• Matt Lummus

Our Engagement Story

I was chatting with a coworker not long after we got engaged and when I told him Eric and I were getting married in my hometown of Atlanta, he said, “Can you even legally get married there?!” Well, newsflash, this is 2019 and same-sex marriage has been legal in every state since 2016. It made me realize that the idea of same-sex couples getting married is still really mind-blowing to a lot of people, even in the beautiful liberal bubble of NYC. While I don’t fault anyone’s surprise or confusion, it was really eye-opening to realize that there are a lot of questions to be answered to help our allies see that at the end of the day a “gay wedding” is just a wedding!

The Engagement

I’ll cover all sorts of questions and scenarios we are tackling, but first let’s start with the engagement! The most common question we get is, “Who proposed to who?” Well...the easy answer is Eric proposed (first). We have been together for over five years now, and have talked about marriage for quite a while. We always joked about who would propose and where it would be and if we would have rings or not. So many questions that didn’t have traditional answers, and not a lot of resources online to read up on!

Every time I would see a same-sex couple get engaged, I would always ask about the ring situation. Being the old fashioned romantic I am, I always associated an engagement with a ring. What else would you have to show off when you shout from the balcony, “I’M ENGAAAAYYYYYGGGGEEEDDD Y’ALL!!!” (any Vanderpump Rules fans out there?) So I was always determined to have an engagement ring. At first Eric wasn’t sold on needing a ring for himself but when he realized I’d have bling to show off, I think he got a little jealous and wanted something too. So we settled on both having rings and the search began.

The Ring Search Begins

Our first shopping trip just to browse was in Beverly Hills when I visited Eric while he was in LA. We tried on all sorts of styles and colors and decided we wanted what we lovingly call “Dad Rings.” My dad has a simple yellow gold band, while Eric’s dad has a gold milgrain band, so we decided to continue the tradition. I went back to New York while Eric finished his project and thought nothing much of it. We had been talking about a trip to Italy for the fall, so I assumed I would have plenty of time to arrange a big engagement and get rings before then. Little did I know Eric had other plans. I have always dreamed of a fall wedding in Atlanta, so Eric’s event planner brain went to work and he realized we needed to book a venue ASAP to ensure a fall wedding for 2019.

Cut to summer and we had been talking more and more about marriage and started asking around for recommendations of places in New York to get our engagement rings. We found Marisa Perry Atelier in the West Village and from the moment we walked in, we knew we had found our place. The West Village is where we had some of our first dates and the cute boutique feel and amazing staff seemed like the right fit. We found our “Dad Rings” and got our fingers sized and nervously told them we weren’t quite ready to purchase but would be back soon. Well, it was sooner than I expected! Eric was gung-ho ready to go and we went back the next week to order the rings and celebrate with a glass of champagne. Then the next big question was how to propose with two rings? Well, after much research and chatting with my friend Renee, I came up with the perfect solution- a ring box with slots for both! I searched Etsy and found a gorgeous two ring box and handed it over to Eric. And so the anticipation began…

So... Who proposes?

I was still not sure if I wanted to propose or let Eric, but he told me he had a plan and I left it all to him. BUT I had a couple stipulations. I didn’t want it to be a big flashmob in public and I wanted to do some sort of getaway and not get engaged and then ride the subway back to Queens and sit on the couch that night. I even had a meeting with one of our best friends, Hannah, to give her some ground rules and ideas because y’all know I can’t give up that much control. She might have “slipped” a couple of my ideas to Eric...

The Proposal

Now we are up to early July and in a couple weeks we were going to Atlanta for our parents to meet for the first time. I had a feeling it would happen before then, and when a mysterious “rosé party” came up, I had a feeling it was time. July 6, Eric and I got out of the Sheridan Square subway stop and walked through the Village like we had so many times before and down to the Christopher Street Pier “just for a quick detour before the party.” When we got to the end of the pier I knew something was up and we were both giddy and all smiles. Eric got down on one knee and the rest was a blackout of happiness. Once the ring was on my finger I snatched the box from him and got down on MY knee and proposed to him! I couldn’t let him get all the glory! In all my excitement, I totally forgot what I was going to say and just told him I loved him and couldn’t wait to spend my life with him and that I owed him some sweet words that I’d tell him later (maybe at the actual wedding I’ll follow through with that….oops!)

To my delight and surprise, our friend and incredibly talented photographer Corey Rives popped out and had been taking pictures the entire time. I’ve always been skeptical about having engagements photographed, but I am so so incredibly thankful that we have these pictures to remember this special moment forever.

Then we went to our favorite restaurant down the street, Malatesta, to enjoy a quiet celebratory dinner before we shared our news. I loved having a little alone time for those couple of hours, but couldn’t wait to call my family. After dinner we Face-Timed our parents and siblings who were over the moon, and Eric whisked me away in an Uber to the next spot, The Ace Hotel. I was thrilled to be in such a fun spot, and he said we would just go in to clean up before going to the next spot. To my surprise I opened the door to a room full of some of our best friends. The biggest surprise of the night was seeing so many beautiful faces who had traveled from Atlanta, D.C. and even the Upper West Side, just for us. Commence a night of celebration and love.

Well, that’s the story of our engagement! The big takeaway here is that there are no rules set in stone and you can do it however you want! Stay tuned for more updates about the planning along the way and let me know if y'all have any requests of things you're curious about! ✌🏻

*Special thanks to Corey Rives for all the amazing engagement pics featured here*

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