"Well, I don't really have a choice do I?" he said, amused by my excitement. The dining room table was covered with cardboard boxes. I pulled the delicate fabric bouquet out of its box and held it to my chest.
"What do you think?" I'd ordered it on Etsy and had it custom made in my colors. Peach and gray silk fabric was twisted tightly into individual roses with a single pearl in the center of each. The "leaves" were made with fabric that had been stamped with words from a book. I was in love with it.
"Wow, that's beautiful," he said. "It's so different."
"And here's the tossing bouquet. And here's your boutonniere," I said, pointing from box to box. "And here's the box of single-flower vases Lainie and I bought at a garage sale for $12. Oh! Now let me show you how it's all going to look!"
I pulled him through the kitchen where Mom and Dad were clearing the dessert plates, and out the back door. I could tell I was overwhelming him, but he was being a good sport about it. It was almost 9 pm, and the only light came from the porch light and the moon.
I didn't stop yanking on his arm until we were in front of the tree next to the pool.
"Just picture it. This is where we'll stand," I said, with his hands in mine. "Marvin will stand right here." I gestured to the gap between us and the tree. "And balloons will float above the pool."
Cayden nodded and took a moment to picture it all.
"And then everyone will sit right here," I turned toward the yard and the driveway beyond it. "Lights, beer pong, cupcakes, dancing."
"Well, it sounds like you're only missing one thing," Cayden said.
I frowned and ran through my planning list in my head. I had the bouquet, the officiator, the dress, the cupcake recipe, the balloons, the floating tealights.
When I turned back to Cayden to ask him what I was missing he was down on one knee.
"A ring," he said, holding the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring toward me. I couldn't take my eyes away from the gem in his hand.
"Whitney, will you marry me?"
Tears filled my eyes, blurring the sapphire and diamond sparkle together.
"It's so beautiful," I said, reaching for it.
He pulled it back and raised an eyebrow at me, teasing me with it until I answered.
"Oh, of course! Yes, I'll marry you. Put it on me. Put it on me."
He stood up and slid the ring on my finger. I quietly cried against his shirt as he wrapped me in a tight hug.
"Our wedding is going to be beautiful," he said. "I love you."
"I love you, too."