Popping the Question: Put a Ring On It

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!

From Annie:

img_9036Photo 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.”

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From Emily:

“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.”

From Anlin:

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“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!

From Hannah:

“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.”

From Mel:

“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.”

mel1mel2Photo 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.

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Gallery: Get Me to the Church on Time!

Here at the blog, we love featuring weddings of all faiths and no faith, but in this gallery, we wanted to focus on a collection of lovely weddings that take place in churches—from North Carolina to California to the U.K.. When so many of us have had to struggle in the intersection of our faith and our queer identities, there’s something particularly beautiful about seeing these couples say their vows in front of congregations filled with family and friends. No matter your own religious background, we know you’ll see the love on display in these sanctuaries, at these altars, and up and down the aisles pictured here.

Patty & Lisachurch-patty-lisaWendi & Crystalwendi-crystal wendi-crystal2 wendi-crystal3 Katie & Sheilakatie-sheilakatie-sheila2 Monique & Meganmonique-megan Pam & Audreypam-audrey2pam-audrey Joni & Tammyjoni-tammyJulie & Jenniferjulie-jennifer2julie-jenniferCecily & Alaynacecily-alaynacecily-alayna2 Emily & Hollyemily-hollyBekka & Carlabekka-carla bekka-carla2Lauren & Crista
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P.S. The title is a reference to one of Ashley’s favorite musicals. Can you name it?

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Engagement: Emma & Katie

For your Monday—what has to be one of the funniest first meeting descriptions we’ve ever published. Congrats, Katie & Emma!

From the couple: One day Emma was most likely watching 30 Rock and eating ice cream in bed—because she’s a damn adult and can do what she pleases—when a little OKCupid notification popped up: “You probably have the best about me profile ever.” Responding positively to compliments of any kind, noting that Katie’s height was in her desired range, and agreeing that her profile was indeed “the best” so at least this girl must have good judgment, Emma responded.

They made plans to get slushies in the park on their lunch break. It was hot out. Emma pretended it was fine. Katie’s teeth turned blue. Emma got sunburned through her sweater. It was love.

Photos courtesy of Cassie Xie Photography.

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Event Credits

Location: Decatur, GeorgiaPhotography: Cassie Xie http://cassiexie.com/
Posted in Credits, Georgia, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , | 2 Responses

Wedding Carrie & Claire

From Kelsey, Carrie and Claire’s photographer: I first met Carrie and Claire at the Freestate Wedding Expo. The show was wrapping up. I’m was standing there in my little wedding photography booth, wishing I had worn different shoes and wondering if my lipstick still looked ok. Then, from across the room, Claire’s eyes met mine. From that moment on we just knew, we knew it was meant to be. I was their wedding photographer and they would be my favorite clients. And we lived happily ever after.

Romantic, right?!

After Claire and I started talking we were literally bouncing up and down while Carrie casually watched the two of us in what can only be described as some seriously weird wedding excitement. I honestly think in some “twist of fate, universe aligning” way we were meant to meet that way. Now that the wedding is over, not only have I absolutely loved working with Carrie and Claire, I consider them my friends. And that makes me feel incredibly lucky.

Their love for each other is fierce and loyal, like an unbreakable bond and acceptance of one another. Watching them together makes me believe soul mates really do exist. Carrie and Claire, you inspire me. Someday I hope I know a love like the two of you have.

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Event Credits

Location: Lawrence, KSPhotography: Kelsey Kimberlin Photography - http://www.kelseykimberlin.com/
Posted in Attire, Classic, Credits, Kansas, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Engagement: Sarah & Kelly

From Sarah & Kelly: Living in Colorado, there’s no shortage of beautiful photo ops. We spend our time either in the mountains skiing, hiking, and camping, or in Denver, where we live, and we love both places.

After connecting on OKCupid, we spent weeks texting, then talking on the phone, then FaceTiming, and finally meeting for our first date. We’ve been together for 3 and a half years now, and it feels so surreal that we’re getting married! When we each came out, we turned to a variety of important resources, like the website Everyone is Gay and none other than A Bicycle Built for Two. It’s been a long and exciting journey, and we hope that we can share our story and help empower others in some small way.

We got engaged in a hammock on our favorite mountain hike in September and will be getting married in the mountains next summer, so our usual Denver stomping grounds were the perfect settings for a fall engagement shoot. We opted for the River North Neighborhood, which is filled with amazing graffiti artwork and our favorite breweries, our favorite local park, and our new home as the backdrop.

We had the best time with our photographer, who also happens to be a very talented friend. We scheduled the shoot before November 9th, when things felt just a little brighter. But we know that together, we will weather whatever storms come our way, and we won’t let anything deter us, now more than ever. We can’t wait to shout it from the mountaintops, quite literally.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Arnold.

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Event Credits

Date: 11/06/2016Location: Denver, COPhotography: Sarah Arnold (http://www.sarnoldphoto.com/)
Posted in Colorado, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wedding: Tina & Julie

From Holly Birch, the couple’s photographer: Tina and Julie planned a gorgeous event at the elegant Pear Tree Estate. They chose to seat their friends and family in a semi-circle for the ceremony, with the couple centered under a chandelier of greenery. Tina’s daughters were a large part of the day and ceremony, as well as the couple’s dog Peach.

Tina and Julie’s engagement session was featured on the blog last year. Congrats on a beautiful wedding!

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Event Credits

Attire: Maggie Sottero; Richard Bennett Custom TailorsCakes and Dessert: The Cake Artist's Studio; LA GourmetCatering: LA GourmetFlorist: Flowers by KristineLocation: Champaign, ILMusic: Elite EntertainmentOfficiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Scott F. RaperOther: Brittany Koroyanis Makeup ArtistryPhotography: Holly Birch PhotographyStationery: Wedding Paper DivasVenue: Pear Tree Estate
Posted in Attire, Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Florist, Illinois, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Popping the Question: Put a Ring On It

Welcome to our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two: Popping the Question! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this summer, we’ll be tackling some questions that unique to wedding planning as a queer couple. 

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Today’s questions are all about engagement rings: How did you pick them out? Did one of you surprise the other? Was it important to you to have matching or complementary styles? Or did you skip the rings entirely, in favor of tattoos or an engagement puppy?

Whether you’re married, engaged, or simply dreaming of future rings, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post or get in touch with us. We’ll be accepting responses through next Friday, November 25th, and then we’ll compile a post with some of our favorite stories, so get in touch!

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In other news, we’re always accepting your submissions. Now more than ever, we are committed to celebrating our love and our community, and seeing photos from your weddings and engagements in our inbox warms the cockles of our queer hearts!

Photos courtesy of Scott Martin Studio.

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