This week I was pleased to sit down with our clients Morgan and Katie, who recently got engaged and had the sweetest story to tell about it. Read on to hear about their two-part engagement, their lovely shared journal, and having butterflies even when you know the answer is already “yes.”
Meaghan: How did you meet?
Katie: The magic of the internet. We connected online and then decided to meet in person.
Morgan: Our first date was at Lebanese Taverna in Pentagon City. I chose it because I thought it was the closest place between the two of us…I found out later I was totally wrong about that, by the way, but we made it work.
Meaghan: Katie, what drew you to Morgan initially?
Katie: We just seemed to have a lot in common. Morgan was really easy and fun to talk to from the very beginning. We formed a natural friendship from day one and then of course it progressed from there.
Meaghan: And, Morgan? What was it about Katie?
Morgan: I agree with Katie that the connection was there from the start. We literally went out again two days after our first date. It never felt forced at all. We first went out on a Thursday, I had a party to go to that Friday, and that immediate Saturday we were both like, let’s hang out! I just really wanted to see her again.
Katie: That Saturday we actually accidentally went to Gay Day at the zoo; we had no idea it was going on, and as we were walking around we kept noticing how many other gay couples there were. Then, it dawned on us. (laughing) We’ve meant to go every year since but we keep missing it. But that year we got it!
Meaghan: What made you decide you wanted to get married?
Katie: Well, we had been dating for about three years and I starting thinking more and more seriously about proposing to her. I really decided on it last summer but there were a few timeline factors I had to work around, most importantly that we knew that Morgan’s twin sister was going to be proposed to soon (the ring was ready and everything) and I didn’t want to take away from that. I also knew I wanted to do the proposal outside so the weather needed to cooperate.
Morgan: I was not expecting Katie to propose at all. We had talked about marriage for a while and we knew it was something we both wanted — I was even thinking about getting a ring for Katie — but she had a lot going on at the time with her Master’s program and I didn’t want to distract her from that.
Meaghan: So, Katie, I know you came to us first for Morgan’s ring. Did you know what you wanted before you came in?
Katie: It’s funny, I didn’t know what I wanted for myself but I did know what I wanted for Morgan…
Morgan: …and what she designed was exactly what I would have designed for myself!
Katie: Yes, so I had this vision in my head but I really had no idea where to start and how to articulate it. I know next to nothing about this type of thing so I was really starting from scratch. But, I came to see you all and everyone was so incredibly helpful and patient in helping me define the idea. We actually finished the design pretty quickly and I even looked at stones, but this was in the fall and I knew I didn’t want to propose until the spring so that we could give space to Morgan’s sister to celebrate her own engagement. I also knew the ring would burn a hole in my pocket once I had it so I didn’t want to have it quite yet. So, I put the process on hold for a few months and then reconnected with Tim earlier this year to look at stones again and finish the ring.
Meaghan: How did you propose to Morgan?
Katie: Well, I wanted to it be a surprise and I wanted to do it outside. We both love being outside, so that was really important to me. At the same time, I knew I didn’t want to do it anywhere too public. I wanted to be mindful of avoiding people who wouldn’t necessarily support two women getting engaged…it’s just not something I wanted to invite into our engagement if I could avoid it. So, somewhere outside but quiet was key.
Meaghan: Proposing is stressful enough, and as a private person myself I can’t imagine anything worse than having a bunch of people around.
Katie: Absolutely. So, I planned to do it at a park near our house that has this really pretty little trail that isn’t too crowded at certain times of the day. So, I picked up the ring from your shop and waited for the right day. Of course, Morgan left for a business trip that week and the weather was great while she was gone — every day I would look out the window and wish she was there so that I could propose to her! Then, once she was home, the weather was horrible and it rained for a full week straight. That whole week, whenever we had a quiet moment between us, in my head I would think “Now! Propose now!” but I held off because I knew I wanted to do it right. Then, finally, we had a nice day and I suggested we take our dinner outside for a picnic on this trail. She didn’t suspect anything because we do this pretty regularly when it’s nice out…
Morgan: No, I didn’t suspect anything but in retrospect I should have! She had her backpack with her which she usually does not bring and she was a little protective of it, but I figured she had just packed towels or something to sit on and didn’t want me to carry the heavy bag.
Katie: The ground was super muddy — remember, it had rained the entire week prior — so it was definitely less than ideal for a picnic. But, we set everything up and then I handed her this notebook we share where we record random memories between the two of us. These moments are anything from completely mundane like, “Remember that time we killed a bug in our apartment?” to “Remember that time we took a trip?” but they always begin with “Remember that time when…” I had written some of those down for her to read.
Morgan: Yes, and as I was reading these — again, we do this pretty frequently so it wasn’t anything irregular — I actually thought to myself that this would be a great way to propose. But, it didn’t say anything on the pages she showed me so I didn’t think anything of it. Then, I turned the page and the very first thing she had written on the next section was, “Remember that time I asked you to marry me?” And when I looked up she was on one knee with the ring.
Meaghan: Oh my gosh. I can’t. That’s one of the sweetest proposals I have ever heard.
Morgan: Ha, yes. I said yes, of course!
Katie: I was so nervous, and the ground was ridiculously muddy. I could actually feel the water seeping through the knees of my pants as I was kneeling. But, I had this idea in mind and didn’t want to wait any longer!
Meaghan: Morgan, then we got to meet you when you wanted to make a ring for Katie! Tell us about that.
Morgan: Well, I knew I wanted Katie to have the experience of being proposed to. What she did was just so special and I wanted her to have that moment, too. She had raved about working with you guys and how great Tim was so I knew I would come to you for her ring. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted for Katie’s ring but once I started talking to Tim I started second guessing myself, for some reason. I went back and forth on some other ideas but then I ended up going with the very first design that Tim sent to me. I’m sure Tim wanted to kill me by the end.
Meaghan: I can tell you with certainty he did not. How did you propose?
Morgan: I actually took her back to the same park where she proposed to me. It was funny, my heart was beating very fast and I was super nervous even though we were already engaged. What made it worse was that right when I was going to propose, this random guy came and stood rather close to us and put his foot up on some large rocks looking out over the river nearby, Captain Morgan style. It was so distracting and definitely made things weird…
Katie: I actually had no idea she was getting ready to propose. We were just sitting there, talking, then this guy shows up and everything kind of went quiet. I thought she was just weirded out by this guy and I didn’t realize she was waiting for him to leave so that she could propose!
Morgan: He finally went away and I was able to do it. It was such a relief. It’s funny, how nervous you can be about this even when you already know the answer.
Meaghan: What a wonderful story (minus Captain Morgan, of course). Since you both have been through the design process, can each of you sum up your experience in one word?
Katie: Great. It was great. When I initially came in, I was excited but kind of clueless. I really didn’t know what to say or how to approach it. But, in the end I ended up not only with exactly the ring I wanted but I also learned a lot.
Morgan: Comfortable. From the very first moment Katie told me about you guys she emphasized how great you were to work with and I knew I wanted to work with the same designer. Comfort is such a big point for me. We are in 2018, and, while things have gotten better, you cannot always assume that our relationship and the fact that we’re gay wouldn’t be an issue, so that can be a little nerve-wracking. But, with you guys I never sensed any kind of hesitancy. I cannot overstate the gratitude we feel about that.
Meaghan: Thank you! That means a lot to me because our clients’ comfort really is the most important part of this whole process for us. Having been through two proposals now, do you have any tips for those who are thinking about getting engaged?
Katie: I would say to just go with what feels right. That goes for timing, rings, proposals, everything. It has to be something you feel good about, and something that makes sense for both of you and your relationship! As long as it seems right to both of you, it’s the right thing. Don’t worry about what anyone else might say or think about it. It’s for you both, and the connection you have together.
Morgan: For me, I would say trust your gut with ring design, and then make the proposal personal. It doesn’t need to be super flashy, but something that you both can look back on and say, “that was totally us,” because at the end of the day, it really is a celebration of you as a couple and the love you have for one another.
Thank you, Morgan & Katie!
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.