A former colleague of mine, Elicia, moved to London a little more than 4 years ago. She’d fallen in love with a handsome and dapper young British man, Carl, and after 5 years of dating, they’d decided to make it official.
When Keith and I joined them for dinner in London (on my trip around the world in search of the secret to a happy marriage), we wanted to know all the details of their engagement, the wedding plans and we asked them to spare no details.
They will be married at the end of this summer on the Amalfi Coast. Carl hasn’t seen the wedding dress but Elicia proudly showed me pictures on her iPhone and shared the story of how she chose an American designer by happenstance and so she’d just received the dress in the mail from the US. It’s gorgeous.
We learned about Carl’s meticulously planned proposal. Last December, on Elicia’s birthday, he gave her a gift and a clue for a future “surprise.” Every week for the next 6 months, Carl gave her a new clue – 26 in total. The only caveat is she could not get a new clue until she figured out the one most recently given.
In June, she guessed the second-to-final clue so the time had come. Carl gave her a handmade note early one morning that said, “Let’s go!” And with that, he told her she had 1 hour to quickly pack to be gone for 4 or 7 days (days 5-7, she’d later learned, were contingent upon what would happen on day 4).
At the airport, Carl spoke with the female ticket agent and explained what he was trying to do, and because most women are romantics, she defied security protocol and allowed him to take Elicia to the plane without her being aware of where they were going. A few hours later, they arrived in Naples.
On the 4th [and possibly final] day, Carl suggested they drive up the coast to Capri. It was here, overlooking the azure waters below, that he popped the question on bended knee. And because he’d planned this day down to the most minute detail, he also captured the proposal on videotape.
All this talk about Carl’s proposal made me think about all the work and effort Keith put into his proposal to me. And then I wondered how many people put the same amount of time, energy, meticulous planning and effort into creating a marriage that will stand the test of time.
Question: Before you were married, did you spend more time planning the wedding or planning for a happy and successful marriage? Did you prepare for what you would do after you said ‘I do’?
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