I'M ENGAGED!


I'm getting married! If you follow me on Instagram then I am sure you have already heard the news, but since I just got back our engagement photos I thought this would be a nice time to share a little bit more about how everything happened and some very preliminary wedding ideas. Or if you just want to check out the lovely photos Kellie did, here are some of my absolute favorites! She did such a wonderful job and I was so excited to see them. Fortunately we got lucky with the timing, light, weather and our rambunctious little French bulldog Pierre! All of the photos shown here were taken right where Arthur proposed, at the lovely Palisades Park in Santa Monica. But before I say anymore, I want to share a few thoughts about marriage, about women, about relationships in general. And if you're not interested, that's cool too. Scroll down for the details about the proposal and the very few things we've figured out so far about the wedding. Enjoy!

Some Thoughts About Marriage
Like I said in my post on Instagram, getting married is a wonderful and special thing, but is not everything and opting out is more than okay. I truly believe that people can find fulfillment, happiness and true love in many ways and not all of them include marriage. I also think people can have successful, committed relationships and raise healthy children outside the institution of marriage. As a young women I have always felt bombarded by the nonstop messages about the importance of getting married, finding the "one" and "getting to  I Do." So many of the movies I watched centered around teaching young girls a very clear message: a guy's interest in you is most important and the responsibility to make this happen is on you. As I have grown older I have seen how real and dangerous the impact of this message is. From young girls to grown women, I have met so many who have a really disempowering view of themselves. From blaming themselves for not having a boyfriend, to comparing themselves constantly to other women, or attempting to make themselves desirable to men as a way to procure self worth, I have seen it all too many times. This is so unhelpful and unfair for women. Why should our love for ourselves stem from our relationship status? Not to say this doesn't happen to men too but I think it comes from the idea that girls have to always be nice and please people, the idea that we are not complex enough to have a range of emotions including being upset, passionate, frustrated in addition to being empathetic, kind and helpful. The idea that a woman's role centers around her ability to birth and raise children. And what about men? They have traditionally had more power than women. More career opportunities, more financial stability, more freedom in choices. Therefore women have been socialized to think on some level that marriage isn't just an option, it's more of a necessity so they can move through life successfully because without a partner, they would fail. 

That is why for me the education and role modeling of healthy relationships has been so pertinent in my personal life and work. As a therapist who works with a lot of sexual trauma and intimate partner violence, I have often asked this question so many times. Is it possible to have a relationship between two people that is truly equal? Free from it's history that has paved the way for today's modern day relationships. I know in my heart and from many experiences that this type of relationship is quite possible but I do feel it's not by any means, and for lack of a better term, the "norm." We can't ignore the fact that these inequities have permeated the majority of relationships because history provides a backbone to the present whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. We can't ignore the fact that things like martial rape didn't become law until 1993 in all 50 states and that the #MeToo and #TimesUP movement just started around the same time our President made remarks justifying sexual assault towards women. Real cultural shifts take time and in the meantime I have chosen to be conscious about my relationship and question some of the status quo ideas about traditional gender roles, heterosexual relationship practices and even the marriage process itself. 

It was very important to me to have conversations about getting married before it happened, to ensure that just because my partner was tasked with asking, that I would also be completely on board and ready for the lifelong commitment. Before even talking about getting engaged, we also had many very real conversations about all the important things: our plans for the future, money, role expectations, children, religion and lifestyle preferences. I can't say we agreed 100% on everything, but we have already made a lot of real thoughtful decisions about our future which involved lots of communication and compromise. I really think that the respect Arthur and I have have for each other has been the fuel for our success so far. That's not to say that our relationship is by any means perfect, but we have created a nice foundation so far to build from. 

All in all I will always choose to see this as an opportunity to cherish some long held, long loved traditions, while also redefining what it means to be a married couple, a man, a woman, in this world. It's a chance to consciously  choose what feels right for us and question the status quo, the typical relationship myths, the Sex and the City storylines (as much as I love you Carrie, sorry). It's a big life decision and happy one too, I am glad I live in an era and country where I have the freedom to make these choices for myself. And I hope you do too.  

How Arthur Proposed
I really had no idea how this would all go down but knowing how great Arthur and I both are at organizing people and parties, I had no doubts it would perfect. The day was pretty normal for me, I was working from home as I do from time to time, reviewing paperwork in old workout clothes and trying to be as productive as possible. Arthur and I hadn't spoken much except for making a pretty typical plan to take Pierre out for a walk in Santa Monica once I was done working. Since we were headed to Cabo a few days later for his friend's wedding I figured I'd better get a mani/pedi before having to pack and run a number of other errands. So I went to the salon nearby (THANK GOD) and threw on my "it's obviously laundry day" workout clothes. I have many cute athletic wear pieces and this ensemble I was wearing unfortunately was not one of them. But at least my nails were done, which if you know me personally, is not the norm. Arthur then picked me up with little Pierre in tow and parked on Ocean Avenue right where it crosses San Vicente and we walked along Palisades Park, overlooking the beautiful ocean. We found a spot to look out onto the water and some guy was there just babbling on about dolphins, trying to point out where they were. He finally gave up after a few solid minutes and all the sudden Arthur got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I said yes, put on the most beautiful sapphire ring and before I knew it I heard a wonderful sound, a champagne bottle pop (it was my favorite brut rosé to be exact which I happen to like more than champs but we'll save that for another time) and so I turned around and there was my sister holding it and our parents, all there to celebrate! They had a pretty picnic table setup with all my favorite snacks like double cream truffle brie, French bread, Russian caviar, smoked fish and lots of brut rosè to go around! After our picnic by the water we headed back to Arthur's apartment where a whole feast was prepared and the bubbly rosè continued to flow all night. The next day we went to my favorite places with the family, lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel, sunset drinks at Moonshadows and dinner at Forma. It was perfect and I couldn't have planned it better myself, which knowing me says a lot! The next day we got on a plane and headed to Cabo, it was the perfect little escape to complete the festivities and relax after all the excitement! 

Preliminary Wedding Planning
Emphasis on the preliminary. And with all that said, we have gotten the first, and perhaps biggest, task on our wedding to-do list crossed off. We have picked a venue and a date! Next summer we will say "I do" in Los Angeles and I couldn't be more excited. I have always wanted a small wedding and so we will most likely be keeping the guest count to under 200 people and the venue is outdoors. Fingers crossed the weather is good that day! I've always loved the summer, especially those really warm nights, surrounded by green grass and a beautiful pink sky. Hopefully the wedding will reflect that! 

Not many more details have been pinned down yet but fortunately we have a good amount of time to get it all sorted out. What I do know for sure is that I am not having bridesmaids. My sister is of course going to serve as my maid of honor but I the idea of picking out a set of girls who are close to me is just way too anxiety producing for me and not as important. I definitely think having a group of friends with you the whole day is a sweet idea but given my personality it would just be too overwhelming for me. I'm also contemplating not having a bachelorette party but more on that perhaps in a later post. I also know that since Arthur and I are both Jewish we will have a beautiful chuppah covered in flowers, which is a canopy most Jewish people get married under. I also think the brut rosé will be the drink of the night but past that I really don't have succinct ideas! I just started a wedding Pinterest board (I know all my friends were surprised I didn't have one already) so hopefully I will be able to continue to share more details and ideas along the way!








"Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person … Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distance exists, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of seeing each other as a whole before an immense sky.” 

-Rainer Maria Rilke



Photography by Kellie Viagem

-MGN
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