Photos by Ryan Finley
Valentine’s day can be hard; there’s no denying that. But in the spirit of celebrating love and finding comfort this holiday, we sat down with Rikki George, freshman, who’s planning on working in early childhood education, to talk about what it’s like being engaged your first semester of college.
G&B: When did you two start dating?
RG: We kept it quiet because we didn't want everyone to know because everyone likes to talk. About a month later we made it public and then six months later he asked me to marry him and I said yes.
How did he do it?
He talked to my parents in advance. So it was like, one day he came to visit me because this is when he was at Coastal [Carolina] because he's a transfer student — he came to visit and we walked around for a little bit, and my parents came and picked him up and that same day he came back home and was talking to them about wanting to marry me and stuff, and he got my parents “ok” and he talked to his dad.
We went to Panera, which was where we had our first date and sat in the same exact spot. And I was like “okay, that's a little weird but okay.” And then we came back home and it was like, sunset, the sunset was out and it was pretty, and he had my parents help by laying out the silk rose petals from the garage into the yard. In the yard it had a heart with the petals, and that's where he did it.
What stage of planning are you in?
When it first happened, we just kinda planned everything out already. So, we have a book that's got everything in it. So, that's already done and we know where we wanna have it, and like the reception. Now is the waiting part. I guess everything is done, we just have to wait.
What’s a Catholic wedding like for those who don’t know?
We’re both catholic. So it's going to be very traditional- it's just going to be traditional. And since we’re both here, we want to have the reception at Riverbanks garden. We have something called a Pre-Cana. So, for six months before the time and day of your wedding, you go on certain days and meet with the priest, and they give you certain activities you do together to help strengthen your engagement and prolong your marriage. It's a building, bonding experience together. Other than that, everything is the same.
What difficulties have you faced?
The long-distance thing caused us to fight a lot more because we weren’t seeing each other in person and everything we had was over text or over facetime and things can get misinterpreted. And then I think both of us being away from each other, 117 miles apart for god knows how many months, was super stressful. The thing is he got accepted here like I did except that he wanted to go to coastal, but we didn't know that. And so it was one of those things like, ‘dang, if only,’ so looking back at it its the reflection of maybe I should’ve done this, but we can't change it, so we’re going to make the best of it.
How do you balance your time?
School takes precedence over everything. Everything after that comes as a secondary. Overall, it was a struggle to get on my feet at first, but I'm starting to stand up.
Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day?
Apparently, he does. He's got everything set up as a surprise for me. I know that we are getting a puppy… She's a cute little German Shepard puppy. Other than that I have no idea, he has everything else planned out.