We returned to college after spring break, excited to officially announce our engagement. Cornerstone University has had a long-standing tradition for celebrating engagements called the candlelight ceremony. We weren’t the only ones who got engaged over spring break, and we had to wait a few days for our turn. It was hard to keep things a secret until
then. I resorted to only wearing the ring to bed (pure torture after waiting so long for it!), and my roommates later confessed to seeing it gleam in the moonlight.
When our turn came, I gave my ring to my Resident Assistant who then tied it to a candle. Right after curfew, a girl from my section ran up and down the halls of the entire dorm knocking on doors yelling, “Candlelight! Candlelight!!”
Everyone in the dorm scampered down to the lounge and sat in a large circle with the lights turned low. The lit candle with the ring tied was passed around the circle. Everyone took a look at the ring by candlelight and it kept going around and around the circle until it finally came back to me and I blew the candle out.
All the girls started screaming and giggling as I moved to sit in the center of the circle and answer their barrage of questions. How did he propose? How did you first get together? When are you getting married?
Meanwhile, the guys from Ked’s dorm were running circles around our dorm banging on the windows and chanting “Bring out the girl! Bring out the girl!”
The girls’ tradition is to end the dorm part of the candlelight session with prayer. I invited my soon-to-be sister-in-law Karon and my roommate and bridesmaid Jennifer into the circle with me. They led the dorm in prayer for us and our upcoming marriage.
We then filed out of the dorm to the bell tower in the center of the campus. The residents of the two dorms formed a tunnel for the me to run through where Ked was waiting for me at the end by the bell. He grabbed me, so thankful to finally be able to kiss me in public, and planted a loooong one on me. He’d warned me ahead of time that’d it be a good kiss, because while the couple kisses everyone else counts out loud how long the kiss is! Ked finally released me, out of breath, and climbed up the pole and rang the bell, announcing to the rest of the campus that there’s a new engagement.
He then slid down the pole and before his feet hit the ground, the guys from his dorm carried him down to the pond and tossed him in. Happy engagement! It doesn’t matter what time of year you get engaged, the guy always goes in the pond. That’s why very few engagements happen over the winter because they will cut a hole in the ice and toss him in anyway!
We were given an hour past curfew to stay out and celebrate. We had bought a box of sidewalk chalk that we used to draw our names and wedding date all over campus. Now, it felt official.
We still had a lot to figure out. It was mid-April and the June 28 date was quickly approaching, along with finals and packing and figuring out where to live and getting a vehicle and determining how we would support ourselves. Details. Minor Details.