Alexa and Joe

Image 1 of Alexa and Joe

How We Met

Joe and I met in college after mutual friends attempted to set us up. One of my best friends mentioned to me who he was so when I saw him out at a party, I decided to introduce myself and talked his ear off the whole night. We hung out until he graduated a few months later, but it didn’t end up going anywhere at that time. We randomly kept in contact the next few years, but the timing never seemed to be right.

One day, we finally decided to meet up for lunch and catch up in person. It had been awhile since I had seen Joe in person so I was extremely nervous. When I pulled up to the restaurant, I saw him standing out front, and I forgot how good looking he was! I knew I was in trouble at that point. Timing was finally on our side, and we started dating. It was the best decision I have ever made because Joe is the most selfless and caring person I have ever met. He is truly my best friend.

Image 2 of Alexa and Joe

how they asked

Fast forward to a little under two years of dating, Joe decided to pop the question. I knew eventually we would get engaged because we discussed it, but Joe completely surprised me which is extremely hard to do because I am one who likes to ruin all surprises. Here is the story: According to Joe, he told his family back in December 2016 that he was going to propose sometime in the fall of 2017. He had plans of asking my dad for permission a few months later which was extremely important to me. Unfortunately, my dad passed away very unexpectedly at the end of December, and he never got the chance which absolutely devastated us. Joe was the son my dad never had, and he absolutely adored him. He would have been so beyond thrilled to officially have Joe be a part of the family.

After my dad passed away, Joe stepped up and did everything he could to not only take care of me but also to take care of my mom and sister. He was, and still is, one of our biggest support systems through the worst time of our lives. Knowing how upset I was about him not being able to ask my dad for his blessing and wanting to include him someway in the proposal, Joe came up with a plan with my mom. My mom, sister, and I were going to a lantern ceremony in August to honor my dad’s memory. Originally, Joe was not going, but at the last minute, my mom got him a ticket so I suspected nothing.

Image 3 of Alexa and Joe

Fast forward to the lantern ceremony… my mom, my sister and Joe looked so uptight and on edge. Normally I would have suspected something was up, but this was such an emotional event I thought nothing of it. We all wrote a message to my dad on our lanterns including Joe. After the fact, I learned that Joe was trying to write, “Mr. Ray, Do I have your permission to marry your daughter?” on his lantern, but he never had the chance since I was always around. Instead, he wrote something not as obvious.

Image 4 of Alexa and Joe

Once we started releasing the lanterns, Joe asked me to hold his with him. I was a little confused because I kept insisting on taking pictures of him doing so. Right before it was time to let go of the lantern, he told me to hold it for a second alone, and then he got down on one knee. I was so beyond confused that it took me a second to realize what was going on because my first thought when looking at the ring was, “Oh! Shiny!” I didn’t even realize that he asked me to marry him. I even said to him a few minutes later, “Did you even ask me?!”

Image 5 of Alexa and Joe

Image 6 of Alexa and Joe

It was the best proposal I could have ever asked for especially since he included my dad. I later found out my mom, my sister, and Joe were all panicking the whole time. My sister because she had the job of carrying the ring and coordinating with the photographer, my mom because she didn’t realize how many people were going to be there and was afraid there wouldn’t be time, and Joe because, well, he was about to ask the biggest question of his life. I however had a very relaxed time completely oblivious to what was going on.

Image 7 of Alexa and Joe

Image 8 of Alexa and Joe

From the beginning, I always told him there was no way he could surprise me because I am really good at reading him (and he’s so bad at hiding surprises), but I was beyond wrong. He did such an amazing job and of course, I said YES!

Image 9 of Alexa and Joe

Our Video

Special Thanks

Becky and Steve Smith
 | Photographer
Ashlynn Parker
 | Videographer
Linda Parker
 | Planning