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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Erin & Rafe

Joy Proposal Story: Erin & Rafe

by Cali Pitchel

How did the two of you meet?

Rafe: “It all started with Virginia basketball. A group of friends and I were driving down to Raleigh to catch the second round of the 2014 NCAA tournament. A friend had invited Erin, whom I had met previously, but not talked to for more than a few minutes. We were supposed to leave at noon, but didn’t end up getting on the road until 12:15, which was serendipitous as that’s when Erin decided to join us.”

“Every time I looked over at Rafe, he tried to kiss me.”

Erin: “I decided to join before that. I was just at the car dealership, so I had to run back into town to get stuff. Anyway, the drive down was fun. Rafe had run his first 5k race in years that morning and, flooded with histamines, proceeded to inundate the car with used Kleenex. What woman wouldn’t succumb to such charm?”

Rafe: “This is true. Anyway, the weekend was fun. UVA beat Memphis, 78-60. We went on our first date the following Wednesday (at Monsoon Thai). After dinner, Erin asked if I wanted to join her and a couple friends for a concert at the Southern. Not getting the hint, I said, ‘Sure.'”

Erin: “I was genuinely inviting you to join. Anyway, at the concert, I was sitting between my friends and Rafe. Every time I looked over at Rafe, he tried to kiss me.”

Rafe: “That is not true! I did that one time, and every time you tell this story it has gone from ‘once’ to ‘twice’ to ‘several’ times.”

Erin: “It was more than once. Anyway, the rest is history, and here we are!”

How long have you been together?

Three years! (Our first date was March 26, 2014.)

About six months after we started dating, Erin moved to London for graduate school. Rafe took on a consulting project in Amsterdam and was able to come to Europe a few times that year. So we ended up having a lot of amazing traveling opportunities early on in our relationship. It felt a bit unreal! After Erin finished grad school (Rafe had taken a job in Princeton), we were eager to explore what it would be like to be bored on the couch together on a Tuesday. Luckily, we haven’t been bored at all!


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

We were camping in Acadia National Park in Maine and woke up for the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. After the sun rose, people started clapping (way to go nature! But seriously nature is cool). Rafe’s arm was around Erin and he started saying really sweet things and Erin’s eyes started to blur, then she saw a green box out of the corner of her eye, Rafe said “Will you marry me?” Erin just started kissing him—then remembered to say, “Yes,” then kissed him some more. Then Rafe nudged her to actually look at the ring. Since he was still holding the box out to the side!

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Other than the catering tasting (a free, yet incredibly not-free lunch), our favorite part has been designing the Save-The-Dates. Rafe’s cousin drew an amazing illustration for the front of a post card (below), and we designed the backside of the postcard (honing our InDesign skillz in the process).

Kitsch Collins |

Kitsch Collins |

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

We are trying to make as much of the planning process fun as possible. Friends have been pitching in to help, Erin has been learning a new skill: calligraphy. Rafe has mostly taken the approach of, “Ok, sounds good,” but he did get excited when he broke out a giant poster board and Post-Its for a brainstorming session.


How did you hear about Joy?

We wanted a website that had all the functionality of other sites, but felt a little more like us—grounded, fun, personalizable. Erin did some extensive research, and eventually stumbled upon Joy on Facebook.

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

We loved the option to let guests see which other guests are coming after RSVPing. We hope this will help them plan logistics, and arrange more fun things to do that weekend.


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

Play “The Newlyweds” game with the Tidbits section! Each person write your answers independently and then compare. For every similar answer, take a sip of wine (or bourbon).

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

We have a lot of fun together. For the most part, the wedding is an extension of that, plus it’s an opportunity to have many of our favorite people in one place!


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