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Inspiration » Proposal Story » Joy Proposal Story: Valentijn & Rachel

Joy Proposal Story: Valentijn & Rachel

by Cali Pitchel

How did the two of you meet?

We met in 2004 when we were both working at IPG. Val was working for the advertising agency and Rachel for the media buying agency. We were introduced to each other by an Aussie colleague in front of the reception desk. Val was smitten as soon as he saw Rachel. He instantly knew she had a certain “Je ne sais quoi,” which drew him to her, well that and her Aussie accent. Rachel found him quite goofy and a tad gawky, but an easy going and fun guy to talk to. Both were in relationships at the time, but a beautiful friendship blossomed as they enjoyed walks in the park during their lunch breaks together and numerous chats in the company’s mail room.


Marilyn Bartman |

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

On a cold but beautifully clear October evening in 2016 Valentijn proposed on the Ceintuur bridge in Amsterdam, the last place he had seen Rachel all those years ago. He had been planning this for a few months. He included both their sons (6 and 7 years old) and had them draw up a little book of their history together which he gave Rachel on the bridge just before he got down on one knee. Rachel said yes, the people walking and cycling by cheered and whistled us on. We walked to our favorite restaurant and celebrated our engagement there.


Marilyn Bartman |

What has been your favorite experience planning the wedding?

Deciding on the location and setting up our website together.

A wedding is an experience, it’s celebrating the love you have for each other and family and friends celebrating our love with us.

Another favourite part of planning our wedding was including our family members. We asked all of them in a special way to have a role in our wedding. From my 98-year-old grandmother as a witness to my 5-year-old niece as our flower girl. Not forgetting our boys, my son will be walking me down the aisle with my father and Val’s son will be waiting for me with Val at the ‘altar”. Having them all involved in our wedding makes it extra special.

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

We’re both very easy going and haven’t had any real stress yet.

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

Showing everyone the pictures of our love shoot and seeing the guests that have signed up for the wedding!


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

Don’t think you have to re-invent the wheel, look at the examples and just make sure you add your own personal ingredients

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

A wedding is an experience, it’s celebrating the love you have for each other and family and friends celebrating our love with us. This experience is a memory you will never forget.


Marilyn Bartman |

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