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Inspiration » sarah anne photography » Joy Proposal Story: Jeff & Nicole

Joy Proposal Story: Jeff & Nicole

by Kelsey Vickers
Joy Proposal Story: Jeff & Nicole

How did the two of you meet?

Her take: The first time I saw him was during 5K training. Yes, once upon a time we both used to run. I remember stealing glances and thinking, “Oh wow, he’s cute!” As training progressed we would bump into each other often and I started noticing him more and more. Still, we hadn’t really talked, only polite casual conversation. After a few of these encounters, I noticed he seemed off one day and asked him if he needed to talk. As the conversation progressed I suggested a walk to our local ice-cream shop away from the rest of our friends. On that walk, I realized this person was going to mean a lot to me. I didn’t know what shape our relationship would form, but sparks flew, and as time passed a fire was started. Over time, we went our separate ways. I was certain I would never hear from him again. I thought about him often, but eventually, he faded into the ‘missed connections’ category. A few years later, out of the blue, he sent me a message and we hit it off like nothing had ever changed. It isn’t a perfect story, but it’s ours and I wouldn’t change it. Now, a decade later, we finally got it right and I get to marry my best friend!

Alisha Toole Photography

His take: The story of Nicole and myself… well, for a decent and entertaining rendition I would suggest you watch “How Sally Met Harry”. It’s actually pretty close to the mark. Including Nicole (Sally’s) exactitude with food and my (Harry’s) ever-present dramaticism. (That is so a word).  If you would like to hear it from me… How Nicole and I met will differ slightly depending on who you ask. I am pretty sure I actually met Nicole before she remembers. Which, if you know Nicole, is quite the feat as you could use her brain as a sponge and mine is more like a colander. I actually remember bumping into her on my first day of grade 12. I ran into her at lunch when I went to go talk to someone she happened to be having lunch with. I remember thinking, “Wow that girl is kinda, sorta, really pretty. I’m going to go try and talk to her.” Keep in mind that my approach to women really had not evolved since kindergarten. So naturally, my attempt at what I call “playful insulting” was met with… I actually don’t remember, but shes always had a quick wit and sharp tongue. I’m pretty sure my brain specifically omitted the rest of the encounter to try and save my sanity. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly smitten.

“Now, I can tell you the exact moment I knew I was falling for Nicole. Okay, not the exact moment, like day and time but I can share the frozen moment.”

My next encounter with Nicole was actually one short hour later when lo and behold “that girl” is actually in my workout class. I’m thinking, “Great, the super cute, traumatizing girl is here too!” Actually, that’s wrong. I also remember short shorts. One of those never-forget memory snaps in time. Really, it was more like, “Great the super cute, traumatizing girl in short shorts is here too.” I actually remember looking up at where I imagined heaven was and mouthing, “Why?!” with what I’m sure was a condescending look. Somehow we got to talking again, and she turned out to be pretty alright. Our favorite thing to do was take walks and have endless deep talks. Oh, and ice cream! Half the time we walked we would end up at what was then Rizzo’s Ice Cream. Yes, we walked, to get ice cream, during a workout class. Don’t judge, we’re full of all kinds of lovely paradoxes. Now, Nicole could charm her way out of a murder charge (something I am always reminding myself…) so convincing our teacher to let us go for walks was a piece of cake, or rather a scoop of ice cream. So we walked, and talked damn near every day and got quite close. Not too close mind you, Nicole had a boyfriend, and I was between women at the time. We were close, but always aware that we couldn’t be closer.

Alisha Toole Photography

Now, I can tell you the exact moment I knew I was falling for Nicole. Okay, not the exact moment, like day and time but I can share the frozen moment. We were walking like we always did, talking about something which at the time, was super important. Heck, if I remember but everything was important in high school.  We were out front of Rizzos, just crossing the tracks and all of a sudden I had this sudden, near overwhelming urge to hold her hand. In fact, I caught my hand halfway there! At this time I remember thinking to myself, “So I guess Nicole is going to be kind of important to me… yup, I’m in trouble.” If only I had known how much trouble I’d get into, I’d be living in Costa Rica, maybe. Obviously, I didn’t, and I would argue the road traveled was worth it.

“I would think of her now and again, especially when I would fight with whatever Nicole-stand-in I was marking time with.”

Eventually, Nicole and I drifted apart. The usual reasons- I semi-secretly wanted more, and Nicole was committed to her boyfriend. Obviously, that doesn’t work too well and we drifted. It did help a bit that I was in the army at this point and was gone a heck of a lot. But I never forgot her. I would think of her now and again, especially when I would fight with whatever Nicole-stand-in I was marking time with. I can’t count how many times I almost called, or messaged, but it never felt right. One day though, years later, I actually did. Hell if I know why, but I did.  Just like that, things were right back where they left off. I remember thinking to myself, “Great, the super cute, traumatizing girl in short shorts is still the super cute, traumatizing girl in short shorts. Yep, I’m in trouble.” We talked a lot then. We would spend hours of my shifts just talking. It was nice. I never tried to see her though, I didn’t want to play with fire because I knew damn well there was still a flame burning. Eventually though, it happened. I was working security at a bar downtown. Okay, let me just explain it like this. I’m on the bar patio with a drunk girl I was escorting out over my shoulder. I had another girl beside me trying to take me home and I hear this distant voice say, “Hey there stranger”. *Spoiler alert it was Nicole*  Once my brain figured it out, I spun around pretty fast. All I remembered in that moment was that smile. I’m sure you’ve all see it at on point or another, and I was stunned. So stunned it actually took me a second to realize I spun around so fast I had almost used drunk shoulder girl to club the drunk flirty girl, in the face. Almost. My boss didn’t appreciate that much, and I had to go inside. So that was a short visit.

Alisha Toole Photography

We ended up hanging out a lot after that. Eventually, Nicole ended up single and after some time we were a thing, finally! The angels sang, the world rejoiced, and my dad admitted that he saw this coming. (Way to go, dad!)

“Now here we are. I’m writing our story, you’re reading it, and after lots and lots of talks about color pallets, and flower arrangements, we’re getting married!”

Now I’m going to share another important snap moment. The moment I decided I wanted to get married. Now first, I had never thought (seriously) about marriage before. The only thought was that it was a stupid money grab, and pretty much a death sentence to a relationship. I thought it was just a peer pressure, life stepping stone. So anyway, knowing that, imagine this: We are spending a weekend at Nicole’s dads’ house and the night is winding down. We were up late talking about anything and everything. She brought up the topic of marriage and we have the normal, why, why not, talk. Then she goes and does it, she hits me with that unfair thing called logic. She explains she wouldn’t get married for all the reasons I mentioned. At this point I’m thinking, okay, good, that’s fine! No marriage! Score!  Then she went on to explain why she would… how it was basically just a day, an expensive day where we got to have a big party with all the people we care about, and that they got to feel how we felt on our best day. Then, I thought, “Damn, the super cute, traumatizing girl in short shorts is going to be my wife. Yep, I’m trouble.” Now here we are. I’m writing our story, you’re reading it, and after lots and lots of talks about color pallets, and flower arrangements, we’re getting married!

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

The proposal was a complete surprise! Jeff and I had talked about getting married, but it wasn’t a priority for either of us. I walked into that night completely oblivious (although hindsight is 20-20) My best girlfriend, Courtney drove down from London to hang out with us. We had a crazy night planned with not one, not two, but THREE parties to attend. As Courtney and I finished getting ready, Jeff went to warm up the car leaving me and Courtney alone to talk. Now, I had been bumming pretty hard since Christmas as I had thought Jeff was going to propose then. He had been dropping millions of hints and I was sure it was going to happen then but, c’est la vie, it was not the time. So, while Courtney and I had a few moments alone I quickly whined to her and begged her to tell me if he’d said anything to her about proposing. This was important because if he hadn’t asked my best friend, he wasn’t doing it anytime soon.

“I turned around to give some witty retort but then there he was, on his knee, with a ring box in his hand. He was proposing.  Everything stopped and I swear time stood still.”

However, little did I know Jeff had already roped her in on his plan and sworn her to secrecy; so, like the amazing best friend she is, she denied knowing anything and tried to cheer me up to keep the biggest surprise of my life, a surprise. After a bit of a drive we made it back to our hometown and first stopped at my parents, found out our middle party was canceled, and then hit up our last stop, his family’s house to ring in the New Year. After a few drinks, and with my favorite champagne ready to be poured, we all crammed into the living room to watch the ball drop. I sat on the arm of the chair Jeff was in and as per tradition, I kissed him first, had an emotional moment with Courtney, and then proceeded to hug the rest of the family. Then I heard Jeff say, “Is it my turn yet?” I turned around to give some witty retort but then there he was, on his knee, with a ring box in his hand. He was proposing.  Everything stopped and I swear time stood still. I don’t even remember saying yes, just kissing him while smiling like an idiot. I was so ecstatic he had asked me to marry him I didn’t even look at the ring for quite a bit; it took my prompting from the rest of the family yelling, “Let’s see the rock!” for me to finally look. Overall it was perfect, he nailed it. Absolutely nailed it. It was romantic, it was grand, he used my full name, he got it on video, and it was special.

Alisha Toole Photography

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Choosing the venue. It was also the piece that made everything feel 100% real

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

yoga, weight training, and unplugged wine nights together

Alisha Toole Photography

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

Everything! They’ve thought of it all! I have to say it’s a toss-up between the scheduler and the story/tidbits. I’ve been able to customize everything. I can’t wait to add our registry information and set up the RSVPs

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

Try everything and give yourself some time to personalize your site. They also have a friendly staff that is always available to help if you need it!

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

Your wedding isn’t the start of your story, it’s just another piece of your story, it’s part of your journey. It’s the journey that defines you and it’s in the journey where you’ll find joy.

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