Katy and Joe

How We Met

Joe and I are both alumni of TCU in Fort Worth, TX. We went to school there at different times, so didn’t meet until a mutual friend of ours put together a TCU Alumni kickball team for a bunch of the young grads in the Fort Worth area to meet and socialize! We would spend our Thursday nights drinking beers on the kickball fields and our team even won 6 consecutive championships! Needless to say, the whole team really hit it off with each other and all became a big friend group, Joe and I included. We would all go out on the weekends, plan “family” dinners, go on trips together, the works! Joe and I spent the first two years of our friendship only hanging out in group settings, so when Joe asked me out for the first time, I was shocked…and initially turned him down! I didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize our friendship.

Katy and Joe's Engagement in The Maldives

A few weeks later, my mom came to town to visit and we went out for drinks with some of my friends that night. Joe was there and struck up a conversation with my mom. He apparently told her all about his attempt to ask me out and even told her that he was going to marry me one day! Fast forward a few months and Joe made another attempt to ask me out. At first, I was hesitant, but he was persistent and sweet, so I eventually caved and agreed to a date. We planned to visit the Fort Worth Zoo together that Saturday. In my mom’s conversation with Joe, she told him that if he was really serious about me, he would take me to the zoo as I had lived right next to it for the past 6 years and never had an excuse to go.

That Friday around lunchtime, I received a text message from Joe while I was at work. It said, “Hey, a buddy of mine just offered me tickets to Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Oakland. Do you want to go to San Francisco with me for the weekend?” I mean, WHAT?! We hadn’t even been on a real date yet and now all of a sudden we were going to be jet-setting off to California together?! It sounded crazy. It WAS crazy, but after some internal back and forth and some encouragement from my coworker, Mallory, I said yes. We left for California that next morning and decided to drive up and stay in Napa Valley. We had such a great time listening to music on the drive, drinking wine at wineries, and just getting to know each other better. That was without a doubt the weekend I began to fall head over heels in love with Joe!

How He Asked

Joe and I LOVE to travel…it’s our “thing”! Joe owns his own business, so has the ability to make his own hours and to work remotely, and I am a full-time travel blogger, so it’s not uncommon for us to be out of town 3 out of 4 weekends of any given month! So when Joe gifted me a surprise trip to the Maldives for Christmas, I was over the moon! Staying in an overwater villa in The Maldives was always a high priority bucket list item for both of us, but I never dreamed that it would happen so soon! Joe had planned out every detail of the trip: from the flights and hotel, down to dinner reservations at this incredible underwater restaurant, Ithaa (which, no shame, I discovered while watching Kris Jenner dine there on an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians!). Little did I know, this trip of a lifetime was only one part of the whole surprise. I knew Joe was the one, but getting engaged in the near future wasn’t even on my radar. We had never looked at rings together, and anytime we talked about getting engaged, Joe would joke that it was one to seven years away and I honestly believed that it would be closer to seven!

About a month later, we left for our trip. After three days of traveling, including one 14-hour flight, an overnight stay in Dubai, one 4 hour flight, an overnight stay in Male, and finally a 30-minute seaplane, we arrived at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. And seriously, this place was PARADISE! We spent the first day settling into our villa, relaxing, and catching some sun. Joe and I always say that our “love language” is sunsets and that night, we watched the most beautiful sunset from the hot tub in our villa with a bottle of prosecco. Not a bad start to the trip!

The next day was the night of our reservation at Ithaa. Dinner was going to be at 6:30, and Joe told me to be fully dressed and ready by 4:30 so we could explore the island for a while before dinner. It made sense since this was our first full day there and we hadn’t really had a chance to explore yet. Plus, I knew that Joe planned the whole trip out so perfectly that I never questioned anything and was down for whatever he wanted to do.

Proposal Ideas The Maldives

Katy's Proposal in The Maldives

We got ready and started our walk along the beach just talking, laughing, and taking in the gorgeous scenery. We arrived at a portion of the beach where we had seen a wedding going on the night before. I noticed a few colorful flowers laying on the beach and remarked: “those must be leftover from the wedding last night!”. Boy, was I wrong! We began to walk over to them and Joe grabbed both of my hands. It was only then that I finally realized what was going on and said: “are you serious right now?!”

Wedding Proposal Ideas in The Maldives

Where to Propose in The Maldives

Marriage Proposal Ideas in The Maldives

Joe laughed and began recounting some of our favorite memories together along with how he told my mom four years ago that he was going to marry me. But, my favorite part of the whole proposal and the moment that we will tell our grandkids about someday? When Joe got down on one knee, his pants ripped! His exact words were “Kathryn Elizabeth Cardno, will you marry me? And you better say yes because I just ripped my pants!” I immediately cracked up laughing and, of course, said yes. The moment was absolutely hilarious and lighthearted and could not have been more “us”!

Engagement Proposal Ideas in The Maldives

Soon after, a photographer that Joe arranged for the moment came out with two glasses of champagne for us to celebrate with. Joe had picked it out the day before and it was from Taittinger, the champagne cellar that we visited when we visited France together.

The surprises didn’t even stop there. We arrived back at our villa after dinner to find it covered in rose petals, candles, and the cutest pillowcases. Joe had arranged for the hotel staff to decorate the room and picked out the most thoughtful gifts: a framed photo from the proposal, a Polaroid camera (we love pictures and one of our favorite songs is “Polaroid Memories” by Ayokay), a mug that said “Does this ring make me look engaged?”, and The Knot Magazine (so I could hit the ground running on wedding planning!). Joe even had wrapping paper made for all of the gifts with some of our favorite photos together and “The Browns” written all over it. Reading that was the first time I had a chance to think about my new last name, and I have to say, it was a cool feeling!

AND THEN, we had room service breakfast delivered the next morning. I thought the surprises were surely over but noticed more of the cute wrapping paper! The waiter set up more gifts that Joe had shipped over: coffee mugs for each of us that said “Future Mrs. Brown” and “Mr. Brown”, a teaspoon with my nickname “Sunshine”, and a custom newspaper!

Joe’s proposal was so well planned and all of the little details made it that much more special and memorable for me. We had the best time on our trip and made memories together that we will never ever forget. Joe is truly the love of my life, my favorite adventure buddy, and, as cheesy as he thinks it is when I say this, my best friend. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I couldn’t be more thrilled that we get to spend the rest of our lives together!

Special Thanks

Mike Bloomberg
Planning
Andy Birtles | 
Planning