Joe and Kathrina

Image 1 of Joe and KathrinaHow We Met – by Joe: Kathrina and I have known one another since our Senior year of High School, became friends and started dating after we graduated. Over the past few years we have developed an itch of wanting to see and experience as much as we can, to go wherever the road takes us. The road often led to less traveled, remote places. I wanted it to be something meaningful, something fitting for someone as special as she is. It had to be unexpected yet not totally out of the norm for us. Kathrina is very inquisitive and turns into a little kid on Christmas morning when something is the slightest bit off or if I don’t give her a lot of details. We headed out to the desert under the guise of finding this “one spot” I heard of and thought we could take photos of and explore the desert. Totally normal for us. I had planned for my good friend Sam to head out early to set up for me – I gathered photos of us from the beginning of our friendship through our relationship, old letters, movie stubs and special things we’ve collected over the years. And of course I knew that I wanted our proposal to be captured in photos. One of the first people that knew that I was going to propose was Megan; I knew that I wanted her to be there to document our proposal. Honestly the best decision.

Image 2 of Joe and Kathrinahow they asked – by Joe: The day of, I couldn’t believe how beautiful she looked. I don’t remember at all being nervous, most likely because I was too busy being excited to ask her to be my wife and finally give her the ring I’d had for weeks – something I’m particularly proud of since I designed it myself, something that had to be unique and fitting for Kathrina. We made it to the spot I had scouted the week before and as we turned I pointed saying, “Look at that bird over there,” to distract Kathrina as I saw a flash of red as Megan quickly got into her hiding spot. We slowly made our way to the mirage of familiar items that was set up in the distance. She was confused at first but I sat her down and showed her some of the things that I had brought — when we were just kids spending lunches together, hanging out together in the ASB room and slowly growing on one another. Photos of us from Prom, with my pre-fro days and our baby faces. I started explaining how much she meant to me and how I couldn’t Image 3 of Joe and Kathrinaremember a time that I wasn’t in love with her and wanted to love her for the rest of my life. I got down on one knee and then the waterworks started. Kathrina can be a crier, which is cute, but this time was different. In between heavy sobs I think she managed to nod her head as a way of saying yes. After she calmed down there was a moment of silence when suddenly she said, “Do I hear a camera clicking?!” That was when Megan jumped from behind a Yucaipa tree and we all had a good laugh. It was a perfect day and I couldn’t thank Megan, Adam, Sam and Paige enough for celebrating it with us. Kathrina and I spent the next couple of days in Palm Springs letting it all soak in, together in our own little bubble, before the start of wedding planning stress.

how they asked – by Kathrina: The day was like any other Sunday. Church, coffee. A photo session and then off to the Image 4 of Joe and Kathrinadesert for some adventures. I had a terrible headache in the morning and all I could think of was how much I was looking forward to relaxing by the pool in the desert heat. The day was like any other Sunday. Until it wasn’t. We have been together for over 11 years. We met the summer before senior year. We had started off on the wrong foot, with him calling me “too quiet” which left me wondering who this guy thought he was. A friendship soon started and after a beautiful relationship. Throughout the years we had grown together, dreamed of a life together, started a business, and sought after personal goals – all with the strength of each other. Of course we had wanted to marry sooner. But sometimes Life happens and we continued to go along with it, patiently impatient.

Image 5 of Joe and KathrinaI never had any expectations for my own proposal. Joe could’ve simply asked me on the side of the road and I would’ve cried and said yes. I knew I’d cry – and cry I certainly did. Even when I felt the moment coming I still couldn’t brace myself from the well of tears. I couldn’t even say yes I was crying so much. And honestly I hadn’t even looked at the ring (again he could’ve given me a plastic toy ring and I would’ve cried), I was just so happy. My one request was to have someone photograph the moment. Because I knew I wanted to look back at this, to remember and to cherish it always. Having Megan part of it, now I couldn’t have asked anyone better to have been there for us. The moment was perfect for us and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I can’t wait to marry this boy!

Photographer: Megan Welker Photography
Ring: Ballard & Ballard, custom designed by Joe