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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Sam & Alex

Joy Proposal Story: Sam & Alex

by Cali Pitchel

Sam and Alex met at a bar in Evansville, Indiana, where they both went to school. Sam went to the University of Southern Indiana, and Alex attends  University of Evansville as a graduate student. Alex was out with friends on a Valentine’s weekend bar crawl on February 13th—and so was Sam! They ended up dancing together on the dance floor. Sam called Alex the next morning to see if she wanted to go on a date that day. (That means their first date was on Valentine’s Day!)

How long have you been together?

This Valentine’s Day, 2017, will have been two years since our first date!

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

Our proposal story is actually fairly lengthy, so stick with me! So Sam and I “officially” became a couple on April 16th, 2015. I didn’t know it at the time, but in early April, Sam had started writing letters to give to me if we ever got married. He wrote letters periodically throughout our relationship—memories, ways he was feeling about me, special moments, etc.

In May of 2015, Sam took me to a tree off of a trail on his college campus where one of his friends had jokingly carved, “Sam <3s Alex” when him and I had first met. It was here that Sam told me that he loved me for the first time.


Raymond Hatfield

The two of us knew fairly early on that we wanted to marry each other, so Sam asked for my mom’s permission in January 2016, and we went ring shopping once we were back in Evansville for school. I knew we would get engaged that semester, I just had no idea when.

For Valentine’s Day last year, one year after our first date, Sam gave me the first letter that he ever wrote to me and told me that I would be getting one every day until he proposed to me.

The wedding is fun, but having breakfast, taking road trips, sitting on front porch swings, laughing over cups of coffee, and staying up late with your spouse for the rest of our lives is real joy.

Needless to say, I was speechless and so excited! I assumed it would be weeks worth of letters. One was being left in my room every day (Sam even had my roommates in on it!) that week. Sam and I frequently try new restaurants, so when he asked me a while back if I’d like to try a new restaurant on his side of town on Friday of that week, I didn’t think twice about it.

He told me that it was a nicer place so I’d wanna dress up. That Friday night, I showed up to Sam’s apartment for him to take me to this mystery restaurant, but as we drove out of the parking lot, I noticed that he was going a very different direction than any restaurants in town were, and it also happened to be in a direction I had only ever been once before—when Sam took me to that special tree to tell me that he loved me.

We parked and then headed toward the trail. As we made our way through the forest, Sam periodically stopped and gave me more of the letters he had written to me. At this point, I had kind of figured out what was happening. As we approached that special little tree, I noticed that a light had been set up and was shining on the carving that had our names. When we got up there, Sam stopped, turned to me, and started saying wonderful, sweet things to me.


Raymond Hatfield


I honestly don’t remember all of what happened, but I do remember him saying how I was the most caring person he knew, that I was beautiful, and that he loved the relationship I had with God. (Not bad parts to remember!) Next thing I knew, Sam was on one knee asking me to be his wife. It didn’t take me any time to say yes.

It was truly one of the best days of our lives.

Once we made it back out to his car, Sam told me that we would be going to my favorite restaurant in town for dinner! When we were walked upstairs to our table, we were greeted by my mom (who drove from six hours away!), my brother (who also goes to UE), my friend and her mom from Indy, my roommates, my sorority Greek family, Sam’s twin brother and his mom, and Sam’s friends. I started crying the second I saw my mom and the rest of our friends and family.


Raymond Hatfield


We had an amazing little engagement party with our family and friends that night, including great food, drinks, and cake. I couldn’t believe how much Sam did to plan out all of the small details of the proposal—from stealing a pair of my gym shoes so I’d have them to walk through the woods to getting our family and friends to meet us at my favorite restaurant to celebrate. It was truly one of the best days of our lives.

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Being the type of girl who has dreamed about her wedding since she was at least 10, there’s not much that I DON’T love about planning our wedding! I loved finding my wedding gown and our wedding venue, but I think my favorite part is dreaming up what I want to say to Sam in our vows, as we’ll be writing our own.

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

Since Sam proposed in February 2016, and we aren’t getting married until June 2018 when I’m finished with my doctorate degree, we’ve had a lot of time to figure things out. Sam, my mom, and my best friends definitely help me keep things in perspective though when the stress creeps in!

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

The ease and fun of creating our wedding website through Joy has been so great. I had been looking for a good, free, and reliable place to make our wedding website, and I could not be happier.


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

I think that the excitement and fun of the proposal and wedding planning are so real—and we should enjoy it all! But knowing that we get to spend all of life’s big and little moments with our best friend every day is the real joy. The wedding is fun, but having breakfast, taking road trips, sitting on front porch swings, laughing over cups of coffee, and staying up late with your spouse for the rest of our lives is real joy.


Raymond Hatfield


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