Crystal and Michael met in the seventh grade at EL Wright Middle School. Crystal went to camp the summer prior with Michael’s best friend, Tye, and they ended up in the same homeroom class that fall. When Tye and Crystal realized they remembered each other from summer camp, Tye introduced her to Mike. They had homeroom, math, and social studies together so we saw each other most of the day and become friends over the year. Over 10 years later, Michael and Crystal are planning their wedding.
How long have you been together?
We have been together for 10 and a half years. We started dating the summer before eight grade after Michael asked me to be his girlfriend over Yahoo messenger. We didn’t think much of it besides the fact that we had a crush on each other. We were so young and just enjoyed to hang out with each other. We spent most our time with friends. We attended the same high school and college, but we had to attend graduate school apart. I got my Masters from USC, while Mike went to MUSC to attend Physical Therapy school.
We love being able to grow together and cherish our biggest memories together.
We absolutely love each other and being in each other’s presence. We cook together, love going out to eat, taking walks, challenging each other to new work outs, having dance parties by ourselves, and pretty much anything else you can name. We truly are best friends and could not be a more perfect match. We have been so blessed to be able to find each other so young. We love being able to grow together and cherish our biggest memories together. We know that most people don’t get that honor and we are so grateful.
Who proposed? Give us the details! When? Where? How?
Mike proposed on June 18th, 2016 on our high school football field. Poor, Michael! This proposal took months as he had to go to the high school principal for permission and write a letter to the district to use the field. Our field is one of the largest on the east coast, and we host national track meets so the district takes the property very seriously.
It was the perfect location because I was one of the varsity cheer captains and Mike was one of the varsity football captains. (SO CLICHÉ!) Because of this, we spent most of our lives during high school on that field. It’s a place with some of our biggest memories as high school sweethearts. We were supposed to go on a double date that afternoon with his older sister and her boyfriend, which is very typical of us. Mike told me his older sister, Morgan, would pick me up because he was running late from personal training.
Keeping the joy and love you feel on that day for the rest of your lives is going to be what makes your marriage.
Morgan picked me up and on the way to their house, she had to stop at our former high school and give her little sister, McKenzie, her softball glove because she was practicing on the field. This is also very normal. When I showed up, I got out to say hello to one of our former high school’s Athletic Trainers, as Mike and I did our senior internship with them. We have a wonderful relationship and she wanted to drive me down on the gator to show me the new updates they did to the stadium. Like I said, our stadium is kind of a big deal so of course I didn’t mind.
She drove Morgan and me down all the way around the field to the track where I saw all of our family and friends. They had huge pictures of us, memories throughout our relationship, and were throwing rose petals being silly as I walked through the tunnel they made that led to Mike. The song “I Want You” by Luke James was being played over the sound system. He popped the question and we all celebrated with cake and sparkling cider.
I couldn’t believe all of our family and friends, some drove hours, to come see this moment. Mike had dinner reservations as a nice restaurant in downtown Columbia after. It was an afternoon to remember!
What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?
My favorite experience so far has been wedding dress shopping. This has been the easiest task so far! I went in knowing what I wanted and left with everything I said I didn’t want! It was the first dress I tried on, but I tried on many others just for the fun. After my mom, aunt, cousin, and best friend saw their picks, I told my consultant, get me my dress! We put the first dress back on and I just knew it was the one. I felt so beautiful in it and it was such a special moment. It really hit me that I was a bride and I got so excited. I’ll remember how I felt forever!
How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?
Mike and I set times where we aren’t allowed to talk about the wedding. We’ll say, “Hey, let’s enjoy the weekend and not talk about it.” We think that’s so important! We just remember that the wedding is important, but our relationship is forever and we just love dating each other. Anytime we start getting frustrated, or arguing about a simple minor detail, we put it down for the night and just go back to daily life. I love that we’re able to do that because honestly, it can get super overwhelming sometimes. Our biggest advice to other couples that get engaged is “Enjoy your engagement!” You want to start planning your big day immediately, but it’s important to remember to continue dating as well.
What is your favorite part of using Joy for your wedding?
I love the modern format of the website. Not only do we get an app, but the layout is so cool. It’s not a boring one page site like other wedding websites. Joy just looks different and I love that we have something unique that no one has used before on my Facebook.
What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?
Take advantage of the personalization! You can do so much with joy. We love that we can have a Q&A section and a specific RSVP section catering to our needs. What gets better than that?!
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
Your wedding day is the most important day of your life, but it is just that, a day! You have to remember to cherish the memory but most importantly, the commitment you make on that day to your best friend and soul mate. Keeping the joy and love you feel on that day for the rest of your lives is going to be what makes your marriage.