Tag Archives: engagement

Yesterday marked a year since Kendall proposed. Things are really falling into place for our April 7th wedding, but we’ve definitely learned a lot in our year of planning. With my (second) shower/ bachelorette party coming up this weekend, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what planning a wedding has been like. This is a long one so I hope you can stay with me.

  1. Checklists, such as the one on The Knot, are a great way to get started, but real life doesn’t work in such a linear fashion. To quote another bride friend: “checklists are great if you can take off a year and just stick to them.” It actually got to the point where my coordinator at the Mayflower Hotel told me to stop trying to follow it after I sent a frantic email to my DJ and venue telling them, “the Knot checklist wanted me to ask ABC and I’m not sure what that means.” I knew what I needed to accomplish- the big things are pretty much taken care of. The little things get done when they get done and at this point even if they don’t we’re pretty much good to go… which brings me to my next point.
  2. The more I planned, the more I let go. To be honest, most of what I’d dreamed of is not how my wedding is turning out, but that’s ok! It’s evolved into something better than I could have imagined! I used to really want to get married at the National Cathedral and have the reception at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Both spaces were entirely too cavernous, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice to get married at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Georgetown, with a reception at the Mayflower. Some other examples- I used to want an all-daffodil bouquet, but they’re apparently fickle flowers that are also sticky. The music I envisioned for my ceremony- not going to happen because it needs to be traditional church music. Not complaining at. all. but this is something the newly engaged should be prepared for while planning a wedding.
  3. I didn’t know how difficult it would be to schedule meetings with the church but I just have to keep in perspective that my wedding is a huge day for me, but St. John’s has so many other responsibilities in the community besides marrying off two crazy kids. (They actually host a rotating homeless shelter in Georgetown which I think is amazing!) We LOVE Gini, our officiant, and look forward to our pre-marriage meetings with her. Our relationship always feels renewed afterwards. The stress of trying to plan will be totally worth it.
  4. Kendall actually has a lot of opinions. This is AMAZING but in my little planning brain, I didn’t think about what my groom would want, so it’s a good thing he tells me. The funny thing is that he agrees with my mom on everything, which is super convenient. I happen to love naked cakes and I originally wanted a naked funfetti cake with fresh berries. Kendall and Mathy wanted hazelnut and think naked cake is ugly. We’re getting two smaller cakes rather than one huge one and neither is naked. I had always envisioned my groom and his men dressed a certain way, but Kendo has a great style and did something different. It’s his day too, and he’s had to reign me in from doing too much.
  5. It’s so important to have someone in your corner. Luckily, I have my mama bear to come to the rescue. Anyone who knows my mom know’s shes not like a regular mom, she’s a cool mom, and since she’s retired she has taken on this wedding as a part-time job. She spent one morning a couple weeks ago calling vendors when I had a really stressful day at work. She’s opened about 30 billion candle holders to make sure they’re all perfect for our centerpieces. When I was told by my bridal salon that my dress wasn’t a priority, she called them and suddenly it was. (Ha!) She’s been in constant contact with my MOH for my shower, and had gone with me/ will go with me to all my fittings to make sure my dress is exactly my vision. She’s as detail oriented as I am, so every little thing will be justso.
  6. I’m just going to start this paragraph with people will be weird. The first weirdness was someone I haven’t seen since I was four asking me for an invitation. I honestly didn’t even know what to do so I (you guessed it) called my mom. We crafted a response and I never heard from this person again. No loss I suppose, since… I haven’t seen them since I was four. Kendall had someone he used to party with text him not once, but twice, asking to be a groomsman. Apparently, he’d done this to one of Kendall’s groomsmen for his wedding too. This one didn’t happen to me, but one of my friends had an aunt ask her to use the photographer for family pictures after the ceremony. I’m pretty sure she called her mom too. Don’t let people bully you into situations on your big day.
  7. Recently, people have started most conversations with me with, “you must be so stressed!” Actually, I’m not. It comes in little waves. I was stressed about finding a hair dresser, I was stressed about hiring the limo, I was stressed momentarily about the invite list to our rehearsal dinner. But those things are all taken care of and I’m sure I’ll get through whatever else. And like I said, even those things that might go wrong, so much will go right I’ll probably be the only one who notices. I know I’ll be a hot damn ass wreck the week of the wedding, so hopefully I can just remember to breathe and enjoy it.

I honestly could go on and on- I’m still really thinking about writing a wedding book. I have a title and everything. It’s be funny and might get me in trouble. We’ll see. 😉 Right now I just want to enjoy my last couple months of crazy before finally getting to become Mrs. Caroline Suzanne Downing Price.

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With Valentine’s Day coming up, this article offers some inspiration on some imaginative ways to pop the question that are sure to sweep your partner off their feet, since the feelings of love are all around.

It’s important to remember that a proposal isn’t all about a fancy ring.  The true essence of a proposal is that of declaring to someone you want to spend the rest of your life with them – it shouldn’t be predicated on buying a fancy ring, however, rightly or wrongly, we have been conditioned to place a great deal of emphasis on the quality and size of the diamond that accompanies the proposal.

Proposal Ring Box

The point is that your love, and the person you are, is enough… a proposal shouldn’t be just another commercialized gimmick; it’s an intention to get married in a union that lasts forever.  With that in mind, here’s some inspiration on ways to pop the question:

  1. Massage

Enjoy a pamper evening together, then set up a few candles and offer a romantic massage where you save the left hand for last – and as you massage that hand, slip the ring on her finger, and gently pop the question in this wonderfully understated yet deeply intimate way.

  1. Pet Proposal

If you have a pet together, you could place the ring on its collar – just be careful to plan this well, as you don’t want the engagement ring to end up lost in the garden.

  1.  Surprise Picnic

One of the best options is to pre-prepare a picnic setting in a beautiful natural environment such as the beach… drive there, and then ask her to put on a blindfold – lead her to the spot you have set up, where perhaps there is a tent with tons of blankets too… get down down on one knee and explain she can finally remove the blindfold.

  1.  Take a Surprise Trip

Similar to the surprise picnic, albeit a little more expensive and logistically challenging, is to take your partner away for a long weekend (ideally calling up their work and arranging time off without them knowing – so it really is a surprise).  If you’re heading to somewhere like the Bahamas, you might want to check out Courtyard Nassau Junkanoo Beach which has oceanfront rooms perfect for a romantic in-room breakfast.

  1.  Love Locks

Made famous by a variety of bridges around the world, though most notably in Paris, couples share a secret then attach a padlock to the bridge and throw the key in the river.  The engagement twist, is to go back to a place where you have done this together, yet this time there is an engagement ring on a padlock next to it (just remember, this time, to keep the key).

In summary, your proposal should be inventive and tailored to your partner and the nature of your relationship; whatever you choose to do just make sure it’s personal to the two of you.

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You could be happily ticking along in life and not know that the man you love is planning your engagement. It’s such an exciting time for him, as he’s planning to ask you to spend every minute of the rest of your life as his wife, and that alone is a huge decision to make. Alongside that one, though, is the pressure on him to choose the perfect proposal and the perfect ring to go with it!

8mm Heart Shape Morganite ring

There’s a great divide between women: those who want him to choose the ring and those who want to be there during the ring choice. If he understands what you want before he goes shopping, there’s a greater chance you will fall in love with the ring. However, the engagement shouldn’t just be about the ring – we all know that – but somehow having a beautiful Tacori ring that he has chosen, knowing the things you love the most can make you love him all the more! So, how can you help him to choose the ‘right’ ring for you, without actually having him ask you?

  1. Style. There are literally hundreds of different styles of engagement ring out there and engagement rings are made up of two parts: the setting of the ring and the diamond. The setting refers to the design, and you can read more in depth about the differing ring designs here. You can tell him about the style of the ring you would love if and when the big day comes, but if not, he will need to do some research as to what he prefers. Jewelry stores are often fantastic when it comes to helping with cuts and styles so he will have great advice.
  2. Cut. Diamonds, should he choose them, are cut in so many different ways. This chart here can tell you the different varieties of diamond cut. However, if you’re not the traditional type, you may have other stones or styles instead of the standard rock chosen for you. That’s where personality comes into it!
  3. Fit. Most men do the ‘cotton’ trick at nighttime to size up your finger so that they can buy the right sized ring. However, others take a guess and have a receipt ready to resize. It is always better for him to buy too big and size down than too small, remind him of that!
  4. Budget. Okay, so we’re aware an engagement is not just about the ring, but the budget is important. It doesn’t matter how much he spends as long as the ring is something beautiful and meaningful for you.
  5. Metal. Rings are also about the metals – some women are allergic to certain types and this is something he definitely has to be aware of before he buys you a ring!

Next, comes the proposal and that takes some planning on his part so you won’t be able to influence that too much. When you get that question and he’s on one knee, take a mental snapshot as it’s something you’ll want to remember forever.

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One of the most daunting tasks of planning my wedding thus far was picking a photographer, mostly because the options are endless as far as price points, styles, and package details. I took to Facebook asking at least which price points were reasonable and *spoiler alert* it’s all over the map! And everyone just started giving me suggestions. One of my bridesmaids’ brothers recently got married, and his wife, Emily, suggested Darrell McDavid Photography, and I knew it would be a perfect fit after seeing their wedding pictures gallery with a fantastic dancing shot.

Darrell and his wife Kristin shoot together the day of the wedding, all day, and it was actually a huge selling point for me to work with a couple. Darrell shot our engagement pictures solo, and it was so nice to get to know him and his style. Even though we felt a little awkward kissing on command for a couple hours, he made it fun and easy for us.

We decided on the Georgetown Waterfront because that’s where we had our first date. Somehow, Darrell made it look almost empty on a busy, hot Saturday night. We wanted to go with a style that was very “us”- kind of vintage rockabilly with a hint of prep? Is that a thing? It’s totally a thing. Plus we had a nice juxtaposition of nature + city.

My hair was done by the lovely Amanda at Illusions– highlight and a sweet up-do that she designed herself. (That my mom liked much better than the original style I was looking at so thank you Amanda!)

Small world: my makeup was done by a woman named Dreama (I’ll pass along her info to anyone who would like it- she’s an absolute star!) who did my mom’s friend’s makeup for her wedding… to Marisa’s cousin. Nails were (and will always be) Oriental Oasis. Hand’s down best nail salon in DC.

These pics are just some of my absolute favorites. It’s getting real, you guys!

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Congratulations – you’re in love! In fact, the idea of proposing to your partner has recently entered your head, and now you can’t shake it. When such an idea arises and you begin to think about it quite seriously, you’re going to be hit with waves of emotions. It can be difficult to get your thinking straight – which is precisely what you need to do before you actually pop the question!

I CHECKED YES

Are you ready?

Yes, it’s worth remembering that there can be a long time between the proposal and the marriage itself. Some people even wait years. But the thing about love is that it often makes us do stupid things – and while you may not want to think about an engagement as being in such a category, it’s undeniable that there are scenarios in which getting engaged may not work out best for everyone. You need to think carefully not just about the health of your relationship, but why you want to propose. If you’re just proposing because of pressure relating to society or your age, then think twice. This shouldn’t be something you feel obligated to do. Proposing isn’t something you do to prove your love to your partner! Make sure you’re comfortable with your reasons.

This is up to the couple, but Kendall and I both wanted my parents’ blessing before he popped the question. To some, that is an antiquated tradition but I’m very close with my parents. I’m pretty sure I asked him if they knew before I said yes. Make sure you respect your partner’s wishes as far at that goes.

The ring

There is a lot of advice out there relating to rings. Some will say you should spend as much as possible; others will make the argument that beautiful rings can be found for three-figure sums. Well, while the latter is true, you shouldn’t feel bad for wanting to spend a lot more, either. Remember, you’re both going to wear the rings for a very long time (we hope!), so make sure you’re happy and confident in what you’re getting, regardless of the price. Whether the wedding rings you’re going for are designer or simple but gorgeous black opals, ensure that you’re getting something that you and your partner are both going to love. Kendall knew I wanted rose gold + morganite, but he picked the setting on his own and my ring means the world to me!

What to say

Don’t lift a proposal that you’ve seen in some Hollywood romance and change some of the words around. Don’t find proposal examples on the Internet and change the name so it applies to your partner. There’s a lot of pressure here, and many would argue that a proposal is a brief performance of sorts. But whether your partner will say yes or no probably won’t hinge that much on what you say here! Your best bet is to speak sincerely. Keep it simple. Spend some time thinking about the time you’ve spent together, what they mean to you, how you met, and how you decided that proposing to them was what you had to do. Tell them why you want to spend the rest of you life with them. I barely remember what Kendall said because I was about black-out excited, but something about me putting up with his… ahem… nonsense, and always supporting him. You can go check it out for yourself on the blog post I linked above

The right place and time

This is often the most nerve wracking decision to make, oddly enough. Take into account the one you’re asking. I had literally told Kendall I wanted to be proposed to on Stage with We The Kings (not expecting it, mind you) but someone else might want something intimate/ private. You might want to pick a place that means something special to you- a first kiss or a first vacation spot. One of the sweetest proposals I have seen (besides my own) was actually a bar crawl to benefit breast cancer research when the bride had lost her mother that way. It was so special to her to have her mom “involved” and very that couple.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!