Joy Proposal Story: Tina Marie & Johnny

    How did the two of you meet?

    We met on eHarmony! Shocker! I was the first to send a “smile.” He responded and we corresponded for a bit before setting our first date. We had so much in common.

    When you know, you know.

    Tell us about your first date.

    Our first date, which started at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, turned into an 8 hour date! We just talked and talked and laughed and laughed. A live band that was playing actually dedicated a song to the “married couple” to which we responded, “It’s our first date!” We had so much fun and laughed so much. We both had lived in the mid-west, he from Kansas and my family from Kansas City, MO. Again, lots in common including the KC Chiefs and KC Royals!

    Melissa Ivy Photography

    How long have you been together?

    Our first date was February 8, 2015, so it’s been 2.5 years. When you know, you know. Time is not a factor.

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

    It was in December of 2015, just 10 months after we met. I had accumulated points at my favorite local Italian restaurant, VinciTorio’s, and it earned me a free dinner. We had a plan to redeem my points on this particular Wednesday (12/15/2015). Unbeknownst to me, Johnny was planning to hijack this evening as he had already asked for my mom’s blessing and had a whole evening planned which included my mom and uncle joining us just after we ordered the appetizers. It was unplanned but quite the coincidence that my dear friends just happened to be dining there that same evening.

    Melissa Ivy Photography

    Johnny requested one of my favorite songs to be played and as it started (Ave Maria), he asked me to dance. Mind you this is a restaurant without a dance floor. I took his hand and as we started to dance, he knelt down and proposed. Just then I learned everyone was in on it as a dozen roses rounded the corner in our servers hands and a bottle of champagne arrived at the table. My friends videotaped the whole thing. It was truly a dream. I felt like I was in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” as patrons from the restaurant were cheering and congratulating us. It was truly perfect!

    What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

    Our most favorite experiences have been the engagement photo session and our “tasting” at the hotel. Both seemed to help us visualize our future – both our wedding and thereafter. However, what made these so special were the people involved with these decisions. We have a fantastic team so far – our wedding planner, catering manager at the hotel and our photographer. Their personalities just fit US! They get our humor and make this fun and not stressful.

    Melissa Ivy Photography

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

    I had to hire a wedding planner, Meant2Bee Events. I was not sane for the early phases of this planning. I was completely overwhelmed! Since I hired a wedding planner, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t a train. I wish I had a more Zen-like answer for this one!

    …the wedding is truly a day and so what this means to me is not to sweat the small stuff.

    How did you hear about Joy?

    My wedding planner recommended it to me. After I went on the site, I realized it was the same company where my dear friend’s daughter worked. That dear friend I mentioned that was at the restaurant the night of the proposal and who will stand up with me as a bridesmaid. Her daughter works at Joy! Funny.

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

    I have enjoyed the one-stop-shop idea. I can send the link to all of my guests and they can instantly know about the details, RSVP and even get to know the people in our wedding party. I really like the part where you can profile those participating in the wedding and family members.

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

    Have fun with the site and make sure your personalities show through. The pics you choose to showcase your relationship and how you answer the questions about “how you met” and how you profile those involved in the wedding are all ways where visitors will get to know you and what’s important to you. How formal are you going, what about gift registry or NOT… help the guests know what to expect for a celebration with you.

    Melissa Ivy Photography

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

    Joy lasts forever – the wedding is truly a day and so what this means to me is not to sweat the small stuff. When all is said and done, have fun and make sure laughter is included. When someone throws a curveball your way, face it head on and I remind myself this is about the two of us! Johnny has been involved with every decision and so supportive.

    Whenever I have reached my stress limits, he reminds me it will all work out. He sits beside me and my laptop and helps me narrow down the decisions. We are in this together and this I know. I remind myself frequently to stay present. With planning, one can focus on the next step and the next and forget to enjoy the moment. Each moment of the planning is a step toward the big day. They all make up that special moment we will celebrate in December.

    Melissa Ivy 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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