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Inspiration » sarah anne photography » Joy Proposal Story: Kate & Branden

Joy Proposal Story: Kate & Branden

by Kelsey Vickers

How did the two of you meet?

Branden and I met while working at the same department store, as teenagers. We were both dating other people at the time but became friends over our shared passion for music. After high school, we both attended the same university for music performance. Our attention quickly turned to each other again when we went head-to-head for the same position in a student society (I won!) and we became close friends. By the end of sophomore year, Branden and I were spending most of our weekends together with a group of close friends. It took a bit of hinting but finally, he got the message and asked me on a date!

Martin Caird, Sandpiper Studios

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

Those who know us probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Branden chose April Fool’s Day to propose. The day started out like most Saturdays do. We had a lazy morning enjoying our ‘pancake Saturday’ and then went to the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market for groceries and lunch. On the way home, Branden suddenly announced that he had to run out during the afternoon to work on a surprise. Since I had been mentally working on a prank for him all morning, I immediately assumed he was up to no good. I played it cool and took the opportunity to put on a facial mask, watch a chick flick, and relax. Later in the afternoon (long after the time he said he’d be home), I called him to find out where he was. We had plans to have dinner with my dad that night and I didn’t want to miss it!

‘At this moment it felt like time had stopped. He took my hand and walked me around the room…”

Later, I found out that he was with my dad nearly the entire time. He had gone over to ask his permission to marry me but when dad saw Branden in the driveway, he immediately pulled him into a woodworking task! Branden assured me that he would be home soon and instructed me to pack an overnight bag. So mysterious and exciting! An hour later, he picked me up and we headed downtown. As we got closer I realized that we were staying at the Delta, where Branden’s dad works. He rented out their luxury suite for the night and naive Kate thought THIS was the surprise. We ran around the room looking out the windows at the harbor-view and jumping on the bed wearing the robes provided. We didn’t have much time to enjoy the room before we had to rush out to meet my dad for dinner and afterward, get to a comedy show. The most memorable part of that show was when Branden brought candy to snack on. He put the box of candy in one of his coat pockets, which must have been near my engagement ring because when I reached into his pocket to grab candy he panicked and grabbed the coat away.I thought he was just being greedy with the candy and got mad at him!

Martin Caird, Sandpiper Studios

After the show, we slowly walked back to the hotel. When we got back to our room he unlocked the door and when I walked in I immediately noticed all the lights were on and the music was playing. My gut reaction was to back out of the room! I then realized the pictures hanging around up were of us and the music playing was a song that Branden often commented on being ‘perfect for a wedding’. At this moment it felt like time had stopped. He took my hand and walked me around the room looking at strings of pictures he prepared, one for each year we were together. (He had two of our friends set the room up while we were at the show. They later said that trying to avoid running into us on our way back to the room was basically a scene from Mission Impossible!). The last string didn’t have any pictures on it, but instead had a piece of paper that read ‘Year 7?’ Underneath, floating in the water, was a string of rubber duckies. Each had a letter on them that spelled out ‘Will you marry me?’ Branden took my hands and started to say something, but couldn’t quite get it out. I pulled him to sit down because we were both so overwhelmed but he pulled me back up again and got down on one knee.

Martin Caird, Sandpiper Studios

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

My favorite experience was buying my dress. When I finally found the one I wanted, I knew that I couldn’t say yes unless I had everyone’s approval. My mom and a few of my bridesmaids were there but my sister and future mother-in-law were not. We Skyped my sister in while my future mother and brother-in-law ran to the store to see me in it. Having everyone in the room celebrating was all I needed to say ‘yes’ to my dress! It was a big family affair, and a moment I will never forget.

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

For me to stay sane during wedding planning I do things in small pieces, one thing at a time. I’m a Ph.D. student and Branden is a teacher, so we’re used to high-pressure work. One of the first things I did after we got engaged was made a list of every task that would need to be done and put them in order based on target accomplish dates. This allows me to work on aspects of the wedding in small chunks, while also seeing the overall picture coming together. My spreadsheets definitely keep me sane!

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

Putting together our wedding website with Joy has made the entire process exciting. Our bridal party has been involved by giving us small bios about how they know us, and it has everyone more excited about the big day. I love that my guests will be able to access our website both on the computer and through an app. It makes communicating with everyone much easier.

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

Be sure to curate the website with all of the sections that you think are important for you and your guests. Most of my guests will be traveling from out of town, so I spent a lot of time putting together the ‘travel’ section with information about our hotel block booking, things to do, and even deals on airfare! As a guest at other weddings, this is the information that I find most useful. Have fun with your website, and make sure you think about it from the perspective of a guest!

Martin Caird, Sandpiper Studios

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

We spend so much time planning and preparing for one day to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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