How we Met – by Valery: Joshua and I met early 2013 at a previous job I had. He works at a media group who my previous employer hired for our website and web-video. Before I met Joshua, the media group’s sales representative spoke highly of him as a potential candidate for me but I quickly dismissed him because he’s younger than I am.
Well to my surprise, I was impressed with Joshua from the very beginning. He was so polite, handsome, and professional. His focus on his work really stood out to me. The production team stayed, what seemed like all day, at my work so we spoke comfortably with each other throughout the day. Towards the end of that day Joshua asked for my phone number and passed his cell phone to me. I dismissed his cell phone and grabbed pen and paper and proceeded to jot it down for him. After that day, we texted and spoke frequently and developed a beautiful relationship. Thank God I didn’t let age hinder our wonderful journey.
How We Met – by Joshua: Valery and I first met in April, 2013 on a video shoot. I’m a producer and video editor and Valery worked at a Architectural Products company at the time. My company was coming over to film her boss for a promo video and during set up, Valery and I had some time to chit chat and I thought she looked like a sweet, kind and fun girl who made me laugh so I asked for her number with my phone out ready to plug it in. That’s when I noticed it for the first time: She ripped a piece of paper and started to write it down, blind to the fact that I had my phone out. So in an effort to imply “get with the times” I kindly took the note, entered the phone number into my phone and handed the note back.
A few days later, or maybe even that night, I called her. Most people text nowadays but I had specific insight into her old-fashioned nature. We talked for a while and she didn’t want to date younger guys off the bat and I wasn’t looking for a relationship, so we just spoke as friends and agreed to go hang out as friends. We met at World of Beer for a couple brewskis and took a walk around the local pond. That’s the day I really began to like her. Valery was different. She was kind, smart, intellectual, funny, and old-fashioned. I loved everything about her. The next time we hung out it was at Disney’s Boardwalk and we spoke a lot, held hands and then kissed underneath the stars. It was beautiful and I fell for her that night. The next couple days whizzed by and I had flowers delivered to her job with a note attached asking her to be my girlfriend.
how they asked – by Valery: Joshua came up with a work event for Saturday Jan 31st and left an invitation in our office for this so-called work event so I would see it. My mom, coincidentally also planned a bon-voyage celebration for that day for some family that were in from Colombia. The plan was to drop off our dish of mac-n-cheese at my mom’s, say our hellos and rush to his work event before 2pm then see them again in the evening.
I found the dress, the heels, fixed my hair & nails and was ready for his work event. I suddenly got an ocular migraine that morning so I was really bummed because I typically cancel everything when that hits. I didn’t want to disappoint him by cancelling his work event so I sucked it up and continued with the plan. On the way to my mom’s house I made Joshua pull over twice because of my nausea. I finally arrived at my mom’s with my heels in the car and a grimace look on my face.
I walked into an awkwardly quiet group of my family. I was confused and when I saw a birthday sign I was still confused and a little annoyed because I don’t enjoy birthday surprises, and they know it. Then little by little I quickly realized this was more than just a birthday party. I was escorted around the house where Joshua placed pictures of us and I then walked past the kitchen where more family and friends that typically aren’t at our family gatherings yelled SURPRISE! At this point tears were already flowing. I was told to sit by my father on the couch facing the TV. I was in slight shock and my lips were quivering. All I could do is squeeze my little stuffed animal monkey (one of our pet names is monkey) I was handed by his brother.
Joshua made a beautiful video with recordings of my parents’ blessings and awesome footage that I’ve never seen before from over the last year. It was so well done! I cried and I laughed. I was so focused on this beautiful video that I didn’t notice all the guests sneak past me to the backyard. They were lined up in 2 parallel lines with their hands arched above their heads, like passing under a bridge. Rose pedals were on the ground and the day was so beautiful.
At the end of the bridge stood my wonderful soon-to-be-fiancé!!! I was still in shock, so I didn’t realize all the detail of what he was saying at that moment. All I know is that it was beautiful! He ended his speech with asking me to marry him in Spanish. It was perfection!
The surprises didn’t end there. He contacted one of my best friends, Shannon who lives in Texas, and got her here. He also had a red Porsche in the driveway waiting for us for a ride around town. Then we continued to party, eat, and toast a whole lot with my family and friends. It felt like a wedding. Joshua’s creativity, diligence, and patience really pulled through.
how they asked – by Joshua: I first received the confirmation from God that marrying Valery was the right thing to do about 6 months prior to our engagement. I spent the prior two months planning it, from organizing her best friend flying in from Texas, to her family flying in from New York. I had only spoken to a few people about it but I wanted to make sure that everyone that was invited to the get-together was under the impression that it was a surprise birthday party that way if for some reason Valery found out, she would’ve only thought it was a birthday party. (Surprise birthday parties, by the way, she hates) Anyway, I asked for her mother’s and step-father’s hand in marriage almost immediately after I ordered the ring online and showed them my plans. I had a typed itinerary of when they had to speak to Valery about certain things, where they had to be, when I was to be at the house but basically a gigantic, person-specific itinerary of the proposal. The idea is to have something that is so intricate, so well-thought out that if something fails, something else would compensate for it. If someone didn’t follow directions, there were fail safes in place to make sure the task would get completed. The proposal was executed like clockwork. Virtually nothing went wrong and I didn’t even mess up my actual proposal speech because I left myself a whopping 8 minutes to practice it.
Jan 3rd – I contacted her friend and set up a fake message about a fake party on Feb 21st, a red-herring in case Valery saw it.
Jan 11th – Valery is asked by Gloria to attend a get-together for Ivan on Jan 31st at noon, I told her that we can stop by because we have a work event to attend. She has to dress up for the event.
Jan 18th – I photoshop a believeable flyer of the event we are attending.
Jan 24th – I have her mom tell her about a birthday get-together we are having for her the day after the surprise. Another red-herring.
Jan 26th – I have her speak to my co-worker for what to wear.
Things to do before:
Find sports car
Friday January 30th:
Pick up flowers
Give Jeremy the ring
Setup flowers and photos, any decorations at Gloria’s house, cameras, placement
Setup video, make sure audio plays correctly
Run-through sequence of events with photographers, Jeremy and parents if possible
Saturday January 31st:
8:00 AM – I leave the house and tell Valery to get ready while I go into work for a couple hours. I head over to her father’s house, ask him in Spanish on video for her hand in marriage, go to my job, edit the video, go to her mom’s house, test the video, and run back home to change and pick her up.
11:15 AM – I change for the “event” we’re going to.
12:00 PM –We leave to go to drop off some food for the get-together at her mom’s house on the way to our “event”
12:15 PM – 12:35 PM – Valery and I pull up, Jeremy calls me to speak with me about business and I tell Valery to go in without me so she walks into the living room. I go around the left side of the building when she enters and they surprise her. I get the ring where Jeremy placed it and go straight to the backyard.
Once she gets inside, everyone will surprise her as it is a surprise party for her and keep her in the living room.
At this point, all cameras should be turned on to start recording, and video should start playing – first song plays and then second song is the Spanish opera one that when it starts playing, she needs to be guided to sit down on the couch in specific seat to assure she’s being recorded.
Once she’s greeted by everyone she’ll be directed around the kitchen not through it, to the dining room, see more people, then directed through the kitchen to the TV, possibly see more people, then she will be sat down on the couch and Jeremy will press play while she watches a video.
Once she’s done watching the video, she’ll be brought outside the house to the back patio and she’ll be guided down a path on the grass with her family making a tunnel to where she will find me behind the tree on the top of the hill, where I will propose.
3:30 PM – Porsche shows up to drive off in.
So basically– I’m Type A. I fell in love with this girl and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Here’s what I said at the proposal: Valery, I admire you. I admire your kindness. I admire your heart. You mean everything to me and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Valery Santos (with my Spanish accent), Quieres casarte conmigo?
Joshua & Valery co-founded a charity together targeted towards multiple outreaches including homelessness and human-trafficking. For more information, to donate or to get involved please visit The Joshua Wave.