The Full Picture


Recognize anything in that photo? Yep, it’s the feet from the (old) HitchDied header image.  Those are the feet of one Hitch and Died, dancing about in the Pacific Ocean. Now you’ve seen the full picture.

The photo was taken last January, when we were visiting Collin’s older brother and sister-in-law in Long Beach with the rest of his family. We had, at this point, decided we were going to get married. Collin’s entire family knew that he was going to propose. They knew that I knew, too. But we didn’t really talk about it, as though it were still a surprise. This sometimes got awkward, like when Drarrie (Drunk Carrie) gave me a speech about how excited she is to have me become my sister-in-law, and how important sisters-in-law are to her because she only has biological brothers, eventually remembering to add, “I mean, IF you and Collin end up getting married.”

On the plane out to California, Collin apologized that he didn’t have a ring yet, because he knew it would be nice to become officially engaged when we were on vacation and with his family.  “I’m not just saying this to psych you out so you’ll be surprised when I pop out a ring. I really don’t have the ring yet.” (I’m glad he said that, because I thought that was what was happening.)  I asked him if he would be ok with us “announcing” the engagement to his family (even though they already knew) while we were in California, and he said he was. I had him draw a ring around my finger with a highlighter. At dinner that night Collin said something like, “Even though everyone at this table already knows about this, while we are all together I want to celebrate that Robin and I are going to get married.”

[Me and Carrie: "We're gonna be sisters!!!!"]

The photo I used to make the HitchDied header was taken the next day, somewhere in Orange County where we met up with Collin’s cousin and his wife.  Viki told us to try to keep it from them or “EVERYONE will know” (Sorry, Steven and Anna!).  While Collin and I ran around in the ocean making kissy faces and otherwise being cute, Steven took pictures of it with my camera, and Anna said, “These look like engagement photos!”

And in my head, they kind of are. Even though we weren’t “really” engaged yet. Even though we had a proper engagement shoot later.  When I want to think about the giddy bliss of first being engaged (before all the stressful, complicated reality of wedding planning butted in on the fun) I look at these photos from California. Which is why I used one for the header of my blog.



  1. This is an awesome story and photo and now I am misty eyed at my desk.

  2. awww! gah. gushing.
    i love that photo!

  3. Love! And these are so very much engagement pictures! :)

  4. We had a weirdo “almost engaged but not officially yet” time too, and we also have pictures from the “first” time, and I too love to look at how insanely happy we are in those pictures. I’m so happy to know we aren’t the only ones!

  5. That’s a very cute story.

    My fiance proposed in front of our family and friends (we had bought a ring together the week before so we also had an “almost engagement” period) and his dad took pictures, so we have a bunch of photos of our actual engagement. My hair is a disaster and I’m wearing an ugly turtleneck sweater, but we’re both grinning our heads off.

    We’re taking our professional “engagement photos” next week. My hair will be freshly washed and I’ll be wearing cute clothes and I’m sure they’ll turn out great. But I don’t think they’ll ever be our engagement photos in my head.

    • Even though these are my “engagement photos” in that they capture the excitement of getting engaged, I really like our “engagement photos” that we took with my photographer, because they are freakin’ adorable. Plus, I think engagement sessions are vital experiences to get used to professional photography before your wedding. So have a great shoot!

  6. Lovely. I love your super happy face. Looking forward to seeing more of it.

    Now you’ve made me want to go and look at my photos of the day and day after we got engaged. Thanks!

    • Sorry to be super vain for a sec: I ALSO like my super happy face, but it completely swallows up my eyes, which I think are my best feature, so I hope I can put a lid on it for however long it takes to take one “pretty” picture of me.


  7. I love this engagement story and you guys are SO cute. We had a long drawn out engagement period with no real proposal. Very un-knot and un-WIC but very us.

    • The bonus of having a drawn-out engagement period is you get a bunch of memories instead of just the one proposal. I remember this, I remember the day we first talked about getting married, I remember the day I realized Collin was planning on proposing soon, I remember the day he showed me a picture of the ring, I remember the day the ring arrived. Lots of happy memories.

      • Thank you for this. After a flurry of engagements on Facebook, I was feeling kind of down about how ours went. But you’re so right! I do cherish all the memories we have the way we did it.

  8. so perfectly delicious!

  9. Soooo cute. And more solidarity on the multi-step engagement process. :)

  10. That is an adorable photo. It totally captures that giddy, stress-free excitement of early engagement. Hearts.

  11. I love seeing the whole picture, and knowing that it was taken in Orange County. You were right near me! I also love that Collin’s sister has a special drunk name.

  12. I love this story. Ryan made me a ring out of a paper napkin ring holder first. I liked that ring just as much.

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