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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Heather & Nathan

Joy Proposal Story: Heather & Nathan

by Cali Pitchel

Heather and Nathan first met at a mutual friend’s high school graduation party. Both self-professed wallflowers, they tend to hang back at parties even though they love to have fun with friends. They first struck up a conversation while everyone was playing a game on the playground at the park. Heather was watching from the playground bench, and at some point Nathan stopped playing and came over to chat. They hit it off from the start, joking about the silliness of the game and getting to know each other. As the day went on, they kept talking.

And later when we played the board game “Clue,” Nathan wanted Heather on his team. (Smart guy!) As the party came to a close, they were joking and talking to their mutual friend—and he suggested they should talk since they seem to have so much in common. Heather and Nathan exchanged Instant Messenger names and email addresses—and they never stopped talking after that day.


Give us the details! When? Where? How?

Nathan proposed on my birthday in April 2016. It was a Thursday and I didn’t expect to do much other than go out for awhile and have a nice dinner. Nathan planned to take me to Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library in Delaware, which features 60 acres of naturalistic gardens and a famed Du Pont family home with 175 rooms, where Nathan had once interned as a horticulture intern and we have great memories from our many visits. (It ended up being more than just our usual walk of the grounds and taking pictures!)

That excitement, that joy, created as you enter this new chapter of life together and as you grow together are moments that don’t stop that day, but continue in every new step of your life together.

Nathan toured me around for what seemed like forever, taking paths we usually didn’t take. We came to a hill by the Quarry garden featuring gorgeous spring flowers, it was a beautiful spot with fields of grass and gorgeous views of the blue sky and trees in the distance. As we walked down the hill, there was a picnic blanket with goodies that Nathan had arranged with ladies he had worked with at Winterthur to have placed there for us. I immediately sat down and looked off in the distance to take in the view. I just thought it was a wonderful birthday picnic.

Nathan sat down behind me and asked me, “Hey what does that plaque by the tree say?” There was a young oak tree right in front of the blanket that Nathan had arranged to be dedicated and planted for us, there was a small plaque at the base of the tree. I began to read to myself, “Heather Day + Nathan Smith, May Our Love Forever Grow, Will You Marry Me?” By the time I got to “marry me”, I turned around and Nathan was on his knee and began reading a sweet poem he had written for me, while he held a birch tree ring box he constructed.



I immediately said “Yes!” and couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the day. Nathan popped champagne and we enjoyed our picnic lunch. After that, we spent hours talking and then toured the estate. We plan to visit our oak tree as a tradition every year as we grow old together.

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

We both loved venue visits. We loved walking the grounds of the two venues we visited. We began imagining our wedding day and seeing all of the details we wanted. It was the first time that getting married truly felt real to us and finding our dream wedding venue was such an exciting experience.

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

When we’re both feeling the pressures of wedding planning, we take a couple days break from planning and just enjoy being together, watching Netflix or going on a nice dinner or movie date with no wedding talk.


Sarah B Photography


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

We love that Joy has such a streamlined look and is so customizable and easy to navigate, whether on the go on mobile devices or at home on the computer. We were really drawn to the picture collage wall and that the website layout makes the website fun and easy to use.

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

Start using Joy as early in the planning process as you can to begin personalizing with your story and important wedding information, and distribute your website to your family and friends. We have received so many compliments from family and friends on getting to know us better as a couple and the ease of finding the info they needed. We also found it really helpful to frequently update the question and answer section with specific questions for our event, so that our guests have a quick reference for what to expect or any changes that have happened.


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

The happy memories you create with your family and friends and especially your spouse on your wedding day are the priceless moments that stick with you. That excitement, that joy, created as you enter this new chapter of life together and as you grow together are moments that don’t stop that day, but continue in every new step of your life together.


Sarah B Photography


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