Joy Proposal Story: Selena & Rusty

How did the two of you meet?

We officially met on our scholarship’s “Freshman Retreat” in Black Mountain, NC. It was a week spent in the great outdoors filled with wilderness activities. Rusty was all too excited about being outdoors and I could not wait to escape from it. Needless to say, we realized we were opposites quite early on.

How long have you been together?

Over 2 years now! Our wedding date is actually our 3 year anniversary (I guess the count will start over).

Paul Heckert Photography

Give us the details! When? Where? How?

Believe it or not… he popped the question on April fool’s day! Rusty somehow convinced me to go “fishing” on that rainy morning with him and our (now married) friends Devan and Bailey. Although I was terribly annoyed (considering I hate fishing)- I went along with it. When we got to the lake I was surprised to see my good friend Nicole (now my maid of honor) also hop out of the car. Less annoyed at this point, Rusty dragged me down to the dock as I lugged a giant golf umbrella with me while our friends “got the fishing gear”. After some sweet words from him (which I thought would culminate in an apology for dragging me out fishing at the time) he dropped down on one knee and the rest was a blur. Thankfully, our friends got it all on camera so I know that I eventually stammered out the word “yes”.

It was only afterwards that I realized how much thought had gone into the proposal- Lake Raleigh was where we had our first date, our families were on their way to celebrate with us, and that night he planned the sweetest engagement party with all of our friends and family. He even made sure he proposed early enough so we could call my grandparents that live across the world in Nepal just in time before the news was out! 

Paul Heckert Photography

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding? 

I think it’s been great seeing all of our ideas slowly [finally] come together. It is so overwhelming to start planning a wedding, but we knew from the beginning that we wanted it to be very “us”. We are both so different with very different backgrounds. It’s been fun bringing that all together and incorporating both our personalities and cultures throughout parts of our wedding. We are spending time thinking about the details that are going to make our wedding really personal for us and our guests!

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

Asking for help… and accepting the help that’s offered! Planning from long distance is not ideal, but thankfully my parents being local, has been so helpful. They’ve been so great throughout this process especially because my mom is very organized, she’s great at thinking about little details that I probably would miss. There’s even been a few instances where we’ve had to Facetime so I could “be at” the vendor meeting. Learn to really just trust your loved ones, as long as you clearly articulate your needs and keep an open line of  communication, you’ll be so happy they can take some weight off of your shoulders! 

Paul Heckert Photography

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

What sold me is that Joy is so interactive! We have family all over the world and I know that they won’t all be able to celebrate with us live on our wedding day. The fact that people can post pictures is awesome- that’ll absolutely make our friends and family feel included from miles away. Not to mention that guests attending can interact with each other before they get there! It’s such a fun way for our friends and family to already feel like one. 

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

Use the chat feature and the community boards! The people on chat want to help (at all times of the day) and they are so open to hearing suggestions on making Joy even better- kudos! The community board is such a great little resource to ask, search around and see how people have fixed some of the same issues you’re running into.  

Paul Heckert Photography

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

For us, Joy is about finding little bits of happiness in the growth of our relationship, in all stages. Rusty and I were not in “love at first sight” and we were friends for a few years before we ever thought about dating. Throughout those stages- acquaintances, college friends, officially dating, the real world, and now engaged life- we have found joy in adventures, new experiences, learning, and in our friends and family. The wedding only ensures that we continue to find those little bits of happiness together, throughout the many more stages of our lives to come.

Paul Heckert Photography

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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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