What Comes After She Says Yes?

I’m 24-years-old. I’m a senior journalism major. I’m on the cusp of my professional career. And…I’m getting married a semester before I graduate.

It all started last October when I decided to propose to my girlfriend, Ashley Carter. It was the 31st and one of our favorite occasions: Texas Tech football, Halloween and Ashley’s birthday weekend. I had one of her best friends there to capture the moment and it was as special as I had hoped it would be.

It was a stressful morning for me as a prepared to ask the most important question of my 24 years on this Earth.

It was a stressful morning for me as a prepared to ask the most important question of my 24 years on this Earth.

This moment had been the only thing on my mind ever since I had the ring in my possession. I hadn’t really stopped to think about what was next.

I read somewhere that for a couple getting married, the wedding day is the ultimate day of reckoning. You are professing your love and commitment for all of your family and friends to see. That was when I truly began to appreciate what all of this meant.

The fact that my fiancée and I are on the younger side of things never crossed my mind when I made the decision to pop the question. For me, it was all about making my fiancée feel special and making sure that she knew how much I cared for her.

After a three-year relationship, our parents were excited for us to take this next step. But, there is always some apprehension in parents’ minds when their child is making any big transition in life. We are about to graduate, start careers and get married all in one go. With three big transitions at once, I see why parents could worry.

The worry about if we are ready to start life outside of an academic setting and pay bills is enough to make any parent a little nervous. But, on top of that, we are making the biggest commitment of our lives.

Our parents know how tough that commitment can be. Both pairs of our parents are divorced and three have since remarried. While this may be discouraging to some, I think it gives Ashley and me an opportunity to take the best and worst parts of what our parents did and succeed together.

We know the impact divorce can have not only on us as children, but the long-term effects it has on our relationships with our parents. I think this gives us motivation to work at our relationship through the best and the worst.

It was a very long day, but it was all worth it to see the smile on her face.

It was a very long day, but it was all worth it to see the smile on her face.

Speaking of children, I don’t know why people assume that is high on the priority list. We are not getting married because we want children. While that is something we have talked about, it is something we have both agreed is way off in the future.

We are getting married for each other. This is the next step and we decided to take it together.

While it has taken some time, I am starting to grasp the gravity of the situation, but I am not feeling anxious. I am excited because I know I have made the right decision. I don’t want a part of a future that does not include her.

We aren’t naïve. We know that starting a life after college combined with the early years of marriage could be difficult, but who ever said life was easier alone? I honestly don’t know if I could do it without her. The difficulties of post-college life will be easier with my best friend along to help.

She has been such a consistent rock for me and has truly become my partner in life. I am convinced I could not take this next chapter on without her by my side.

I know we are young and I know there are a lot of struggles in life that we are not yet acquainted with, but that’s not a good enough reason to be afraid.

I believe this is the plan for our lives and I look forward to starting this journey with her. Marriage is just the first step.

About Joseph Marcades

Investigative Reporter - Media and Communications Undergraduate Student, Class of 2017, working on a degree in journalism. He loves his wife, football, golf, film, Texas, and good stories.

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