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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Natalie & Forrest

Joy Proposal Story: Natalie & Forrest

by Cali Pitchel

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

Natalie and I met on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Sunday, December 7, 2014. I remember it well because I was playing paintball at a bachelor party, and we were meeting up that evening for our first date! I drove to her apartment to pick her up for dinner and a movie, which is still one of our favorite dates. I thought she was absolutely the most beautiful thing I had seen in my entire life! And I knew that she was the one for me at first sight!

Over the years, I learned that Christmas was her favorite time of year. Everything about it made her heart sing: the lights, the food, the family time, and the Holy Spirit that embodies the holiday. Most importantly, we were able to celebrate the birth of our Savior together, so I knew I wanted to propose this time of year.

We had several discussions about marriage, but she never knew my exact plans for asking her. There were several hints made to her in 2016, so many that when I would comment about it, she didn’t believe me. All was going according to my sneaky plan.

One day, my beloved grandmother, Lora B. Garrison (BB), presented me with her engagement and wedding rings. She obviously didn’t want me to let this wonderful woman get away! Unbeknownst to her, one of the rings has a sapphire, which is Natalie’s birthstone; it was perfectly written in His Plan. Not only that, but Christmas time was just around the corner.

We are blessed with the gift of our partnership – to spend the rest of our lives together.

I waited for the ring to be resized. Very impatiently, I might add. As soon as the jeweler returned the ring, I went into action. I wanted it to be simple, heartfelt, and intimate. So, I started dinner: ribeye steak with asparagus and sweet potatoes, “my golden goose” meal, and a delicious Argentinian Pinot Noir. She knew something was fishy, when I asked her to meet me for dinner at my grandmother BB’s house. I had almost blown it, or so I thought.. You see, BB’s house had so many fond memories for me: birthday parties, dinner with the grandparents, Thanksgiving and Christmas with the whole family, and learning how to cook from one of the best cooks I knew, BB. I grew up here. It holds a special place in my heart, and I wanted to share that feeling with the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

There were Christmas decorations everywhere from just simple touches to the full blown Christmas tree in the sunroom. She walked in and took my breath away! I wasn’t nervous anymore, until I remembered what we were doing there. I just wanted her to love this moment. We enjoyed dinner and shared great conversation. After dinner, I suggested we go sit in the garden room to finish the wine and enjoy the Christmas tree. We decided not to get each other gifts this year, to save some money. This was a foreign concept to her, because she is such a caring and generous person. All Natalie wants to do, is give, give, and give! She didn’t know it yet, but it was her turn to receive.

I explained to her that I had already planned to get her a gift, before we made that decision. She got a little teary eyed and hugged me. I told her it was behind the tree among the several gifts and that she had to look for it. She went to gather it and looked everywhere, and then she said, “I don’t see it!” Well, of course she didn’t; I may have fibbed a bit. I had placed the ring box in the tree. It was right there the whole time; it just looked like an ornament.

All Natalie wants to do, is give, give, and give! She didn’t know it yet, but it was her turn to receive.

She finally stopped looking and said, “There is nothing here with my name on it.” And there I was, on one knee, with the biggest grin I think I have ever had in my life! She immediately started crying with her hands over her mouth in total shock. In sincerity and shock, she cried, “You little s***!” I had a whole speech prepared. But, we all know how that goes in moments like that. I couldn’t tell you what came out of my mouth the second I was finished saying it. But, whatever I said obviously made an impression, because she said “Yes!” And that’s all I’ve ever wanted, since the moment I met her.

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Probably just dreaming and brainstorming with my fiance. Especially with the venue. It is at a house we manage in our lodging business called Rio Frio Lodging. The house is called “La Hacienda.” It is right on the Sabinal River with Cypress trees hanging over the carpet lawn the ceremony will be at—a country, outdoor, by-the-river wedding.

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

My fiance keeps me grounded—always.


How did you hear about Joy?

A blog! Joy was featured as one of the best wedding websites that was free. I am a website designer and digital marketer, so I was pretty picky about the design of it. I’m so happy we found it.


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

I love the design and flow of the content and photos. The RSVP feature with the email functionality will be used the most! We plan to email reminders to our guest list this way.

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

I plan to put in our programs and send an email out to the guest list explaining how to download the app and share photos of the wedding there.

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

Joy is a blessing in our hearts. It is something we only truly feel with God’s unconditional love. We are blessed with the gift of our partnership – to spend the rest of our lives together. Forrest and I are truly joyful and couldn’t be more loved.


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