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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Jessica & Robert

Joy Proposal Story: Jessica & Robert

by Cali Pitchel

Robert’s brother was living in Spain and dating Jessica’s cousin. Robert saw one of Jessica’s comments on their Facebook photo, and he reached out to her. At the time Robert had just moved from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to Charleston: only a short distance away from Jessica. Some may see it as a crazy coincidence, but Jessica calls it fate.

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

We had conversations where he hinted his intention to get married for a while before he finally popped the question. He made it seem as though it would happen on Christmas Day. I was wrong. Then I thought, “Maybe for New Year’s?” Nope, wrong again! Valentine’s Day was fast approaching, also marking our two year anniversary. We had been trying to find a good time for a double date with some friends of ours and thought a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner together would be perfect.

I made reservations at an Italian restaurant in downtown Charleston. The night before we got word that our friend’s husband had to work. So we went solo. The restaurant was, of course, very busy. The dining area was small and crowded, with a group talking so loud we hardly could hear one another. We were both a bit frustrated of not being able to have an intimate dinner. As the loud party left we heard live music coming from behind the bar and discovered, to our relief, that the back of the restaurant held a patio with a full bar. Upon entering the patio we were greeted by a completely different atmosphere.

As opposed to the chaotic locale, the patio was charming, quiet and empty with a serenading guitarist. We sat down and treated ourselves to dessert and wine. I went for the chocolate ice cream. It was like out of a movie: The warm candle-lit table, paired with the romantic tunes made us feel as though we were enjoying our very own private show. To be honest, with every scoop of ice cream I took, I was hoping for a ring to appear. Scraping the bottom of the dish I had concluded that I had been wrong once again.

It’s not being in love that makes me happy. It is the person that I am in love with that does. Our love is my joy and our love is infinite.

As if on cue, as I was slowly trying to inflate my busted bubble, Robert casually got up and walked over to my side of the table. Being the romantic Italian he is, I was thinking he was coming over to invite me to dance. I was flabbergasted when, instead, he got down on one knee, pulled out a tiny black box and opened it. I admit that I don’t remember what he said, I was overwhelmed with my gaze fixed on the beautiful ring while laughing and crying at the same time. I just couldn’t contain my excitement that I was finally going to marry my soulmate! During the exchange we had a standing ovation from the staff and the other guests that came in which made the moment truly feel like an act out of a movie.

As we left the restaurant, Robert insisted on going to Mynt, a club nearby the restaurant, where our friend, who was originally going to join us on our double date, was working. Upon reaching the club’s entrance we were faced with an endless line of people, but we were immediately spotted and let right in. Everyone knows that moment when you are treated with celebrity status: We loved it. To my great surprise, a few of our dear friends were waiting for us there to greet us. I waved my hand showing the ring and said, “Look we’re engaged!” “We know!” they replied, “That’s why we’re here! Robert called us to give us a heads up.” We were escorted to the VIP section and were presented with a complimentary bottle of champagne to celebrate. I was on cloud 9! We both celebrated and danced our first night away as fiances.

Civil Marriage celebration

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Honestly, everything! Taking a trip to Sicily to shop for venues, dress shopping with my mom, picking out the flowers, picking out our colors. Just seeing our friends and family excited about the wedding really adds to our own excitement.

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

Robert and I got civilly married at the courthouse and are having our Catholic wedding in Sicily where he is from. We realized that it would be difficult for some of our friends and family to travel across seas so we held a special celebration for them to be a part of here in the States. Planning a wedding overseas is definitely not easy. However, I’m very lucky to have my mother in law, who has been gracefully handling all the logistics, there in Sicily.

We talk every day exchanging excitement, ideas and information. Having her throughout the process has been nothing but wonderful. Not only is it a huge help that eases my wedding stress, but it has also allowed us to grow closer. She constantly reminds me that it will all work out in the end and it will be very special and unforgettable no matter what.

Civil marraige outside courthouse (1)


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

Every couple has a love story and I love that I can share ours with our loved ones. For a lot of our guests it provides a window into who we are as a couple. Joy has so many neat features, and is so user friendly, that building a site was not only simple but felt truly ours. Additionally, it made it much easier to share information with the guests, greatly helping us plan a destination wedding. Joy enabled us to provide helpful information regarding nearby airports and accommodations.


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

Make sure you look at all the pages it provides and add any more that you think are helpful for your guests. You can customize the content provided in such a way that the guests can easily find what they need without confusion. I would also suggest to glance at the Q&A page; it proved useful in my case!

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

Wait for the man who wants to go to battle for you. The man who sees any burden you may carry, any flaw you think you have, and loves you for it all. —Proverbs 4:23

Wait for the man who God has created just for you, and only you. I understand how waiting is hard, and fruitless, and lonely. You’re going to be alone for more things than you’d like, but you just have to remember that God is writing your love story. It will be beautiful and full of love from the man who will be so glad that you waited and prayed for him. Wait for the one whom your soul loves. —Song of Solomon 3:4

And waiting patiently, she received what God had promised her. —Hebrews 6:13

I breathed and lived those words. I patiently waited for the one God had chosen. Even though I had not met him yet, I prayed for him every night. I prayed for us to be fully ready so when we did meet it would be undeniably certain. I trusted in the Lord’s promises and he listened. He was without a doubt created for me and I for him. It’s not being in love that makes me happy. It is the person that I am in love with that does. Our love is my joy and our love is infinite. The wedding is one very special day: it stands as a gateway to the beginning of our happy ever after.

Civil marriage photoshoot

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