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Inspiration » sarah anne photography » Joy Proposal Story: Vaishali & Gerardo

Joy Proposal Story: Vaishali & Gerardo

by Cali Pitchel

How did the two of you meet?

During the summer of 2011, Vaishali joined a social kickball team to meet new people. The league played games near the World War II Memorial and went to a bar each week called The Exchange after playing. Vaishali went home to Michigan in for a month and during that time, her sister’s friend, Karishma, came to visit. Vaishali was wearing her DC kickball jersey when Karishma saw her and she suddenly remembered that her brother-in-law, Gerardo, lived in DC and played on a kickball team, possibly the same one. She said Gerardo and Vaishali “should totally be friends and hang out.”
We hope that the joy and love we feel from those who celebrate with us, will resonate with us throughout our lives.
There are so many social leagues and teams, it was highly unlikely that they were playing on the same one. After a long month in Michigan, Vaishali returned to DC and met her teammates at The Exchange, on September 1. While sitting with her friends, she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around and Gerardo asked, “Are you Roshni’s sister?!” and Vaishali replied, “You must be Diego’s brother!”. It turned out that their teams had just faced each other in the playoffs earlier in the evening, and that they had been playing in the same league, on the same night, the whole summer! Gerardo offered Vaishali a homemade Jello shot and they later went out for Chinese food near Gallery Place. After that night, they were inseparable. The rest, as they say, is history.

How long have you been together?

It will be 6 years on September 1, 2017!

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

Gerardo decided to leave DC and return to school in Michigan at the start of 2017. During their last weekend together in the city on December 18, 2016, Gerardo asked Vaishali if she wanted to go around the city and take pictures together in front the monuments. Knowing that they may not have a chance to take these pictures again, Vaishali obliged. They went on a long walk to the White House, the Washington Monument, the World War I and II Memorials, around the Tidal Basin, and finally, the FDR Memorial (their favorite spot in the city). Toward the end of their walk around the FDR Memorial, Gerardo took Vaishali to a stepping stone in the middle of a fountain in a secluded area of the memorial and gave her a long hug. He thanked her for the best five years of his life. Vaishali told Gerardo she loved him to which Gerardo responded, “Are you sure?”. Vaishali gave him a puzzled look, and replied, “Of course.” He asked, “Will you love me for the rest of our lives?” and got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. Vaishali happily said yes! They spent the rest of the afternoon on FaceTime with their families to share the news, and later went out for a celebratory dinner at one of their favorite neighborhood restaurants, Shaw’s Tavern.

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

I have loved planning the decor for each event! It’s so easy to get carried away and spend hours on Pinterest searching for centerpieces and sequin table runners.

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

Wedding planning can become so overwhelming, and when I forget the reason we are planning it, I re-read the hand-written letters Gerardo sent me while he was training in the Navy and deployed in Afghanistan. It reminds me that we have made it through some difficult times together, and we don’t have to let this be one of them!

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

I love the design, our ability to customize the colors while maintaining the same style and background, and how mobile-friendly the app is!

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

My favorite part about this website is the Q&A section. Our wedding will be a fusion of cultures. Because most of the rituals will be aimed towards a traditional Hindu wedding, we find it important to share some basic information about attending a Hindu wedding for those who aren’t familiar with the multi-day events.

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

A wedding acts as a symbol of bringing two families together to celebrate love and a new beginning. You’re surrounded by the people who have shaped you as individuals and as a couple. I can’t think of anything more amazing than that. You’ll have the memories from the day of your wedding, but you’ll carry each other through good and bad times, grow more in love, and learn how to care for each other from that day onward. During our wedding weekend, we hope that the joy and love we feel from those who celebrate with us, will resonate with us throughout our lives.

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