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Inspiration » sarah anne photography » Joy Proposal Story: Crystal & Kirk

Joy Proposal Story: Crystal & Kirk

by Cali Pitchel

How did the two of you meet?

I [Crystal] was in the market for a new job after having spent ten years at home with my children, freelancing whatever graphic and editorial assignments I could pick up. I have always had a strange affinity for Lowes. I just LOVE home improvement, gardening, and decorating projects, so I passed up a high paying job as a Lancome rep to take a temp job there while I searched for a career I was really passionate about. I’m so glad I did or we never would have met. He was also working temporarily at Lowes, while he waited to start at the fire academy and begin his journey as a professional fireman.

We happened to meet up in the self-check line one day and exchanged just a few words over his purchase of an unnecessary water bottle [if you catch my drift]. That was more-or-less the last of our interactions for months, though. I noticed him, he noticed me, but we seldom acknowledged each other. Neither of us had any intention of making any long-term connections in this transition phase. Finally, just a month before he was set to hang up his red vest, I was sent back to his department to help him catch up on the holiday rush.

“Life is a journey and I wanna get started, back to the beginning with you.”

Within a few short hours of innocent banter, surrounded in bubble wrap and shipping labels, we realized we had nearly everything in common. After a few strategically timed work breaks over comically large chocolate muffins (he knows the way to a girl’s heart), I just knew we had to keep in touch. I was determined to convince him to become the drummer in the band I was singing in, so I Facebook stalked him. Our first interaction outside of work went something like this: “Kirk, way to be hard to find!” “Crystal, way to be creepy.” The next thing I knew, he was tricking me into our first date, and we haven’t looked back since!

Give us the proposal details! When? Where? How?

I lost my father eight years ago, but we live very close to his absolute favorite place on earth — the Gettysburg Battle Fields. As a child, I spent countless summers touring the park with him, and it holds a very near and dear place in my heart. Kirk of course knows this, so he planned his proposal around asking for my hand where I felt closest to my ‘daddy.’ I had no idea though and nearly foiled his plans! Wanting to avoid crowds, he chose a weekday before the summer rush of tourists. I was feeling a bit under the weather and was buried in work, so I didn’t make any urgent moves to go on the motorcycle ride he asked me on more than a week in advance.

I truly believe that if you can see the obstacles you overcome as mere tiny fibers that make you stronger as a couple, rather than an unraveling, your big day, with all of its very own bloopers and imperfections, magic and wonders, will live on in your memories as a beacon of your grit, love, and determination to make every day the best day ever.

He paced anxiously around the house for nearly two hours, while my sister (we work together) kept urging me to leave my tasks for another day. I finally agreed to clock out and we headed north toward Gettysburg. It was an absolutely beautiful day in late May. When we reached the park, he asked if there was a favorite place I might want to stop. I told him no. Foiled again. He asked a few more times before finally just choosing a place to pull over. I was still oblivious. We climbed up on a rock on the north side of Little Round Top and talked until the sun turned the fields below us a warm amber before deciding it was time to get back on the road. I leaped off the rock ahead of him and started abruptly down the trail to the Harley, when he called me back.

He kissed me very sweetly — and only in hindsight do I realize his hands were shaking — then dropped to one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. The first word out of my mouth was “Seriously?” followed quickly by “YES”! I was so surprised, we had to take a seat for a few more minutes so I could recover enough to hold on to him during the ride home. When I entered the house, the kitchen was filled with long-stem roses and bottles of champagne. We spent the rest of the evening dizzy with love…and champagne.

I signed on for the greatest ride of my life when I met you. Every day is an adventure worth holding on for.

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

I really love wedding/event planning. I’ve honestly always felt it could be my calling. Let’s be honest, though, it’s more fun when it’s not your own. However, I’ve been able to step outside of my own head and really enjoy designing and crafting all of the beautiful details of our wedding day, from invitations to programs to favors and decor. My favorite part of the experience has been sharing that joy with my support system. From extensive crafting with my amazing mother-in-law to brainstorming and scavenging for up-cycled wedding finds with all of my best gals, it’s been an incredible bonding experience.

How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?

We have, hands down, the BEST wedding party. They have kept every step of the process seamless and positive. We also have an incredibly supportive and encouraging family. They have alleviated every stress imaginable, from finances to realizing and materializing our vision. Most of all, though, we have each other. If we cannot see each other through the pressures of a wedding, how would we ever see each other through the pressures of life? I can honestly say, we have no doubt that we can handle this life business…and our wedding day will be a magical example of how two heads can be two heads and still see the big picture together.

We like to have fun with life and challenge each other to be better versions of ourselves, but through thick and thin, we’re rebels together forever.

How did you hear about Joy?

I had actually fully designed a website on another platform from scratch. I was happy with it, but it was missing something. I started researching before publishing it to see if there were any plugins I could add to format the bridal party profiles and photo albums the way I wanted. I also knew I would need a separate way to manage RSVPs digitally. I stumbled across Joy in the process and decided to see how long it would take me to set up our website With Joy. I was hooked. It was so simple and included absolutely every feature I wanted for free. Seriously…I would pay for this. I was so excited, I shared it with a number of my friends who are also engaged and they think I’m a godsend. It’s not me though. It’s Joy.

What is your favorite part of using Joy for your wedding?

I actually have experience with web design, and in my experience, free sites that are this simple to compose are typically just as, well, simple [insert blah]. Joy is user friendly AND your guests will think you are a tech wizard. The formatting is cohesive and the display is beautiful across both web and the app. The dashboard is pretty self-explanatory and the bonus features like save-the-date and email messages you can share with your guests really cater to the tech-savvy and equally green-loving couples.

What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?

Explore every digital inch of it. There are so many simple options you can include to provide information and alleviate the stress of your guests, especially if they have to travel. The site is so intuitive and the app is equally simple for your guests to use. There are a number of features I didn’t initially opt to use that I have found value in adding as the big day grows near. So, don’t just one-and-done it. Take advantage of your ability to update and share more Joy.

At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?

Wedding planning really reveals what you’re made of. You put all of your energy into making one day the best day of your life. I truly believe that if you can see the obstacles you overcome as mere tiny fibers that make you stronger as a couple, rather than an unraveling, your big day, with all of its very own bloopers and imperfections, magic and wonders, will live on in your memories as a beacon of your grit, love, and determination to make every day the best day ever.

I said “I will” in a place where my heart feels content, and I cannot wait to say “I do” again and leave my heart in your hands forever.

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