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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Katie & Brendan

Joy Proposal Story: Katie & Brendan

by Cali Pitchel

How did the two of you meet?

In 2011, Katie accepted a position at the laboratory where Brendan had been working since college. It’s a small company (less than 10 people) and she was given the office next to his. His close proximity (and kindness!) made him the most convenient person to bother with typical new employee questions, and he helped with Katie’s initial training on equipment in the lab. It gave us many opportunities to talk and conversation came easily for us.

How long have you been together?

After four years of working together and resisting our feelings (which is a much longer story!), we finally started dating in 2015. Katie had always been concerned about dating a coworker in such a small company (how it would impact their work relationship, what would happen if it didn’t work out), but ultimately she decided the opportunity to be happy together was worth taking a chance. She revealed her feelings to Brendan, who admitted that he felt the same way. We’ve been together for almost two years!

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

For the proposal, Brendan picked Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a place we’d visited on a day trip in the first month we were dating. Brendan planned it for a weekend in early December and surprised Katie with her favorite potato chips and her favorite candy (she loves food, lol). He’d intended to propose on Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin, under a tree where we’d sat together on that first memorable trip, but the chilly temperatures and several inches of snow made him reconsider. Before heading outside on Saturday morning, Brendan surprised Katie on one knee with a beautiful ring. He was a bit nervous and spoke so quickly that Katie isn’t quite sure she heard his question… But she knew wanted to marry him and she said ‘yes’!


What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

We’ve enjoyed sharing ideas about how to incorporate elements of us into the reception. We love traveling together and are planning to feature our most memorable destinations in our centerpieces. But we’re most excited about the next part! Before we started dating, we both dreamed about a life together and it’s exciting to know that will now be a reality.

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

We’re fortunate to have a whole year to plan our wedding, which means we don’t have to rush! We plan a little at a time and make sure we still take time for relaxing and fun. We go out for drinks, rent a movie, or make dinner, like we did before we got engaged, because we don’t want planning the wedding to dictate the way we spend our time together.

How did you hear about Joy?

Many of our friends had used wedding websites from The Knot and Wedding Wire. Those sites had lots of great theme choices, but beyond that, they all had the same layout and content. We wanted something that was more unique. Katie did some research (i.e., Googled “free wedding websites”) and stumbled on the Joy site. The visual styling and emphasis on photos was different and made it feel like a website about us, not just our wedding.


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

We love that it has a dual purpose! On one hand, it is very functional. It provides our guests with the time and location of wedding events, answers their questions about transportation and accommodations, and collects their RSVPs. But it also serves to generate excitement about our wedding! It shares our favorite photos, introduces our bridal party, and tells our story.

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

Start working on your website early! We’ve enjoyed taking our time to curate the content on our website before opening it up to guests. It’s easy to add the basics, like your wedding Schedule and Registry info, but take time to add photos in the Moments section and answer some fun questions in the Tidbits section. You’ll end up with a website that is informative while also fun for your guests to explore.

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

It means continuing to remember why we picked each other. It means being grateful every day to have each other.


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