Kathleen and Joey

Image 1 of Kathleen and Joey

How We Met

Joey and I met in a truly romantic setting, a dark, dingy, sticky, and yet fun and lovable old bar in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I had gone to the University of Miami for undergrad and moved a few miles away to Fort Lauderdale after school. Joey was raised in South Florida, attended our rival University of Florida, and lived in Fort Lauderdale at the time as well. I had just moved so I joined a kickball league to meet some new people. Mission accomplished! The first “after party” at the Irish pub downtown I met Joey and was instantly drawn to his fun energy, affinity for flip cup and Whitney Houston, but most of all his tan biceps in a cutoff team t-shirt. We saw each other again one week later and after that our friendship/relationship continued to grow. We went on a few fun dates to tapas, a hockey game, Halloween, etc. but it was about six weeks later I knew I had him on the hook because he asked me to spend his birthday with him. He officially asked me to be his girlfriend the next after party in the same dingy old bar.

Image 9 of Kathleen and Joey

how they asked

Joey and I had been dating for over four years, survived almost a year of long distance, moved across the country together, and bought our first home together, so with a lot of big steps happening, I didn’t think a proposal was in the near future. But low and behold, after settling into our new home in Washington DC for a little less than a year, Joey decided it was time to pop the question. Backing up a bit, with spending so much time traveling back and forward visiting each other, we hadn’t gone on a real vacation together for quite some time so we planned an international getaway.

Image 2 of Kathleen and Joey

Image 3 of Kathleen and Joey

The trip was set to visit Paris, Bordeaux, and London in early May. Many friends and family members hinted that a proposal might be coming during a trip to these romantic settings, but Joey had strategically managed expectations so I had no idea that it was happening soon. On Saturday morning the weekend before the trip, Joey set out to play tennis with a buddy, while I readied myself for a brunch date with one of my best girlfriends. As I’m all dressed and ready to go, she called to say that her Lyft driver had dropped her off by the Titanic Memorial instead of at the apartment because of traffic, so I set out to go meet up.

Image 4 of Kathleen and Joey

Image 5 of Kathleen and Joey

The waterfront by the memorial is steps from our home, and one of my favorite places as I walk my dog Cali there on a daily basis. Little did I know, Joey was waiting for me along the water, not my best friend. Walking on the sidewalk, I couldn’t find my friend and was at a loss until Joey yelled out my name. At that moment, time stood still, as Joey was perfectly placed until a gorgeously blooming cherry blossom tree, dressed in Saturday’s best, with an aisle of rose petals leading up to the landing. After what seemed like ages, I finally started to walk towards him, along the rose petal pathway. I was in complete shock, shaking and having trouble catching my breath.

Image 6 of Kathleen and Joey

He got down on one knee and I accepted his proposal in a heartbeat. Joey’s brother, hiding in a bush, filmed the entire proposal and greeted us with champagne. We spent some time walking around the monuments and taking pictures as we made our way to a surprise celebratory lunch at Oyamel with friends and family. Joey had said that my parents couldn’t make it so we would see them after the trip, but there they were at lunch in our private butterfly themed room. This is when I really lost it. We celebrated the night, ending up with our friends and family at one of our favorite late-night DC spots.

Image 7 of Kathleen and Joey

A few days later as a newly engaged couple, we head off to Europe for a two-week vacation to celebrate the future. All in all steps away from our first home, on the sunniest day, overlooking the sparkliest river, and underneath the most stunning cherry blossom tree, Joey and I agreed to spend the rest of our lives together. Joey so carefully planned the most special day- one that included a big surprise, water views, excessive flowers, even more, excessive champagne, butterflies, monuments, tacos, rooftops, friends, family, and of course jewelry- pretty much all my favorite things.

Image 8 of Kathleen and Joey

Special Thanks

Carl Perry
 | Photographer