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Inspiration » sarah anne photography » Joy Proposal Story: Meaghan & Jack

Joy Proposal Story: Meaghan & Jack

by Kelsey Vickers

How did the two of you meet?

As told by Jack: On the first day of the summer holiday with my parents, I had no idea that I would meet someone very special. I remember looking at her for the very first time, her eyes sparkling from the reflection of the ocean and instantly I fell in love. When I spent time with her, I never wanted it to end. Talking to her taught me how to love and what it feels like to love someone

As told by Meaghan: I’ll never forget the first time I actually saw Jack. Some would say the way we met was romantic, while others would say it was chance. It was the summer of 2010, July 24th to be exact, nearing the end of July when my dad decided to take us on our very first cruise out of Miami on the Norwegian Epic for their 19th Wedding Anniversary. It was my parents, my little sister Victoria and myself. We were so excited to be going out of the country (other than to Canada!) for the very first time. I’ll never forget how excited my sister was the moment we got to our balcony cabin. It was a hot, sunny day in gorgeous Miami, Florida. The music was blasting Dynamite by Taio Cruz to get everyone in the mood to party. My mom opened the door to our cabin and of course, the first thing Victoria did was run out to the balcony to see the view from our room. She was out there for a moment and immediately ran back in and said, “OH MY GOSH! MEAGHAN! There is a really cute boy outside!” I believe I said something any other big sister would have said like, “SHUT UP Victoria! He can hear you – the door is open!!” Thinking back on that moment it still makes me laugh to this day. I proceeded to make sure I looked picture perfect before walking outside to that balcony. I even remember what I was wearing – a grey tank top covered in gold and silver sequins with jean shorts. The first time I saw him I knew that I had found what most people spend a lifetime trying to find.

I remember the night after I met him, he and I went to the pool deck and went swimming. I passed a remark as we were sitting in the hot tub, jokingly, “you know, you are my ideal prince charming with your blonde hair and blue eyes and English accent!”

I walked over to the right side of the balcony and saw him standing there quietly looking out over our view of Miami Beach. I remember thinking to myself, how on earth am I going to talk to this guy? I was just like “HI!” and I am pretty sure I startled him – in which he responded with “hello” and I couldn’t understand him for the life me. After I asked him to repeat himself twice or so, I realized he had an accent. We started talking and being that I never traveled before, I said something like ” I really like your accent” in which he responded “I like yours too” and I responded with “what accent, I don’t have one?” Talk about feeling like a dummy looking back. To be fair, I had just turned 14 years old the month before, so I was pretty young. From that moment on we spent every minute of every day together practically. My dad was upset because Victoria and my mom wanted to go to the “Bon Voyage” party on the top deck and my dad wasn’t about to leave me alone in the room by myself. Talk about protective dads! So he stared at me from the bed watching me talk for about 4 hours straight on the balcony to Jack that first night. And of course he was in a mood after because he missed the party and [probably] more so the food! Looking back, I think that sacrifice was completely worth it! I get this question a lot and I am going to address it here: “how did you know that you liked him straight off the bat?” Truth is, I remember the night after I met him, he and I went to the pool deck and went swimming. I passed a remark as we were sitting in the hot tub, jokingly, “you know, you are my ideal prince charming with your blonde hair and blue eyes and English accent!” It was funny because that song “I Like it” by Enrique Iglesias was playing in the background. I guess that was my lame attempt at flirting at the time. He didn’t say anything but “Oh, nice!” And right at that moment, I felt he completely friend zoned me! So I tried again, a couple days later.

We were waiting to ride the waterslide together at the pool and I knew I had to ask. I said something along the lines of, “so what do you think of me?” I remember him not understanding the question and I rephrased it. “No I mean like, what are we?” In which it became my turn to go down the slide as he was behind me. He looked at me and was like, “You know, I think we are really good friends…” in which case I felt like my heart combusted into a million little pieces and slid down the slide. At that moment I was glad he couldn’t see the expression on my face, because he had just friend zoned me. When we left each other that trip, I’ll never forget how upset I was. Even though he friend zoned me early on, and we remained friends the whole trip and he didn’t even try to kiss me, I was sad. Sad because I probably wouldn’t ever see him again and thought that was the end – or so I thought. A couple weeks after we returned home we talking on Skype for hours on end, we talked about everything. A couple months later we convinced our parents to meet up the following summer for another family cruise. And then a couple months after that, he finally admitted he cared about me – more than friends. And then a month after that, he used the “L” word. And a couple months after that and over 2,000,000 instant messages within that year and over 1800 hours of Skype time within that single year, we finally met up in person again and shared that first kiss…

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

The week of Thursday, April 14th was a dream. Jack had taken me to Venice, Italy in between the semester abroad of living over in Exeter, United Kingdom at Jack’s home university! During this time I was living in England, we took the time to travel to Ireland, Amsterdam, Spain, Germany, and Wales in between our classes and exams. So finally, as one of the last trips, we took the time to go to Venice – one of the most romantic places in the world! That morning of Thursday, April 14th started with the best room service breakfast imaginable and then getting dressed to explore Venice. I put on my favorite Betsey Johnson blouse that I bought last summer after I immediately fell in love with it and never wore it up until then, and then we made our way to Rialto Bridge to go around the markets and get some lunch. But of course, it was gelato time before we had lunch and we just couldn’t resist. From there, we walked around some more, and came across this pizza shop – and we both looked at each other and said we need to share a slice and take it down by the bridge and eat it on the stairs, so that’s exactly what we did. We got the fresh tomato and mozzarella slice of course, since that’s both our favorite. About an hour later, we shared some pasta to go in San Marco’s Square. It was great! Fresh eggplant, freshly made pasta right in front of us, and tomato sauce with freshly grated cheese on top. Then we went back to get ready for what would be the night of our lives.

“Before I knew it, he started telling me how he was so happy to have me in his life and to have met me almost 6 years ago.”

I had the perfect dress that I purchased from Debenham’s for an Enchanted Garden Ball we are going to in June, but I figured why not get some use out of it? So I brought it to Italy- and boy was I glad I did. That afternoon as we were shopping, we both saw a tie that we liked (for Jack of course) so I bought it for him! I figured it would look great with his Navy suit and it was Italian silk so it was really soft. Funny how we both have the same taste after all this time. It started to rain right when we left the hotel, so we ran into an Italian market store and bought an umbrella from an Italian lady who didn’t understand us. It was pretty funny though. Then we walked to San Marco’s Square hoping the rain would clear since it hadn’t rained the whole week up until that moment. But I suggested we get some more gelato, once again because it makes me happy 🙂 , and then we walked around a couple minutes and the sun came out. It was great! So then we made our way to take a gondola ride near the restaurant we had reservations at. The ride was fantastic! The guy was even better!

After Jack treated me to a gondola ride at 80 euros for 30 min. (yes, very pricey aka $100 for 2 people), we made our way to Club del Doge, the most expensive restaurant in town according to the Gondola guy. It was beautiful. The setting was lovely. It was the most amazing meal of my life. Not just because we got engaged there, but the food was the best. It was really funny- we both ordered steak and it came with “complimentary” raw muscle appetizers. For those of you who know me well, I do not like seafood – anything that swims and lives in water is not something that I will be eating. And I have always been that way since the age of 5. I just don’t enjoy it. So we were sitting there and the waiters were fantastic (especially since Jack apparently emailed the restaurant in advance to tell them that he was going to be proposing) and it was hard to hurt their feelings after being so accommodating – so I was like “Jack, you need to eat mine and yours because I just can’t do it.” So Jack looked at me and said, “I don’t think I can do this either, the smell is just putting me off alone.” So we were both sitting there laughing trying to get Jack to eat these raw muscles, me telling him to pretend they were chicken. So he tasted the seaweed that was wrapped around it, and said, “boy this is really good kale.” I said, “Babe, that’s seaweed.” It was priceless when I saw the look on his face. He was already white from the gondola ride. He was just getting more and more pale. The Prosecco was the best I’ve ever had. If you ever go to Italy, you need to try it. It’s just amazing. After that, our steaks came and boy were they good. After we ate, I knew something was up.

“I had butterflies in my stomach as he got up from his chair, took my hand, got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage.”

Jack took off to the bathroom for a good 15 minutes and didn’t finish his meal, he barely put a dent in it. When he came back, he said he was finished and at that moment he looked the palest I had seen him all night. So we sat there, sipping Prosecco and chatting about our time.Before I knew it, he started telling me how he was so happy to have me in his life and to have met me almost 6 years ago. He then went on to tell me how beautiful and smart I was and how I was so determined to do the right thing in life and that he wanted to be right there with me. He then proceeded to make me get all teary eyed, in which case I was telling myself not to cry and I had butterflies in my stomach as he got up from his chair, took my hand, got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. It was at that moment that the busy restaurant fell completely silent – and you could feel everyone’s presence around us just staring. It was such a weird feeling. Gave me so many butterflies and made my stomach drop – and I think it was the same for Jack too. It was at that moment that I was officially the happiest girl in the world – smiling from ear to ear and just glowing with happiness, cheeks and all. I could hear that song Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Vallie in the background of my head too (especially since Jack likes to joke with me and sing it to me every now and then when he’s feeling like he wants to sing, which isn’t very often! HAHA!). It was just so perfect and of course I said yes! I couldn’t imagine my life without Jack Rysdale and I would be completely devastated and heart broken if I didn’t have him. He’s been my strength for the last few years, along with my travel partner, and my biggest fan and supporter and we just genuinely care about each other. I’ve never been good with feelings, crying or getting emotional, but I try to be when I can. After a couple kisses and warm embraces and being super excited, Jack got the check and we made our way out. I don’t think it crossed my mind how nervous Jack really was until we were walking from the restaurant to put a lock on the bridge that overlooks this restaurant.

It was terrible – but now we can laugh about it together looking back. So it was around 10pm, and we were walking through some alley ways to try and find this bridge. We got to the corner of a square and we were about to make a turn to continue our way and Jack grabbed me and said “hold on.” I looked at him blankly and was like, “What’s wrong?” And two seconds later, I’ve never seen him run so fast in my life to the nearest trash can in the square. And up came that very expensive steak. I felt terrible but had to crack up – like wise he was doing (I tend to do that when I get nervous). I ran to the nearest restaurant to get some bottled water and napkins and ran back as fast as I could. His handsome suit was completely ruined – at least for the rest of the night, along with his shoes and new tie I had just bought him. So even though he still wanted to go to that bridge, I told him we could wait until the following day, as our hotel was about a 30 miute walk from where we were, and it was getting darker and darker. I realized I left the umbrella at the hotel and made a quick stop back to get that umbrella on the way back as Jack waited outside. All of the waiters were so happy and taken back,  it was really nice. So we eventually made it back in one piece, and when I opened the door to our room, Jack said, put the light on before you sit on the bed – so I did to find that the hotel staff had made it absolutely beautiful with roses and flowers galore. Of course, Jack sprinted for the bathroom as fast as I could open that door afterwards. Even though it had turned out that way, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was still absolutely perfect in every way imaginable for me. We both agreed it would make a great story to tell our kids one day. I’m so happy to be the Future Mrs. Jack Rysdale…

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Choosing Disney’s Grand Floridian as our wedding venue and getting all Jack’s family to come to the wedding from England!

D Thompson Designs

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

I keep my vision straight and try not to take advice from everyone around me. It seems as though everyone wants to voice their opinion, and that slows things down and can just stress you out all the time. You have to listen to your heart and the person you are sharing this special day with! After all, it’s all about the Bride and Groom and everything will work out in the end! If people get upset, then they don’t deserve to be there in the first place.

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

The fact that you can customize it any way you want! I love the app, and can’t wait for everyone in the wedding to download it when I finish it!

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

Take the time to share the task with each other. It not only saves time, but it can cover stuff one of you maybe forgot.

Photo Young

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

Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve gotten a lot of people telling me its crazy that we are spending x amount of dollars on our wedding. Truthfully, it isn’t the wedding that we are spending the money on, but the memory of having everyone come to Disney to share our special day and week with from family and friends who are coming from all over the world – which will never happen again in our lifetimes. These memories are what we will cherish forever and be able to look back and say, even though it was expensive, we will always have the memories of everyone coming all this way for us. The memory of the joy we share on this day is what we will share forever – along with the wedding.

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