Give us the proposal details! When? Where? How?
For our two year anniversary, Drew surprised me with a trip to a tiny cabin in Virginia near the mountains. We were able to bring our dog, Marley, and just get away from everything for the weekend, I was so excited! My twin sister, Sarah, surprised me with a mani/pedi a few days before, telling me that it was a present for graduating from my Master’s program the weekend before. On Saturday morning, we woke up in the cabin, made breakfast and enjoyed some coffee while looking at an architectural book we found in the cabin. We were taking our time and enjoying the relaxation. After a couple of hours, Drew asked if I wanted to exchange anniversary gifts, since our anniversary was the next day. I thought we would wait until Sunday, but I agreed because he seemed excited about giving me my gift. (Sarah had assured me that he wasn’t getting me anything too big so I just bought him a wallet!) I gave it to him and he was grateful, and then he handed me a large, flat box. I was convinced it was a sweater or picture frame.
I opened it and saw a small hardcover book, the type of Shutterfly picture book that I’ve made for other people before. It had a picture of Drew and I on the cover and I was so excited! I assumed that was the whole gift and I enthusiastically started flipping through all of the pages filled with pictures of our relationship over the previous two years. There were pictures of family vacations, holidays, other friends’ weddings, and everything in between. I was taking my time and recalling all of the stories that went along with the pictures, which now I realize must have been maddening for Drew because he was so anxious! But I had no idea and blissfully took my time flipping through the pages and taking a trip down memory lane. Near the end of the book, I get to a page with a picture of Drew and our dog, Marley, on it and it said “I want to keep being cute together, so…” (I assumed he was talking about him and Marley so I laughed and didn’t think anything of it). I turned to the next page and saw a picture of my Dad, stepmom, and little sisters standing in our favorite park in Cleveland holding a giant “W” sign. The next page has a picture of my best friend and her boyfriend holding a giant “I” sign. I immediately knew what was happening and started crying before frantically flipping through the rest of the pages just to make sure it was really happening. Each page had a picture of different friends and family members from all over the world holding individual letters, spelling out “Will You Marry Me?”. I was blown away by the happiness I was feeling and the smiles I was seeing on the faces of everyone I loved. Finally, I got to the last page that had a picture of Sarah holding Marley with a talk bubble asking if I would say yes. I looked up from the book and saw Drew holding an open ring box with the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen. I was crying and speechless, which made him cry, and neither of us really said anything. I just smiled, nodded, cried and put the ring on. We hugged and kissed and finally I said, “You haven’t officially asked me yet!” At which point he laughed, asked me, and I officially said, “Yes!”
After we had both calmed down, he said, “there’s something else, too”. I couldn’t imagine there could be anything more special than what had just occurred. He said that Sarah had put together a video for us and I couldn’t wait to watch it! Unfortunately, we were in the middle of nowhere and he hadn’t wanted to download it from his e-mail onto his phone too early for fear of me accidentally seeing it. So we tried to stream it, download it, and everything we could think of and it didn’t work. I knew Sarah, our parents, and all of our friends and family would be dying to hear from us by now but I didn’t want to call them until I had seen the video. So we got dressed, drove to the nearest town where we could find a phone signal, and sat in the parking lot of a grocery store for 20 minutes while the video downloaded. We drove back to our cabin and watched it, still in shock and crying from all of the lovely messages people had sent. Everyone who had sent a picture for the book also sent a congratulations message. The love I felt will never be matched (except maybe at our wedding)! A few hours after it had happened we finally sat down and called everyone. The rest of the day was spent texting, calling and video chatting with friends and family around the world. It was a day filled with disbelief, smiles, tears of joy, and immense love.
What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?
Creating bridesmaid proposal cards. Also seeing and hearing the reactions of my sisters and best friends who are so excited to celebrate with us!
How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?
We want a simple, laid-back wedding without all the fuss. We are not worried about many of the traditional stressful elements most people would. And, since we are paying for it ourselves, we have left a year and a half to plan so that we can find good deals and avoid the stress.
What is your favorite part of using Joy for your wedding?
The interaction between us and our guests, as well as guests getting to interact with each other before the big day.
What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?
Read the tutorials and explore the site before diving in.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
We are not spending a lot of money for our wedding because we know that it is just one day. After we wake up the next morning, we will be married and we want to start raising a family and accomplishing all of our other goals. We are more focused on building a foundation for our life together, rather than agonizing over a party!