Give us the proposal details! When? Where? How?
After being best friends for 10 years, and dating the last four of those, Reeve proposed to me. We often go out on little dates, so I tried not to think too much into it when my fiancé and I decided that we would have a picnic on the beach. When I opened the door to our apartment after work, my heart started pounding. He had filled our house with white peonies, which he knows are my favorite flower. In the middle of the peonies was a small stand, with a note that read, “Stephanie, meet me at the beach.” We recently moved to Kailua, on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. I headed down to Lanikai, our favorite beach because of the gentle surf and the sugary-soft sand. He was waiting there for me with a picnic basket that opened up to reveal champagne and a packed dinner of some of my favorite fruits and salads. We stayed there for a few hours talking and decided to wait for the sunset. The beach emptied out very quickly as the sun went down. We were completely alone with a sky so brightly lit with stars that they cast a silvery shadow. It was a magical moment with him, and then the most brilliant shooting star I’ve ever seen flew across the sky. I jumped up to my feet to make a wish, and after I had done so, he got on one knee! He asked me to marry him and I remember saying, “Yes!” while laughing, and falling to my knees in the sand in front of him. I saw the ring twinkling, But I was so happy and we stayed out so late that I didn’t really take a good look at it until we got home! (He did a great job — it was exactly what I had dreamed about: A pear solitaire on a thin gold band.) We took the evening just for ourselves, before calling our families and friends the next day. All these months later, and I am still overwhelmed by what a wonderful proposal it was.
What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?
I loved picking the venue together. We went against all of the advice everybody gave us by falling in love with the very first venue and canceling all of our other appointments to view different locations! Our venue is a historic coconut palm plantation on Oahu that has been repurposed as a polo ranch. We saw it, and both knew that it would be the perfect place to bring our families together. That moment was a very special one for both of us. I also loved picking out my wedding dress! I tried on several here in Hawaii but ultimately found my gown in Toronto. I had flown up to Canada for a friend’s wedding, and my parents made the short trip to Toronto from Montreal to meet me so that I could try on wedding dresses with them while I was on the mainland. Having both my father and mother there with me when I found my gown was such a wonderful experience, and they took it a step further by purchasing the dress for me as a surprise. Apparently, they heard me gasp when I held the dress up to myself in the fitting room. I knew it was mine before the attendant had the chance to clip me into it. I am so happy that I had the chance to experience that moment with them, and can’t wait for Reeve to see me in it on our wedding day.
How do you stay sane under the pressures of wedding planning?
To be honest, I haven’t found wedding planning to be as stressful as I was worried it would be. Hawaii is a wedding destination, which means that everything books up about a year ahead of time. Because of this, my wedding planning was very front-loaded. We picked our venue very quickly, and then a wedding coordinator who recommended many of our future vendors. (Definitely, definitely get a wedding coordinator.) At this stage of planning, we’re in the thick of the details. I keep organized with my Pinterest board, spreadsheet, and binder. I try to tackle my to-dos one by one so that I’m not faced with an overwhelming list. The latest item? Designing stamps for our invitation suite! The little details are such fun. Importantly, I often take the time to go back and look through the pictures I’ve curated, just so that I can revel in what a beautiful day it is going to be. It’s easy to lose track of the bigger picture when you’re planning the tiniest details, so I like to remind myself of how magical this time is.
What is your favorite part of using Joy for your wedding?
I love how easy Joy is to use, and how beautiful our website looks! There is definitely a typical ‘look’ to wedding websites, but Joy is a beautiful cut above anything I’ve come across.
What piece of advice would you give couples to ensure that they use Joy to its fullest potential?
Take advantage of all of the little subsections and don’t forget to upload your engagement photos to the “moments” gallery. It’s a wonderful way to share those special details with your family, especially when they’re far away like mine are.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
My favorite part about the wedding is that it’s an introduction to my married life with Reeve. The way we dream and celebrate together, tackle problems and situations together, are the foundations for a joyful life. Our wedding will be a wonderful, magical day, but our marriage will last forever.