Kelsey and Drew were set up on a blind date for Drew’s fraternity holiday party in 2008, while they were both attending the University of Florida. Kelsey was a freshmen, and Drew was a junior. The frat party didn’t entirely set the stage for romance, but they remained friends for years. After Drew graduated with his master’s degree (he was studying abroad in Australia), he came back to UF to visit on a weekend. They reconnected after the football game, and ended up talking almost every day during his commute home from his new job in Tampa – they’ve been dating ever since!
Give us the proposal details! When? Where? How?
Drew’s family has a huge family reunion every other year – the most recent one in August was in Dillon, Colorado in the mountains. I’ve been joining family reunions for a while, so I didn’t suspect anything when I came along for this trip. We had a big family hike up a 14,000 foot mountain – and he proposed at the top! I was completely shocked. Had I known there was a ring at the top, I would have been a little more pleasant on the long hike up. (We started at 4 a.m., this was my first ever hike – and I was NOT used to the altitude!)
He had his dad pretend to take a photo of us on the top of the mountain, and Drew was taking forever to pick the exact right spot for the picture…and then as we finally paused to smile, he dropped down on one knee! Other than his dad, the whole family on the mountain was surprised by the proposal as well – and we were all so excited on the hike down! Once I was within cell phone range, I called my family and friends. Drew had secretly asked my mom for permission to marry me just a few weeks before, I can’t believe she was able to keep the secret! I spent the rest of the day celebrating with champagne at the cabin, and relaxing in the hot tub – it was perfect!
What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?
Picking out our venues was really special to us. We are getting married in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky in October. We were able to get a date at the church where my parents were married, which means so much to me! We are really excited for our reception which kicks off on a museum rooftop overlooking downtown. And to top it all off, it all lined up with a Gator bye-weekend, so we won’t miss any football!
How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?
I tend to get anxious and stress out pretty easily – Drew is great at keeping me sane. He’s always offering to help out where he can. Our routine when we are stressed out is to grab the dog and go for a cell-phone free walk as a family around our neighborhood.
What is your favorite part of using Joy for your wedding?
I work in marketing and advertising and spend a lot of time working on websites – I think the user experience and navigation for Joy sites are much more modern. The design is pretty, but clean and simple for a user to understand. Working with the withjoy support staff to make design customizations has been a breeze, as well!
What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?
Don’t be afraid to use their chat feature for quick help! They are very responsive and easy to work with.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
I’m definitely on the same page – although we are excited for a big party with our family and friends, the most important part of the day is that we are promising to stand by each other forever – through good times and bad. As long as we’re together, I think Drew and I will be able to find joy in any day.