What Does Being Engaged During COVID in Texas Look Like?

Complicated. It’s getting engaged when things were supposedly getting back to normal only to then have the delta variant make headlines. It’s realizing that a lot of people in your life haven’t gotten or don’t want to get vaccinated. It’s having a serious conversation with your fiancé about moving out of Texas after the latest laws came into affect threatening a woman’s ability to have control over her own body. It’s having people give unsolicited opinions about everything regarding your engagement: from how you should get married during this unprecedented time and dwelling on their own weddings and regrets to making comments about your ring and proposal, your weddings wants, and everything in between. All in all, it is complicated, stressful, and a crazy time to be planning what is supposed to be one of the most important and sacred moments of your life.

Jake and I got engaged on a warm sunny day in Austin this past July when the world seemed to be getting back on track. We have kept the actual proposal to ourselves and went to a vineyard to take photos after the fact. We stayed in our bubble for as long as possible before breaking the news to family and friends. And it seems like as soon as we did, the world got crazy again. Between the Delta variant making headlines and new laws going into affect in Texas, it felt overwhelming to even think about anything else, much less what we should be doing now that we are engaged.

We went through many ideas. At first we thought we would simply require all participants to be vaccinated if they would like to attend. Then we thought perhaps we could do something smaller and live stream the ceremony. We even discussed doing a wedding tour of sorts where we visit family rather than having everyone come to us in order to not inconvenience anyone. And if I am being totally honest, I don’t think we have fully figured anything out. In one conversation we yo-yoed between thinking it is silly to change our wants and inconvenience ourselves simply because now is a crazy time in the world only to yo-yo to our want to keep everyone (and ourselves safe). So what’s the verdict? There isn’t one. We are still figuring it out and it’s going to include a lot of crazy conversations and probably hurt feelings.

One thing is clear to me. I am so happy we are engaged. No matter what else happens, I am happy to be engaged to the love of my life. It has been seven beautiful years, during which time we lived together in six apartments, spent five years saving for a house, survived four opinionated parents and three moves, adopted two dogs (and fostered more than 20), endured one pandemic, and attended nearly a dozen other weddings. But we are finally here and it is finally our turn. And perhaps this is how it was meant to be. Maybe we needed this ray of hope and light in our lives in order to make it through all of the crazy times still ahead. I certainly think it will only make us stronger.

So to whoever needs to hear it, here it is: you can get engaged in your own way and on your own terms, and while it probably won’t be perfect, it will be special to the two of you and that is all that matters. Get engaged with a big flashy ring, a small ring, or no ring at all. You can also get married any way you want. Plan a ceremony and reception with all your friends and family or keep it intimate. Either way, don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t allowed to have this day be exactly what you want. To all my brides-to-be out there (especially in Texas), we got this.

Oh, and scroll down to see my engagement ring—an oval Alexandrite stone flanked by two circular diamonds. A three-stone ring represents past, present, and future. In this case, one stone for our past, one stone (the color-changing Alexandrite) for our present, and one stone for our future.

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

P.S. If you don’t agree with something written, please don’t be like so many people in my life and unload your opinions. Please simply keep scrolling.

One stone for our past, one stone (the color-changing Alexandrite) for our present, and one stone for our future.

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