Welcome to Popping the Question, our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this past summer, we’ll be tackling some questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.
This time, we invited you all to share your engagement ring stories, and today, we’re featuring a few of our favorite responses—thanks so much to everyone who got in touch!
Photo courtesy of Karen Krogh Photography.
“Once we realized we were on the path of forever we started looking for rings. Sandy said she wanted “something simple with a small solitaire.” I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I knew when I saw it I would know.I was looking at pawn shops and classified ads. Then, I found it! It was absolutely beautiful and so “me”: a center diamond with baguettes on either side and a thin band with small inset diamonds. I contacted the seller. The engagement ring and wedding band were soldered together, so we negotiated a price for the set. Then, we made arrangements to pick up the rings in a town about 3 hours away but a snow storm prevented us from being able to travel, so we had to rely on United States Postal Service. While waiting to receive my set I began to search for the solitaire for Sandy. I found a beautiful half karat round diamond on a narrow gold band. Ideal!
When my set arrived I took it to a jeweler to be separated. On the day we were to pick up my set, now an engagement ring and a wedding band, our plans were to go to a small quiet park on a nearby lake. We faced each other and spoke from our hearts. We each proposed to the other. We took out the rings. I had Sandy’s small solitaire and Sandy had my…. What’s this? A beautiful half karat round diamond on a narrow gold band. I hadn’t seen my ring since we’d picked it up at the jeweler, but the rings were practically identical! It turns out the band to the set was actually a wrap or guard. The baguettes were attached to it. Once separated it left a solitaire on a thin band as the engagement ring. This was one of those “meant to be” moments.
With our matching engagement rings we went to our special restaurant. Our waitress was the first person we told we were engaged.”
“After much prodding and begging from me, my girlfriend of four years and I went engagement ring shopping together on a random spring afternoon. We had a great time searching through the different stores and eventually found exactly what we wanted. It didn’t matter to us if the rings matched, just that we liked them, and we split the cost of both to make it fair. Our rings have been safely stored in a lock box under our bed for the perfect proposal moment (though we take them out occasionally to try on and admire again!).
It took us a while to figure out how we wanted to propose. The main issue was that we both wanted to be proposed to and have it be a surprise, but we also wanted to be able to start wearing our rings at the same time, not months apart. We have tentatively decided to do it on a vacation in the summer, where we will visit Madrid and propose to each other at some point on the trip. I am so in love with her and while I’m VERY ready to get engaged, I’m willing to wait for the perfect moment to show her how much she means to me.”
“In February 2011 Denise arranged a weekend away in the Drakensberg Mountains for us for the weekend. We went for a grueling walk, which was supposed to have been an easy 2.5 km walk… At the highest point she presented me with a beautiful diamond ring. This was not an engagement, as Denise did not feel the need to get married, but it was a promise to love me forever, and that was perfect for me. So in April that year I bought Denise a ring to do the same, promise my love in a way that the world could see.
About six months later, we went on a road trip around South Africa. We drove 6000 kms and spent many hours together with family and my daughters. When we returned to Johannesburg we went about the New Year as one does, busy with work, overseas meetings for Denise. At the end of January I received a SMS from her asking if I would marry her. I said yes of course, but I did not for one moment think she was serious.
2 days later, when I received a bouquet of flowers at the office and the card read “Please will you marry me?” I realized that she had been serious. I phoned her and said YES!!!!
We had our rings we had given each other and did not want another ring to add to that. But a few months later I lost the ring she gave me, and that gave us the opportunity to have matching rings made in time for our wedding.
Unfortunately I seem to have bad luck with diamond rings, and when our daughter was 2 months old I lost my ring in a parking lot. Must have been the porridge brain that goes with having a newborn baby to look after. I still have my wedding band, plain Jane, but I need no more… Needless to say, a ring is just that, a symbol to show the world you are someone else’s. We show the world our love for each other in many ways, so we don’t feel the need to replace the lost ring. Maybe one day when our ship comes in?”
Read more about Anlin & Denise’s love story here!
“We did forego the engagement rings, since both of us are pretty practical and frugal. We found some really great wedding bands on Etsy though, made from tungsten and Hawaiian Koa wood. The shop has free engraving too, so we are already thinking of what to inscribe on each other’s rings as a gift for each other. This has been one of our favorite parts of wedding planning.”
“Rachel and I had been together 3.5 years before she surprised me and popped the question. Years ago I pinned a ring on Pinterest, but it was so different and so beautiful I never thought I would actually have one like it. Rachel remembered that ring and tried to track it down, but it was originally made in Japan and no longer available as a design. So she asked her college roommate’s uncle (who lives five hours away!) to design the same ring, nervous every step of the way whether it would turn out. I’ll never forget the day she proposed, and how absolutely gorgeous my ring was! Mine was made in yellow gold, and she liked it so much she received the same ring in white gold when I proposed a few months later. Before those rings people assumed we were just friends, but now strangers notice our matching rings and want to know the story of them, and the story of us – it makes me proud to have an outward symbol of our relationship.”
Photo courtesy of Jason Worrell Photography.
Planning an engagement this holiday season? Eager for more queer engagement stories and photos? Check out our gallery of proposals here and read more in this Buzzfeed round-up, featuring several A Bicycle Built for Two couples. Or leave a comment on this post to keep the conversation going! We love hearing from you.