Story | Rachel Nordgren
Our Engagement Story | Rachel Nordgren

The whole time I remember thinking, "he can't possibly be proposing!" because I had told my dad to tell Hans that I didn't want to get engaged until April.

When we got down to the last (and smallest) box, Hans pressed pause and we ordered dessert. He was being unusually anxious, which probably should have been a clue, and had to get up and go to the bathroom at one point. He told me later that he just stood there, gripping the sink and trying to calm himself down!

When Hans came back out, he opened the last letter and read it aloud to me. Still not thinking that I was in the middle of our engagement story, I was a little confused as to why he was saying all of these incredibly sweet, wonderful, soul-stirring things to me.

Until I opened the last box and saw the ring box sitting inside.

I gasped and my head shot up as Hans was getting down on one knee. I don't really remember seeing the ring because I instantly covered my face with my hands and started hyperventilating from the shock of it all. Hans was asking, "Rachel Marie Smyth, will you marry me?" and all I could do was nod and try and regain a respectable heart rate. The baristas had all rushed out from behind the counter and were snapping photos and I was keenly aware of the fact that my face was as red as a tomato.

Somehow I managed to pull Hans to his feet and wrapped my arms around him, burying my face in his chest and still hyperventilating. "Is that a yes?" he whispered, and I nodded while still trying to get my breathing back to normal. "Was it a surprise?" he asked, and I laughed and exclaimed "YES!!!", at which point everyone in the Starbucks started clapping like crazy.

The next morning, back at my parent's house, I remember sneaking downstairs to the guest room where he was sleeping, and sitting perched on the edge of the bed, looking from the glittering diamond on my finger to the 6'4" sleeping figure underneath the sheets. I remember the word "fiancé" felt clunky in my head, like a too-big pair of shoes, and thinking to myself how everything was about to change.

Little did I know how right I would be.

Brilliant Earth Engagement Ring | Rachel Nordgren
Brilliant Earth Engagement Ring | Rachel Nordgren

**Note - My engagement ring (and wedding band) are from Brilliant Earth, a conflict-free and eco-friendly jewelry company. They use ethically mined diamonds and recycled gold. Hans and I were passionate about investing in rings that was a symbol of our love, not someone else's oppression.

You might also fancy the post I wrote about the 5 1/2 Things You Need To Do After You Get Engaged!

What would/did YOUR engagement look like?!