Joel and Victoria

How We Met

Her Side: Joel and I met like a lot of couples do these days, via a dating app. That’s the short story. The longer version goes into both our individual lives long before the meeting and our experiences both good and bad that helped to mold us into the people that would end up being so compatible with each other that it would be very easy for us to recognize our futures in each other right from the start. So we will go with the mid-length version. Joel had been on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble for a while without much success while I had never tried it. I had recently ended a short-term dating situation and a friend of mine suggested trying Bumble.

I thought about it for about a week, made my profile and connected with Joel on the first day of being on. We made a date for 2 days later, June 19th, 2017 – my very first Bumble date. I remember being surprised with how easily the conversation flowed. We had very similar interests including travel, adventure, and upbringing.

We talked about what characteristics make up a good relationship in our experience and we agreed that if both people consider themselves individually to be the luckiest, most blessed of the two then that would be a pretty good indication of a relationship that would span the test of time.

We talked for hours at a local bar called Moe& Johnny’s and when we finally determined we should probably let the cleaning staff do their job, we stood up to leave. That was the first time we stood next to each other and it was then that I realized how tall he is. Joel is 6’5,” a whole foot taller than me. My life changed that day. Prior to meeting Joel, I didn’t really know how good a relationship could be. I didn’t know how happy and joyful a relationship could make me. I had a fulfilled, wonderful life before Joel that somehow became more fulfilled, more wonderful. I am not a cynic of love but I have never believed in “soulmates”. I still don’t, for the record, but I cannot imagine anyone else to share my life with.

In my vows to him on our wedding day, I was making the case of why I was truly the luckiest of the two of us. “Any task, chore, errand, long car ride, can end up being the most fun adventure because it’s with [him]. [He] makes everything better with [his] goofiness and lightheartedness. [He] has the best sense of humor and makes me laugh every day.

[He] is so genuine, honest and kind and always puts me first. [He] makes me a better person by my desire to make [him] proud. I am happier than I ever imagined I could be and to top it off, I can wear heels whenever I want.” All of this still holds true today and always will, unless he shrinks…

How He Asked

His Side: I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Tori at the conclusion of an 8-hour hike in the middle of a 2-week backpacking trip in Patagonia. Surprisingly, the hike was the easy part and next was figuring out how to propose!

Our next big trip scheduled was to the wine country around Sonoma, California. Talk about a place filled with perfect venues to ask my future wife to marry me….. but that’s just not us. Tori and I live in Broad Ripple, IN, which is a cute little arts district just outside of downtown Indianapolis. We love our little 1930’s bungalow and its access to walking trails, restaurants, bars, and parks. If you say the word “Walk” in our house, our dog (Reagan) is jumping with anticipation for a trip around our regular loop around the neighborhood.

Broad Ripple also gives us close proximity to both of our families and groups of friends.  So when I started thinking about the proposal all kinds of things went through my mind but I kept going back to the things that we love about our life; our home, our dog, our families, and our friends. Location-check.

Now I just had to figure out when. The anniversary of our first date happened to fall on a Monday this year. Who proposes on a Monday? But I just felt like that day of the year would always be special to us so June 19th it was! Next, the RING! If you can imagine a guy who’s flashiest jewelry is a $12 Timex watch walking into a jewelry store with absolutely no idea what he was doing…. that was me! After looking around, a salesperson showed me some rings I thought might be good. I sent Tori’s sister a few of the options. Her reply was the equivalent of the sound you get in a game show when you guess the wrong thing.

Lucky for me, Tori had sent her a screenshot of a ring she like a few months before. I went to 5 stores before finding the ring I knew would get a YES! The proposal started with Tori, Reagan, and I go for a walk around our regular route. I had shared my phone’s location with the group of friends and family that I have planned to celebrate with us after the proposal. They were standing by to bring all of the food, refreshments, and themselves to the backyard of our house.

During the walk, I made sure to keep the topics of conversation to some of the most special memories of our time together up to this point. As we were getting within a block of our house, I lost feeling in my legs and was most certainly talking complete gibberish (I can’t really remember). As we walked into our front yard, Tori somehow spied a hidden GoPro camera I had a friend hide. I told her not to worry about it and just tried to get her to the exact spot where all three cameras and the drone were pointed. I turned her around toward me, told her how much she meant to me and how deeply I loved her.

She was all smiles and I quickly dropped to my knee and pulled out the ring. ” Victoria Leigh Stone, Will you marry me?” “Yes!’  I purposely wanted the proposal to be a private moment with just me and Tori. It worked out perfectly that we then got to walk to the backyard where I was able to surprise her with all of “our people” there ready to spend the evening celebrating with us.  Looking back on that day, I think the proposal was perfect for us.

Tori appreciated our private moment and having everyone there to celebrate immediately afterward. She loves the ring! June 19th will always be a special day for us to celebrate and remind us of how we met and started our engagement.

Special Thanks