Looking for wedding bands on Etsy, I stumbled across LaurieSarahDesigns store. There I saw a section for what I read as “management rings.” Weird, I thought. Rings you get for managing at work? Rings you get from management as a long service award? Not completely unheard of, though. One of my bosses wears a beautiful ring with our newspaper’s name on it, and jokes that she is married to her job.

Then I looked a bit closer. It actually read “mangagement” rings. Adorable!

As you can see, they are a bit unusual for men’s rings. A bit more expensive than plain bands, as well. Pretty nice baubles for proposing to your boyfriend, though. Pretty far off from the plastic vinyl record toy ring I gave my man!

I love Red Rock Canyon. The year I turned 29 in Las Vegas, I drove out to visit the blazing red faces of the canyon on my birthday. I was feeling so melancholy, and a bit nostalgic, I guess. I always thought it might be cool to get married in Red Rock. There are many companies that do it: they bring you in a car, limo, helicopter or horse; however you please. As much as I love nature, it just didn’t seem like it would work. It was hot, far from the Strip and god: the red dust! Can you imagine? It just wasn’t for us.

Luckily, I heard about the Springs Preserve. It struck a balance. It was close to the Strip, recognized Las Vegas history (the preserve marks the spot where a natural spring water source was found. It was the thing that originally drew people to Vegas before gambling did.) and has beautiful xeric gardens of desert plants. Historical, ecological and affordable. The holy grail for me!

I visited in July 2009 for a site visit, and was impressed by what I saw. I also melted under the sun, even though it was just 10am. That could have been the tequila from the night before winding it’s way out of my body, though.

"cactus alley"

"cactus alley" My tour guide said they held a wine tasting there once.

garden path

garden path leading to the arboretum

The Springs Preserve is 180 acres of natural landscape, trails, gardens and educational buildings that came into being a few years ago. It’s just a few miles off the Strip, on historic land. The vision was to preserve some of Las Vegas history, but also to move towards a sustainable future. Although the land has been recognized as a historical site for 30 years, it was only recently that it was shaped into a museum of sorts. There is an actual natural spring on the land, and it was the reason people started living in Las Vegas to begin with. Because what does a desert need more than water?

main rotunda

main rotunda. oh, the photo potentials!

I can’t say enough about the place. I would revisit it again in a heartbeat to fully explore the trails and exhibits. I only got a forty-five minute tour from one of the party planners, but she was so luminous and exuberant (as were all the other staff we met) I can only imagine what fun it is to work there or have an event there.

They hold lectures and classes on desert landscaping and xeric gardening, yoga classes, bird watching tour, outdoor movies, as well as huge (Cirque du Soleil launch parties) and small events (a four person vow renewal). There is Wolfgang Puck catering on site, and an array of gardens and indoor spaces to hold an event. All guests get access to all of the displays and gardens when they attend events as well.

Oh, and the thing that I thought was the coolest? The desert organism exhibits which displayed tarantulas, scorpions and other desert lifeforms. I happen to collect such creepy crawlers. If that isn’t Kelly, I don’t know what is.

Gardens Ampitheatre

Gardens Arboretum

Gardens Arboretum

Sky through the Desert Living Centre Rotunda

Entrance to the ORIGEN

Inside the ORIGEN rotunda

Museum in the ORIGEN. The exhibit rotates.

Inside the ORIGEN.

The wedding is in Las Vegas. That much is clear at this point. With a sh!tstorm of other things going on at the same time, I am finding it hard to think of small details that will Vegas-ify our wedding which is starting to feel less Vegas-y.

But last night, I thought it would be good to look up interesting entertainers to accompany us into our reception venue. Because what is Vegas if not a home to impersonators, entertainers, magicians, singers, dancers, and…Elvis?

I used gigmasters to look up different Elvis impersonators in the Las Vegas area. There are many. Like, over 50. They all have different eras, song catalogues and of course, fees. Some have been doing this for years, others are new to the business. Many have received accolades in Elvis impersonation contests, some have starred as Elvis in commercials.

Anyhow, last night at 11pm I put out for quotes on gigmasters for a few Elvii. At 8 am this morning – VALENTINES DAY, MIND YOU – I got a call back from a booking agent. Half groggy, I listened to the manager’s sales pitch on how great this particular Elvis was, how it was miraculous he was free etc etc.

After 10 minutes of listening, I promptly fell back to sleep, and dreamt. Of Elvis.

♫ Taaaaake myyyyyy haaaaaandddddd….. ♫

She said yes!

Perhaps two days after the big question was asked, I asked another. “Should I have a ring?” A quick, non descript “It’s taken care of” answer. I ponder rings for another night. What do I know to look for? Nothing! I know little about rings.

What’s a girl to do?

Then, Monday, I am stuffing my maw with meatloaf, and he is in the bedroom. The door slowly closes, which I find odd.
Walking towards, mouth still full, “What’sgoin’oninhere?”

Open door, see him down on ground on one knee, ring box open.

I scream, run away, trying not to choke on meatloaf. We truly are the most romantical.

he said yes!

It is long past fall, which is the time I told myself I would pop the question.

Questions raced through my mind:

“Is now the best time?”
“What will my family say?”
“What happens next?”

And most of all:

“What if he says no?”

We have been home from our Asian adventure for almost a year…that was the trip that made me go “this guy… this guy is great.”

I started to quietly work on a project to ask him, and now I find myself near our four year dating anniversary. The time has come.

To help, Ariel on Offbeat Bride posted this little nugget in a two part series (pt 1 : pt 2) on proposing to yer man:

I know: it’s scary right? You’re thinking, “What if he says no?” Well, no one said taking your life by the reigns would be easy, and the anxieties and fears of rejection that come up around proposing give you great insight into some of the cultural pressures men traditionally experience.

WTF am I waiting for?

Hope to post some news soon…

I’ve long pondered the wonderous beauty of being married in a xeriscaped garden in the desert, probably Vegas. It’s a central spot for my global family and it’s gorgeous.

Leaf Chapel

However, this Leaf chapel at the Risonare hotel resort in Kobuchizawa, Japan is a very persuasive vote for getting married in Japan. It has view of Mount Fuji and a series of other Japanese mountains. At the moment the brides veil is lifted, a steel veil “opens” to reveal the nature outside.

See more here.

Night shot

When I first started this blog, it was my absolute intention for it not to be too, well, bloggy. I did not want to spend too much time riding the roller coaster of “should I? shouldn’t I?” with regards to proposing. It’s tiresome to me; I cannot imagine how tiresome it would be to read.

My idea to propose came at a very high point in my relationship with my beau. I don’t mean to say that our relationship has weakened or suffered in recent times, it’s just been a long eight months since I first got that inkling I should maybe try my luck in this crazy game of love. We’ve had to endure some difficult moments as a couple against the big bad world, and the weathering of those events has made me love my partner in crime even more.

My boyfriend and I have both been seriously ill in the time since our return from our extended holiday in late February, not the first time for me, but the first time for me to see my man get seriously ill. I’ve never felt so protective, nor such an innate feeling to heal and help. It was shocking to me, to be honest.

We’ve both helped our family members through some serious grief. We’ve both lost grandmothers this summer, and him, now a grandfather this week. He’s away in California at the funeral as I type this, and I can’t help but feel lonely and plagued with thoughts that will not stop.

This feels like the right time, but is it the right time? Perhaps it’s too close to times of grief. Perhaps we’ve undergone so much change lately we need a bit of stability. And yet, perhaps these times of sadness are the right time for there to be a happy event…

Too many thoughts on a lonely, windy and cold night. As I’ve written before, the time is near, but the neurotic side of me wants it to be the absolute right time.

I’m not sure it exists. If that is true, it would be a huge realization and personal change for me to just jump in and get ‘er done. I do not know if others around me would be proud, but I should would be.

I, by nature, am not a manipulative person. I don’t like imposing on people and I don’t find ways to get them to do what I want. I simply ask, tell or request and put up with the yes or no answer. Sure, I may be a bit slow in asking and nervous and anxious about it, but eventually, I get around to it.

This is part of the reason I am asking my boyfriend to marry me. I’m gonna ask, and hope for a happy answer. That’s it. Shit, or get off the pot. We’ve discussed marriage a bit, but in no concrete terms. I have not prodded or dropped hints, although we joke about these things all the time.

Me, observing: “Oh, god, look at those hideous ass pom-pom decorations on that wedding car”

Him: “Is that a hint?”

And so forth.

Today, the awesome Dodai at Jezebel alerted me to an article in the New York Post (that fine upstanding publication) with 5 dos and don’ts for “getting him to the altar”. It’s actually a list compiled by the Lori Uscher-Pines who wrote “The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk.” Coincidentally, this book comes out tomorrow.

The book includes tips on:

  • How to know if it’s really time to push for a ring
  • The difference between me excuses, you excuses and institution of marriage excuses
  • The “severity” scale of common male excuses, and the associated tactics for changing his mind
  • Behavior fouls not to make on the quest for a proposal

Uh…”quest for a proposal”…?!

The don’ts: Don’t become your boyfriend’s therapist. Don’t have friends ask him about marriage and lobby for you. Don’t withhold things, like sex, to get the ring. Don’t go public with your anger at not being engaged. Don’t go crazy emotional at other people’s weddings because they have what you do not.

The dos: Do talk about your expectations and hopes for the future. Spend time with other happy couples.  Do break down barriers; he says he can’t afford the ring? Tell him you don’t need one. Create dependency. Do carry on with your life. (Okay, she actually says to initiate major life change, but I just read it as CARRYING ON WITH YOUR DAY TO DAY LIVING)

Now, this is angering on a lot of levels. I hate that it preys on women with little self confidence. I also question how come none of these options are on the list: be patient and wait, leave him or ask him yourself? Or, the most obvious: get pregnant. If we’re gonna play hardball here…

Joking aside, if it’s something that’s important to you, you should find someone who it is also important to. Not someone you have to set it all up for and show him the way to. Men aren’t dumb. They just sometimes aren’t that into it. No book or recipe for engagement chicken is going to change his opinion on things.

NYPost: Make Your Moove: Top 5 Dos and Don’ts to get him to the altar

Jezebel: Writer Suggests Manipulating Your Man into Marriage

Midway through autumn, and a trip to Las Vegas with friends has been planned for the winter. I’m nearing completion on my handcrafted proposal, so I think the time is almost here to ask the fated question.

Stay tuned.

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