I’m the youngest married person I know.
My boyfriend proposed to me when I was just 17 years old. Two months later, we tied the knot and began our life together in wedded bliss. I was 18 and he was 21 years old.
In three short weeks, one year will have passed since the day we said “I do.”
With our one year anniversary in view, I have a question on my brain regarding proposals…
But first, for the Siarra and Jesse Nielsen Proposal Story.
Jesse found a coupon on Groupon (say that 3 times fast!) for discounted movie tickets at a rinky- dinky little theater in Lake Oswego, OR. We live pretty far from Lake O, but the tickets were so dirt cheap (with popcorn included!) we couldn’t refuse the adventure.
We anticipated an hour drive and we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at Twin Lakes Cinema early. We took a lovely stroll and admired privately owned shops and boutiques. We even found a little park and ran around for a while to let off some energy!
When the hour of Batman hit, we rushed back to the theater to claim our seats- and POPCORN! The movie was great! We have always been huge super hero fans.
As the movie ended, the crowd was pushed to the back exit. The small exit led to a cute wooden deck overlooking a lake. To our right was the beautiful park we had run around in just hours before. After coming out of the dark theater, we drank in the breathtaking scenery. Then we both noticed a small bench on the deck at the same time. We silently sat down to admire the sunset over the lake. We saw birds on the water and watched them for a long time. There were families on their speedboats and a lady lounging by her pool on the lakeside. I remember feeling jealous of all those people; wanting to have nice things like them.
As Jesse and I sat together, we shared our thoughts and replayed the movie in detail. Jesse had been holding my hand the entire time; but after a while, he started fiddling with my promise ring. And then, in the midst of all our smiles and giggles, he got down on one knee in front of me.
He said, “Siarra Conlin Edmondson, I love you. Will you please marry me? But only if we can name our first child Robin, like in Batman.”
I must say, yes, it was a very personalized proposal. But shouldn’t a proposal include inside jokes so it can be intimate? What could be more intimate than spending the rest of your life with someone?
The moments following were so surreal! I loved him so much, even more now, and it took my breath away to think that we would be together forever. I said yes right away! And I remember thinking that those families on the boats and that lady with the expensive pool had nothing compared to what I have.
Which brings me to the question I’ve been contemplating…
Why is it custom for a person to get on one knee to propose marriage?
I started out by asking a few of my family and friends for their opinions. And I can’t wait to share these gold nuggets of knowledge with you, my readers!…
My husband, Jesse Nielsen, said, “The reason men get down on one knee is because the woman is in charge. Don’t forget that. The woman is in charge. But you won’t. She won’t let you forget.” And to that I say, “Yes. You are so right.”
My friend who recently has been talking with my husband and I about marriage, Zach Collier, explained, “People probably get on one knee because in certain cultures you have specific things you do. Getting on one knee heightens the significance or value of a proposal.”
One of my bridesmaids from my wedding, Kenzy Stupfel, claimed, “Men usually look down on women; it’s a societal thing. When a man asks a woman to marry him on his knees, he’s relinquishing control and throwing a lot out there. When a man gives a ring, which is the symbol of marriage, he’s starting the act of meeting half way. He’s showing vulnerability to the woman.”
I really love these answers. Thank you to my friends (and Jesse, lol) for sharing your thoughts.
But, as it turns out, there are no concrete reasons why one might get down on one knee to specifically ask for another’s hand. But upon further research, I located some possible theories.
According to Cheryl Cirelli, author of an article entitled “Marriage Proposal on Bended Knee” from Love to Know: Advice You Can Trust, the gesture of the bended knee bears resemblance to many ceremonial situations, including:
Royalty: As kings would award honors, a knight would kneel on bended knee before him.
Religion: We pray to our God on bended knees to show respect and to humble ourselves.
Surrender: One might bow to a victorious enemy for surrender in times past, again, to show respect.
But my FAVORITE answer would have to be from the article “How to Propose to your Girlfriend” found in Men’s Fitness.
Meredith Bodgas says that men need to get down on one knee to propose because,“It adds to the humility of the proposition—could I, some jackass on the floor, possibly deserve you as my wife?—and it’s a romantic gesture to which women are entitled only once(-ish) in a lifetime. If getting down and dirty means, well, getting dirty, at least take her hand while you ask your question.”
So there you have it folks! Right from the expert’s mouths (well, web pages).
Jesse, the ladies man. Kenzy is on his left. (Yes, this was MY wedding.)
Jesse and I right after our wedding last August. ❤