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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Madeleine & Patrick

Joy Proposal Story: Madeleine & Patrick

by Allie Grampa

Madeleine and Patrick met at a local recreation center seven years ago. He was swimming with his club team, she was swimming with her high school team. Madeleine had recently transferred to a local high school, and Patrick was home to redouble his efforts to swim in college after UC Irvine cut their Men’s Swim program right before he was set to fly out there to start his freshman year. They had several mutual friends who agreed they’d make a great pair, and in spite of Madeleine’s one-piece and swim cap, Patrick was smitten from their first conversation at the diving well. Thank goodness for life’s little pivots—they ended up being the catalyst that brought them together!


Give us the details! When? Where? How?

We were in the British Virgin Islands at the Bitter End Yacht Club. This was our first big vacation together. The Bitter End is one of the last islands in the British Virgin Islands, hardly any Wi-Fi, small property, centered around all these great water activities you can chose to do! The package we had chosen included a picnic lunch catered by the chef on the private island, Prickly Pear. We chose to do that on day two.

As soon as we were dropped off I was already in full vacation mode and just wanted to pop the bottle of champagne that was included in our picnic. Patrick was giving me a hard time saying we should wait. My response was “Why!?” He then distracted me with snorkeling and I totally bought it!

After the short swim I was setting the up the picnic while Patrick was rummaging in the bag that I had just packed a few hours ago. I didn’t take notice of what he was doing until he said, “Mads the reason I wanted some alone time….”. My back was turned to him and my first thought was, “This has got to be the strangest line I have ever heard out of this boy’s mouth…and it sounds sort of creepy!”. I turned around from the picnic set up and I saw the box. I walked over to him, he went down on one knee, (definitely did not remember that) he opened the box, and my mind went blank! I was in total shock!


Some people give me a hard time about how could I not possibly expect to get engaged in the British Virgin Islands. But this was our first big vacation together and we had spent a little more than we budgeted for. The rest of the vacation was that much more perfect!

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

We are big picture people. We try not to get lost in the minutia of the small details. Though don’t worry, about an month after we got engaged Patrick created a very detailed excel spread sheet itemizing every line item. So I would say my favorite part of planning is seeing all these small details come together and starting to show a glimmer of what our wedding weekend will look like!


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

We lean on each other. It sounds somewhat silly but we have been making wedding decisions together therefore we talk frequently about different roadblocks that come up during the wedding planning process. The wedding industry is tricky to navigate. They prey on women who feel as if this is the one and only time they can be celebrated. That’s not true. Rather it is a special day for the couple and the couples friends and family. And this couple will continue to host parties and events hopefully in their home that they are able to purchase because they didn’t conform to the world-view that weddings are synonymous with breaking the bank.

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

The feeling of true joy is not fleeting. Weddings come and go. The feelings of love or hate or upset come and go. But true joy can always be the undercurrent in the person and a part of a successful relationship.




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