Joy Proposal Story: Matthew & Ariana

    Just over two years ago, Ariana and her friend, who were living in Manhattan Beach at the time, were on the lookout for a third roommate. Enter Matt. Ariana and Matt didn’t know each other, but immediately fell into a great friendship. (Matt, ever the Southern Gentleman, labeled Ariana as “off limits.”)

    “You two are perfect together! What’s wrong with you?!”

    Six months in, both Matt and Ariana’s family and friends were inquiring as to why they two weren’t dating. They got a lot of, “You two are perfect together! What’s wrong with you?!” After a nudge from those closest to them, they decided to give dating a try. And the rest, as they say, is history.


    Give us the details! When? Where? How?

    We had planned a trip to Europe in May and June of 2016 (Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome) a little before our one year anniversary. Everyone thought it would happen then, but I was convinced he wouldn’t bring a ring with him.

    Well, I was wrong! He surprised me by dropping to one knee on a bridge at sunset in Paris… Eiffel Tower in the background… used my full name (and asked my Dad’s permission!) and asked me to marry him. It was magical and I feel incredibly lucky to share my life with him.

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    Clane Gessel

    What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

    I’ve loved how much time Matt and I have spent envisioning our day and talking about how we want it to look and feel. Engagement pictures with our phenomenal photographer, Clane Gessel, were so much fun, picking the venue was amazing, and I had the best time choosing a wedding dress.

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

    We have extraordinary wedding planners (thank you Mallory and Katie of Wonderstruck Event Design!) who have made this journey so enjoyable and easy for us. Plus, Matt and I have a rule: If things get stressful, we get a glass of wine and talk it over.

    Clane Gessel

    Clane Gessel

    We know you have a busy schedule. (Is that an understatement?) How do you and Matt make time for each other, especially while you’re planning the wedding?

    Haha yes! My schedule is pretty crazy. (I feel like I live on an airplane some days!) We are so grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world, so every night (we are both home) we go on a walk along the beach.

    Joy can be big and loud, but it can also be quiet and simple. And we feel so lucky that we have a lifetime of Joy to look forward to.

    Some nights it’s 15 minutes, some nights it’s 2 hours—but we carve out that time to connect (without phones!) and catch up. We have been doing this since our 1st date and it is always my favorite part of the day.

    Clane Gessel

    Clane Gessel

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

    Look at all the suggested pages and templates! There are so many things to include on there that I wouldn’t have thought of, from transportation to the Q&A section.

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

    To us, Joy can be found in each other and the people closest to us, through the sometimes little things (like a nightly walk) or the big things (like a beautiful wedding filled to the brim with people we love and care about). Joy can be big and loud, but it can also be quiet and simple. And we feel so lucky that we have a lifetime of Joy to look forward to.

    Clane Gessel

    Clane Gessel

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    Cali Pitchel

    Cali Pitchel is Joy’s Director of Marketing. She lives in San Francisco with her soon-to-be-husband and three houseplants. She was born in Boston, raised in Arizona, is a voracious reader, a lover of the great outdoors, and a photography junkie.

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