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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Esther & Mark

Joy Proposal Story: Esther & Mark

by Kelsey Vickers

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

We went on a short getaway to see a show in Baltimore, Maryland. Just before heading to dinner we stopped at the hotel happy hour. We were enjoying a glass of wine together in the lobby and sharing close, quiet conversation when he gently said to me, “we should get married.” Marriage as a general future happening was something we had discussed, so I interpreted this statement to mean that someday we would get married. But then Mark clarified that he meant now and he was serious, we should make it happen. I asked, “Is that a proposal?”. He replied, “I guess it is. Will you marry me?”

“…if you can learn to love yourself, it’s so easy to love someone else.”

I quietly replied “yes” and that was it. Quiet, intimate, simple, and very sweet. We didn’t announce our engagement for three more months. We wanted to enjoy some time as an engaged couple without any planning, hoopla, or stress. We decided when we did announce it, our families should be the first people we told. My family had a reunion planned in Las Vegas so we thought it would be fun to tell all of my family at the same time at the reunion. Prior to leaving for the Las Vegas family reunion, Mark told his family.

Jonathan Barnes

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Finally getting to plan a wedding! I’m over 40, so over the past two decades, I’ve helped almost all of my friends and family plan weddings, not to mention attend hundreds of weddings. I’ve had years to figure out what I want at my own wedding and what I don’t want. My favorite experience has been taking all that knowledge and finally implementing it! I’ve been taking it all in, from the wedding dress shopping to looking at centerpieces. It’s all been so exciting and fun! Being a bride over 40 has its advantages. So much of the stress that goes into planning a wedding isn’t there when you’re financially secure, have the support of your family and partner, and have the maturity to understand the difference between a marriage and a wedding.

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

I haven’t felt too much of the insanity. Our engagement is over a year long, and I have a lot of family and friends who are going to be involved, which has made it so much easier! My cousin is a professional wedding photographer and his wife is a florist, so hiring them was a no-brainer. My uncle is a judge, so he was a natural officiant. We’re having a very simple ceremony. Plus, we are financially secure, so we’re not stressing over money and we can afford to pay professionals to stress over the details. I think the main reason I’m not going crazy is that my priority is to be surrounded by friends and family while I marry the man I love. Anything else is trivial and secondary. I don’t expect to have a perfect day. That doesn’t exist. As long as I’m surrounded by the people I love, it’ll be amazing, which means nothing else is worth stressing over.

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

The awesome organization of the guest list and the ability for guests to share photos.

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

Let the professionals do the work for you! Don’t stress about the website when Joy has it covered.

Jonathan Barnes

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

Happiness is a choice. After spending more than two decades as a single adult, I learned that it’s no one else’s job to make you happy. I had to learn to be happy on my own and I’m so glad I did! It not only helped me to learn who I am, but it’s given me a lot of perspective in my relationship. If you can’t be happy on your own, you can’t be happy in a relationship. If you can learn to love yourself, it’s so easy to love someone else.

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