A Letter to My Soon-to-be Fiancé (Update: SHE SAID YES!)

Hi baby girl, Today’s the day – are you ready for it?

I am. And I feel like I have been since the first time I saw you….We were at our freshman orientation. We quickly bonded about being from the same state, and were both excited to start life in a new place. Although we parted ways that day, it luckily wouldn’t be the last time we’d meet.

A few months later, classes began. I walked into my very first college course and there you were —just as cute and friendly as I remembered. I tried to play it cool, so I asked, “I know you, right?” I still brag to this day, that you did, in fact, remember me too. We sat next to each other for the rest of the semester, and became very close friends throughout school. We both even joined the same service organization where we took children to a summer camp.

Image 13 of A Letter to My Soon-to-be Fiancé (Update: SHE SAID YES!)Illustrations by The Artist Scientist

At this summer camp, the kids would constantly see us talking and immediately teased us for “being in looooove!!!” and flashing “flirty fingers” at each other. For their sake, we went along with it that entire week. On the last day, I decided it was time to take our “flirty finger relationship” to the next level and I fake proposed to you; to nobody’s surprise, you said yes. The kids went nuts, chanting our names and wishing us the best (guess they had us pegged). Then camp ended a day later and that was that.

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But that’s when our story really began…

We talked the rest of summer even though we were a thousand miles apart. We often joked about where we were going to go for our first date and how we couldn’t wait to see each other. It was almost as if those children planted seeds in our heads about us falling in love—and while we were both more than okay with the idea, neither of us wanted to truly admit it. We even dated other people during this time, which was what finally brought us together.

When summer ended, we went back to school for the fall semester of our junior year. One night, you came over to my house in tears after a guy you’d been seeing upset you. I listened and talked you down for about an hour. During a brief moment of silence, while we were looking into each other’s eyes, I felt the sudden urge to kiss you… so I did. I swear, it felt like a movie. It was at that moment that we both just knew we were meant to be together. From that day forward, I knew that you were the girl that I wanted to marry. It’s been four years since that kiss, and we’ve been dating ever since.

If we had all day, I could tell you so many special things about our relationship.

But since I’ve got somewhere to be and a very important question to ask you, I’ve narrowed down my favorite parts….

I love that picnics are our thing. That we’ve never picnicked in the same place twice because we’re always looking for somewhere new to sit and chat about life together.

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I love that we both hail from Texas, and we rep it hard wherever we go. Our mutual love of queso, BBQ and Tex-Mex runs deep. I love that when we’re at home alone together, we make silly songs. I love that “our song” is a Flo-Rida song. I love that we’re on a wait list for a puppy that we’ve already named Walter (after Walter White—Bryan Cranston’s character from Breaking Bad). And although we don’t consider ourselves partiers, we both love a good tequila shot. One day I decided to write down 200 things I love about you on separate Post-it notes. I gave you one every morning to make sure your first thought of the day was positive and that you felt loved. I did that because seeing you so happy makes me the happiest man alive.

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Lastly (and most importantly), at the end of each and every day we thank God for each other, and boy, has he blessed us. If the fact that we both just caught the garter and bouquet at our friend’s wedding isn’t a sign from above, then I don’t know what is.

Now, after four of the happiest years of my life, I’m taking the next step and asking you to marry me—this time, for real. There’s nothing you deserve more than an amazing proposal, an amazing husband, an amazing father to our future children and an amazing man by your side who will treat you like the queen you are. I’ll dedicate myself every day to try to be that person for you, because I couldn’t imagine marrying a more perfect woman. You’re my absolute best friend, my soulmate and my rock. I want to (and will) make all your wildest dreams come true, because if there is anything that you’ve taught me, it’s that no dream is too big.

So, BugBug, if you’re reading this, a dress you’ve been eyeing is waiting at home for you in the coat closet, and someone will meet you there soon to get ready with you and then take you to where I am.

I love you. See you soon.

Love always,


Mariah and Joey were engaged at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California. As you recently read, Joey first “proposed” to Mariah at a summer camp they volunteered at so Joey wanted to recreate that scene to propose – this time, for real. To bring the proposal to life, we brought on expert marriage proposal planners The Yes Girls, along with a team full of amazing vendors.

Earlier today, Mariah saw the love letter above after a friend tagged her in the instagram post on @HowTheyAsked. She works from home and was still in her giraffe onesie when she saw the tag.

“I was so confused, but I clicked on the link and the moment I read the opening line, I just start sobbing. Then I saw the illustration of Joey’s fake proposal to me, and I started crying all over again,” said Mariah. “I quickly realized this was it – it was happening today and it was pure bliss.”

Shortly after she read the letter, Mariah’s two best friends showed up at her doorstep – a surprise, since they’re from Texas! Joey had gotten Mariah a dress she’d been eyeing from Show Me Your Mumu, and the three of them got ready for the big moment.

When Mariah arrived at Saddlerock around sunset, she walked toward Joey as musician Zach Churchill played an original song he wrote for their love story.

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Then, she walked up to her soon-to-be fiancé in front of a gorgeous recreation of their favorite memory.

The Yes Girls’ brought Joey’s dream to life with Crystal Schachter from Studio C Florals who used candlelights, tree stumps and branches, overflowing greenery and pops of warm florals to get that forest vibe. Regina Carroll of The Beautiful Mood also created a custom “Idyllwild Pines” camp sign for Mariah’s entrance and a life-size watercolor backdrop to bring back all the woodsy feels! The Yes Girls also provided Joey with a Box Sock, which cleverly hid the engagement ring until the moment he needed it!

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The rest, you know. Joey shared his deep feelings with Mariah, and she cried as he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

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She said yes, and the joy could be felt around the world. After soaking in their moment together, the couples’ family emerged from hiding to add to the surprise!

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the video

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The incredible proposal was captured by photographer Brian Leahy and videographer Elysium Productions! Congrats, Mariah and Joey!