Maria-Paula and Stuart met over a decade ago when they both joined the 7th grade Mime Troupe (you read that right). It took a year, but Stuart finally worked up the courage to invite Maria-Paula to the 8th grade end-of-the-year dance—and the rest, as they say, is history.
We asked Maria-Paula and Stuart to tell us all about the proposal, what they do to stay sane during wedding planning, and what’s really important about a wedding.
Tell us the details—Who proposed? When? Where? And How?
Stuart was stationed in Virginia at the time, and I live in Houston. We planned on meeting up in DC for a weekend in April before he left for a two month patrol (he’s an officer in the Coast Guard). We decided to go on a hike in Rock Creek Park on our last full day there, but when we woke up that morning, it was pouring! Still, we were determined to go, so we took an umbrella and raincoat and drove over to the park.
Stuart was being uncharacteristically sentimental, asking me what my favorite trip was that we’d ever taken, what my favorite memory was, etc. I was a little confused but went along with it. Finally, when we had about a mile to go, he waited until no one was around and started talking about how the hike was a lot like our relationship. It had highs and lows, parts of it were difficult, but we started it together and were going to end it together.
Then, he reached into his backpack (which he hadn’t let me touch the whole trip!), got down on one knee, and pulled out the ring! It was totally unexpected, but the perfect way for us to finally get engaged.
What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?
Brainstorming together about the little details we want to include to make it more unique has been so fun. We are incorporating a travel theme into the reception as we have been long-distance the last 6 years and traveling has become a big part of our relationship and time spent together.
How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?
Coffee. Lots of it.
What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?
Take time to explore each of the sections you can customize and edit. There are lots of ways to make it your own!
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy should last forever. What does that mean to you?
A wedding is ONE day. So when it all gets to be too much, it’s important to take a deep breath and remember that the marriage is what you really need to nurture and care about. Everything else will work out!
Do you have a super sweet proposal story? Do you want to share it with Joy? We’d love to hear it! Email us with your story and photos.