The Significance of the Date

by Zachary ~ August 2nd, 2009

It turns out that neither the proposal or the wedding will fall on our “ideal” dates. My plan was to propose on August 14, 2009 and get married on August 14, 2010. August 14 is significant because Clarissa and I began dating on August 14, 2008, and we somewhat informally and non-verbally decided that a year to date and a year to be engaged would be appropriate for us. However, my master’s thesis defense got pushed back possibly conflicting with the August 14, 2009 date so I decided to propose earlier when Clarissa came to visit me. When we called St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church on Monday, someone had already booked August 14, 2010 so we decided to take the weekend before.

Did you get down on one knee?

by Zachary ~ August 2nd, 2009

I did not. I am amazed at how often I get asked this question. I was planning on getting down on one knee, but the situation just didn’t lend itself to it. Clarissa and I were sitting on one of the semicircle outcroppings along the Milwaukee river. We were right next to each other, and we had our arms around each other. When I pulled out the ring and asked Clarissa to marry me, it just would not have worked to have moved or gotten up to get down on one knee. Clarissa isn’t holding it against me, and I feel like I did everything else as traditionally as possible. I called Clarissa’s father the Tuesday before I proposed, and I of course gave her a nice ring when I asked the question.

Calling the Parents

by Clarissa ~ August 2nd, 2009

When we called our parents, we decided to call Donna first. Donna had known that Zachary was going to propose, and evidently so did my dad. Zachary had called him the Tuesday before to ask for my father’s blessing. Really my mom was the only one who “didn’t know” that  we were getting engaged. Even though it was late at night, (12:30 in the morning) we decided to call my house. Matt was the only one up, and after answering starting asking me if I knew what time it was. I ended up getting him to stop chastising me by saying “Matt, it’s important!” Then after Zachary and I told him we were engaged, he said “Ohhhhhhhhhh. Congratulations!” After we talked to Matt for a bit, I got him to wake up Mom and Dad. Even though she sounded half asleep, I finally got to tell my mom the exciting news: “I’m engaged!”

Initial Reactions to our Engagement

by Zachary ~ August 2nd, 2009

After the initial excitement had worn off, we decided to call our parents. We called my mother first and put her on speakerphone. Since I had gone engagement ring shopping with my mother, she already knew. I said, “guess what?” She said, “congratulations!” We talked for a while, and then decided to call Clarissa’s parents.

After the family phone calls, we decided to head back to the Men’s Catholic House. When we got home, most of the people from the Brewer’s game were still hanging out at the house. (It was now close to 1:30am.) We entered and David Kruse, Tom Klind, and manly company started excitedly singing. Since I had already told Rebecca Baehrend, I asked her if she had told them. She looked horrified and told me that she had not. When Dave and company started singing about Michael Tedone, I knew they had no clue what had just happened. Rebecca tried to quiet them down, while the more observant individuals began congratulating us. Dave and company were very annoyed that they were being silenced, but they did eventually stop singing. When the room was quiet, I announced, “I would like you all to meet my new fiancée.” Dave and company then went completely wild. They started singing again and congratulating us. Clarissa and I got to tell everyone how it happened. Some of the guys even went out and bought ice cream. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our new engagement.

Clarissa and I didn’t get to bed until 3:30am!

The Proposal

by Zachary ~ August 2nd, 2009

Clarissa drove down to Milwaukee on Friday, July 24th and got here around 2pm. The plan was to tailgate with about 15 other people before the Milwaukee Brewer’s game. Since there was a chance of rain, we had our cookout at the Men’s Catholic House (my house), and then we went to the game.

After the game, Clarissa and I decided to go for a walk by the Milwaukee river. I packed a backpack with a rose, a ring, an umbrella, and our windbreakers. (I told Clarissa I had packed an umbrella because it might rain.) We left around 11pm. When we got to the river, we started walking around. We ended up sitting on one of the circular stepped outcroppings between Wells and Kilbourn. The Kilbourn bridge is nicely lit at night with lights that slowly change color. We decided to sit down and watched the bridge for a while.

We talked casually for a while with our arms around each other. After a while, I directed our conversation toward talking about our relationship. I told Clarissa how happy I am that we started dating and how much we have learned about each other. After a bit more conversation, I took the ring out of the backpack (somewhat ungracefully as it had fallen to the bottom of the bag), opened the case, and asked Clarissa to marry me. (It was midnight.)

Clarissa said yes without any hesitation whatsoever. She was so excited, and she loved the ring. Then I gave her the rose to go with her ring.


by Zachary ~ August 2nd, 2009

Clarissa and I decided that having a website for our wedding would be very appropriate for us. I set up the site, and Clarissa designed the banner image. I was surprised that good WordPress wedding themes are a bit hard to come by; however Clarissa and I both liked this one. With a new banner image and some modifications to the colors, it should work quite well. Clarissa and I hope to post all of the necessary details about our wedding as well as information about the two of us, how we met, and how we got engaged.