Holly and Joe

How We Met

Joe and I met at a wedding on 9/28/18 — about a year and a half ago. I knew the bride, and he knew the groom. We were at the singles table (table 14, woot woot!) and started chatting it up. I caught the bouquet and he caught the garter. And you know what they say — the rest is history! We were pretty much inseparable from our first date onwards. It sounds so cliche, and I always used to roll my eyes at people who told me, “When you know, you know.” Welp, now I am admittedly one of those people! It became apparent really quickly that Joe was my person, and it wasn’t scary at all. In addition to being devilishly handsome, Joe is the kindest, most genuine human being I have ever met. He challenges me, supports me, embraces my family and friends and puts up with all of my crazy antics. I am honored that I get to marry him and become Mrs. Teska!

Holly's Proposal in Denver, at home

How They Asked

The OG Plan: After the real proposal (keep reading for that), Joe told me what his initial plans were for the OG proposal. For the past five months he had been planning, rehearsing and arranging a huge production to propose to me on Larimer Square (my favorite Denver block) on Saturday, March 21st.

He roped one of my best friends (Madison) into the plot. The cover plan was that we were going to have girls crafting afternoon downtown at Upstairs Circus. And then she would walk with me the few blocks to Larimer where Joe was going to take me on a “date night”. Once we arrived to Larimer the street would be completely blocked off, our song (“Can I Be Him” by James Arthur) would be playing over the speakers, the photographer (our friend Jess) would be hiding to get the perfect shot, and Joe would pop the question!

After the proposal, Joe had planned to have 100 of our closest family and friends waiting at Larimer Beer Hall to celebrate (one of his buddies bartends there, it’s one of our favorite downtown spots to visit and I LOVE their DJ). We were going to hug, dance, drink and celebrate with all of our loved ones. Needless to say, EVERYONE knew it was coming beside me.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Denver, at home

The Pandemic: It was going to be big. It was going to be bold. But it didn’t stand a chance against the pandemic that was quickly sweeping the world — aka The Coronavirus. In just the weeks before the proposal, everything fell apart in response to this virus. Businesses closed — including Upstairs Circus & Larimer Beer Hall. We weren’t recommended to gather in groups larger than ten #socialdistancing. I knew our girls day/date night was canceled, and I just figured we would spend the weekend at home watching TV like everyone else in the world is doing right now.
Joe had to make the decision on whether or not to postpone his proposal or totally alter his plans. According to him, he did not want to wait any longer to ask me to be his wife (awwww). So he decided to change it up…

The Proposal: So to say that Joe caught me completely off guard would be a huge understatement. I was literally wearing my scrubs, hair a mess, no makeup on and had just gotten home from work. My job is a “paraoptometric technician” aka a technical assistant for eye doctors. We were fully open for business that entire week leading up to it, but that specific day I was arriving home from my last shift before we shut down operations for the next two weeks. Since we are not “necessary healthcare providers” we needed to close.

I was driving home and Joe called to ask me to stop at the liquor store by his house to pick up some beer. He asked that I call him when I got there to let him know what they had in stock. He wanted to know when I was close to home. He told me to leave my stuff in the car because he had a surprise for me.

I came into the house — still wearing the latex gloves I wore for my liquor store excursion. I saw hundreds of rose petals leading down the stairs to the basement. I quickly took off my coat and gloves and hesitantly started walking down the stairs. Our song started playing over the speakers. I got to the bottom and saw my sweet Joe standing at the end of the hall in a suit. My heart stopped and I immediately started shaking. I kind of froze where I stood, and he had to gesture for me to keep walking towards him.

I think I totally blacked out because I don’t really remember much of what he said after that ha ha! But apparently he asked me three questions, and on the last one, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I, of course, said “YES!” and we both started crying and embracing each other.

We proceeded to call our families and friends to let them know. Of course, everyone was already in on it, they had been a part of his initial plans. But most people did not know that he had made the choice to proceed and do it from home. We enjoyed a very romantic celebratory dinner from Red Robin (because they are still doing delivery through GrubHub obvi). We popped some champagne and celebrated, just the two of us.

Announcement Photos: The next morning I woke up with the biggest smile on my face, I was engaged to my best friend! It is kind of weird and definitely hard not being able to celebrate with our loved ones during this time, but also special that we get to just hang out with the two of us. Our friend Jessica Noelke is a Denver photographer, we met her about a year ago when we shot looks for the 1940s Ball. Joe was so nervous before that shoot, and Jess made him feel super at ease. I will never forget when she told him, “Ooh you look like Channing Tatum!” To which he melted and was furthermore the best male model I have ever seen. She also shot our amazing sunflower field photos last summer.

Jess was initially going to shoot Joe’s big production before it was canceled. We reached out to her on Friday to see if she would still be down to go shoot some announcement photos for us. We packed up our Purell, masks, and gloves and headed to Larimer Square. It was pretty incredible — I have been to Larimer at least a hundred times and it is always PACKED. Zero street parking, people flooding the streets, and always lots of things going on everywhere. And when we showed up it was a GHOST town. We were able to take the coveted “middle of Larimer under the hanging market lights photo” super easily.

We shot on Larimer, in Barnum Park (overlooking Denver) and in Lakewood at Belmar’s abandoned Heritage district. Of course, washing our hands and Purell-ing it up along the way.

Special Thanks

Jessica Noelke
 | Photographer