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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Tyler & Melissa

Joy Proposal Story: Tyler & Melissa

by Cali Pitchel

Tyler and Melissa met through mutual friends in college. Tyler took a Greek class with some of Melissa’s friends and decided to accompany them for dinner in the school’s cafeteria. The group absorbed Tyler as one of their own, and that was the start of his and Melissa’s friendship. After three years as friends, Tyler decided it was time to exit the friend zone. He took Melissa to a bookstore (because Melissa loves bookstores), and asked her out. Less than a year after they made things official, Tyler popped the question!


Give us the details! When? Where? How?

The weekend he proposed, Tyler and I traveled to his parent’s hometown to help set up and attend his grandfather’s 80th birthday party.

To understand the rest of the story, you have to know that I love to collect cheap formal dresses from resale stores. I used to wear the dresses to finals while in school but now don’t have as many opportunities to wear them. Every once in a while, Tyler and I will mix things up by dressing up and going out to someplace you wouldn’t expect people to be dressed to the nines – such as the local mall food court for dinner and then a movie after.

It had been a while since we had gotten all fancy and I had been requesting we do so for at least a week prior. Thus, it wasn’t really any surprise or even the slightest bit unusual when Tyler suggested I pack some formal clothes and we would try to go out while we were visiting his family.

A wedding does only last for a day. Don’t get so caught up in what happens on that day that you lose sight of what the day is the beginning of – it is the start of a lifetime. Spend your time and energy before your wedding to make sure that lifetime is filled with joy.

On the day we headed back to Tyler’s hometown, we started out later than planned and Tyler grew more and more anxious. It was getting late and said he was afraid the place he wanted to take me for dinner would be closed if we didn’t get back in time. He wouldn’t tell me what restaurant he’d picked but I tried to assure him that it would be fine and we would just either pick a different place or plan a different day.***

We arrived at his parent’s house, with about 10 minutes to spare. In that time, I managed to change into a formal dress (including hose and white gloves!), put on makeup (I’m not a makeup kind of girl – only for fancy occasions), and switch the “important” stuff over from my normal purse into a tiny formal one. I had packed two different dresses and Tyler insisted I wear the one that went best with the shirt of his that was my favorite (which he then changed into). Tyler’s mom helped me zip up my dress and loaned me a sweater as I had forgotten to pack one, but, besides that, I was quite proud of what all I could accomplish on my own in so short of time!


Just in time, Tyler pulled into the parking lot of a hole-in-the-wall, family-owned Mexican diner. It was a place that his family kept raving about but that I had yet to see for myself. Still not suspicious of anything out of the ordinary happening, I finally picked a meal and we had the best dinner ever. (Nothing beats that freshly made Mexican rice!) As we left, I assumed we were heading back to his parent’s house and that was that—just a fun night, dressed up, out on the town.

For all the times I’ve come to visit with his family, I cannot make heads or tails of all the back roads and side streets of Tyler’s hometown. Instead of arriving back home, Tyler drove to this quiet park on the other side of town. While he drives through, I press my head against my window so I can look at all the stars that a glowing so brightly in the country night sky. Tyler drives all the way to the far end of the park and then turns the car around to exit. Suddenly, as if on a whim, he stops, parks the car, and asks if I want to go walk around the adjacent field so I can look at the stars some more before we head back. I just can’t say no to looking at the stars.****

It is pitch black outside. Being that it is late October and in the northern US, it’s a bit nippy too, but not so cold that a light jacket isn’t enough. Tyler turns on the flashlight on his phone so he can watch where we are walking. I take hold of the skirt of my dress with one hand and, so I don’t fall over while looking up, Tyler’s arm with the other. At this point, I’m still oblivious of anything about to happen.

We get to one edge of the field and Tyler directs me back towards the middle. My head is still thrown back and I’m contentedly gazing into space (literally) when Tyler unlinks my hand from his arm and drops behind by a step. Pretty sure that he dropped the car keys in the dark, I felt a twinge guilty for not helping search for them, but I keep stargazing anyway.

“I can’t stay down here forever,” I hear behind me.

I turned around and see Tyler, left knee on the damp ground, look up towards me.

That’s when it clicked.

It was just us. Just us, and God, and the stars.

I had always told Tyler that it needed to be a rhetorical question when he asked – he had better already know what the answer was going to be. By that point, we had been talking wedding planning and such for a good three months. We knew we were going to be getting married, but even so, I didn’t want to know when he was going to propose; I wanted it to be a surprise and something special for just us. No spectacle, no crowds of people or flash mobs. And that’s exactly what he did.

“I have a question to ask you,” he continued, “Will you marry me?”

My answer started as a nod before turning into a verbal, “Yes. Always”

Tyler pulled a ring box out of his coat pocket, fumbled the latch open, and took out a beautiful, dainty, ring. Taking my glove off, he slipped it onto my finger. That alone made the ring permanently significant, but later, I learned even more that made the ring he had chosen that much more special: The three small diamonds Tyler had used in the ring were from his grandmother’s wedding band. She had passed away before I had even met Tyler, but now I have the privilege and honor to wear her diamonds on my hand.

***Turns out, it had to be that night because Tyler had seen that the weather forecast for the rest of the time we would be in his hometown called for overcast skies.

**** The star gazing—yeah, it was totally planned.

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

I don’t. Our wedding is in April (just 3 months from writing this) and I’m honestly at the point of telling everyone to come in pajamas, I couldn’t care less.

Actually, it is Tyler who is keeping me from falling apart. He and I are in this together. While there are numerous things that he doesn’t really have an opinion on, he helps with what he can and checks in frequently to see if there’s anything he can do to take something off my plate.

In the end, I know that the wedding is just a day. There’s so much more than trying to plan a “perfect wedding.” There’s a lifetime of love, adventure, challenges, and yes, even arguing ahead of us. No matter what finally ends up happening on the wedding day, the vows promised is the only part that truly matters.


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

Early on, I tried out numerous websites – some intended as wedding websites and some that could be made for anything. WithJoy was the only site that didn’t look like it was designed in 1998 (or 2006) for that matter; it was sleek, user-friendly, and completely customizable.


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

Take your time designing your site. Tackle one thing at a time. There is so much that Joy offers that it is worth the time to go through it slowly and make it your own. Give yourself plenty of time to personalize it to fit who you are as a couple before releasing the address for others to see.

For our site, I’ve been adding content to it and tweaking it off-and-on for the past 6 months and will be releasing it with our invitations.

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

A wedding does only last for a day. Don’t get so caught up in what happens on that day that you lose sight of what the day is the beginning of – it is the start of a lifetime. Spend your time and energy before your wedding to make sure that lifetime is filled with joy.

People don’t remember for long what the centerpieces looked like or what songs were (or weren’t) on your playlist. Those are all nice things to be sure, but they aren’t the REASON for the celebrations that day. No matter what happens – either before your wedding, on your wedding day, or at any point after – to have joy is a choice and one that, I believe, is the most important for you and your intended. That is what is going to last.


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