Reflections on a Year of Engagement


It was during my long hiatus over the last year that a wonderful development happened in my life: I got engaged! I’ve been seeing my fiancée for over a decade now and it was time to make things official. I’m very happy and very excited to officially get official about it.

Over the last year many great plans have come to fruition.

We Traveled to Paris…and Got Engaged!

We have a tradition of traveling during Lauren’s birthday. I suggested that we do something “big” for this birthday and head to Europe. It was her first time to visit and I couldn’t wait to go with her. We arranged a wonderful hotel between the Trocadero and the Champs-Elysées.

View from our hotel in Paris

We had a beautiful view


I made a special notebook

I asked her to marry me at the café from the film 'Amelie'

We looked like this after she said “Yes”…

Day after she said 'Yes' Lauren poses on the balcony

The next day Lauren looked smashing

Lauren poses on the Pont de Notre Dame

We found a wonderful coat for her and enjoyed our last day in the Seine

Headed back to the US - I was off by a half-size so ring is on a temporarily other finger

Headed Home

Byron was happy for his people

Byron was very happy for us upon our return


Where to get married presents some logistical challenges. We live in New York; she’s from Southern California; I’m from Texas; and we’ve lived in Texas, and California, New York together and have made friends in all those places.

Also problematic was that we didn’t feel anything toward some of the obvious locations.

Would we fly back to SF? That would seem strange given that we lived there, but moved away and don’t really visit.

Would we invite everyone to NYC? Well, that’s a hardship for some of our dearest friends and family.

We love the Hawaiian islands but that’s as much a hardship as NYC.

We thought more and more about how to make NYC work: Marry at the courthouse and rent out a hall in City Hall? Get married at Brooklyn Botanical Garden and mortgage one child and 2 condos we don’ thave to afford it for a strict 3-hour limit? Go to some random “Nice Winery” in New Jersey? If so, why not go to Napa? And if Napa, are there any wineries that we have a feeling of “closeness” to? Some random nice place in the Hamptons which we don’t really “summer” in nor do we have any cherished memories of? Some random wedding hall off the Long Island Expressway drenched in [purple light][]?

The more we looked at it, the more New York looked like a good candidate, but not a place for our special day.

We wanted some place that radiated us: our goofiness, our cinematic élan, dancing and fun. It was then that we remembered some conferences I’d attended and which Lauren met me: the Rubyconfs in New Orleans!

New Orleands from the river

It all started to make sense:

  • Our engagement was in old France we could see a great option in new France: New Orleans!
  • We wanted dancing: no finer dixieland jazzy swingy haven than The Big Easy
  • Food: Well, New Orleans is top notch in this department: beignets and daiquiris and gumbo!
  • We wanted a place where formality could dissolve and our mixed collection of friends and family could meet and mix and laugh together
  • 2nd-line parade!!!

New Orleands from the river

New Orleans is also blessedly central, has a long wedding season, and is pretty affordable. All told we’re locked in for an mid-April wedding.