I had met someone on Tinder and we weren't on the same page of where we wanted this relationship to go. He was talking about forever after only two dates... and I definitely was not. Chatting on the phone with my best friend, he suggested say I decided to go with someone else. "I can't lie to him." There was a pause on the phone. "Okay, just say yes." "Say yes?" He mhm-ed. "Okay... yes." I said, confused. "Great! I'm glad you've agreed to be my girlfriend." I laughed - typical of my best friend. But I realised we had both been talking about how much we both cared for one another (being best friends for almost a decade) and just hadn't done anything about it. I had no idea I was starting a relationship with my future husband.
Q: How did you first meet?
Joshua: Internet, way back. Chat club for honors students when we were just young teenagers. Stayed in touch for many years before finally meeting up in person during out university years.
Melissa: The internet! We both were in BETA Club when in middle school and back then they had a chat room for those members throughout the USA. I don't remember the exact conversation we had the first time, but I remember thinking of him a bit arrogant. We became fast friends, though, and stayed in touch through AIM, Myspace, Facebook, Skype... until finally meeting face-to-face while in university when he flew me up to Clemson University to watch my first live football game.
Q: When/How did you first fall in love with your SO?
Joshua: The first week we were together in person. It all just clicked, every last thing. From screaming in a stadium with 85,000 other people, to watching hockey games on my little TV in my apartment, cooking unhealthy but tasty meals, etc.
Melissa: I think it was love at first hug. We already knew we loved each other deeply as best friends (we used to be each other's 'wingman') so taking that love deeper wasn't difficult. Getting off the plane and having him hug me the first time felt like going home - that hug just felt right. And it had been feeling right ever since then.
Q: What's the most memorable date you've had?
Joshua: To me, probably our first one. Clemson vs Boston College at Clemson in 2013. I remember a low scoring event for the first half, being yelled at by Melissa "Why are we not winning?!?" while we were off to a slow start, her new #10 jersey I had gotten for her birthday, watching #2 Sammy Watkins get a long touchdown while the stadium filled with the smoke of fireworks from a previous touchdown that got called back. Oh and there's the MASSIVE BUCKET, LITERAL BUCKET of popcorn that she asked for but could never finish. It was big enough to become my eventual waste bin in my apartment room. I remember being in the lower bowl of the stands and while it was filling up just how little everyone looked below, and taking a photo of Melissa looking down at them calling them all Ants and Peasants. Eventually we started getting some big plays and were screaming and cheering our heads off. Later on we'd go get some of her favorite Tiger Sauce wings from TD's on the corner of college avenue right at the border of the campus and downtown, where she fell in love with her classic football food. Sure I could go on and on about so many experiences and dates we've had in New Zealand or Australia since then, but those first few days together, that first date, really stands out most to me.
Melissa: We’ve had a lot of amazing dates through the years. We do “date night” on Thursdays, so there are a lot to choose from. The most adventurous has to be the spontaneous ones. Suddenly renting a car to drive five hours north of Sydney to visit a famous zoo is probably one of the most memorable because it was just so sudden. We thoroughly enjoyed it!
Q: What quality do you most admire about the other?
Joshua: The lady just doesn't have any quit in her. She's just nonstop, will never be satisfied until the job is done. And there's always a job to be done, always a new mountain to climb or a new task to accomplish. Her determination and will to succeed makes me want to be an even better person and be just as determined she is for my endeavors.
Melissa: I would say his loyalty. Josh is fiercely loyal to his family and friends and it's something I recognized right away about him. If you become friends with Josh, you will be friends with him for life - not only that, but he will have your back in any situation. He has taught me how to be a better friend. I also love that underneath his macho/manly exterior, he is a softy at heart (he may kill me for saying that!). Deep down he is a hopeless romantic, but I'm the only one that really knows that side of him!
Q: How did you celebrate your bachelor/bachelorette party?
Joshua: I didn't actually have a bachelors party, so to speak. The night before the wedding a handful of the wedding party went to drinks and munch at the bar we were going to choose for our after party for the wedding. We also had the entire rehearsal dinner be a massive pizza dinner, with over 20+ people playing Cards Against Humanity at once. It turned into a crazy mess but we all had an absolute blast.
Melissa: My bridesmaids and I went to Disney World! I am the biggest Disney fan, so it was fun to be in such a special place with my loved ones. We stayed the night at one of the hotels (thanks to Ashley's family!) and got to munch on yummy food, drink some delicious bubbly, and play a favourite- Cards Against Humanity. It's a weekend I will treasure forever.
Q: How would you describe the style of your wedding?
Joshua: The wedding was on a mountain top, with a seafoam/teal blue ombre theme of ice and lace patterns throughout the venue. It was beautiful, but not as beautiful as the bride (I'm not saying that because she's my wife, mind you, I do actually earnestly believe that). Sure there were some unsatisfactory parts, nothing ever goes 100% according to plan, but the event had many good people and good times for us, and I can't wait to have our South Pacific version soon.
Melissa: Intimate. We paid for the wedding ourselves and only invited about 50 people (so not all family and friends). It was winter wonderland themed since it was in the Asheville mountains during winter. Touches of blue, silver, and sparkling glitter were everywhere -- and we got lucky that we had fairy lights and giant Christmas trees everywhere (my fave holiday).
Q: What was the most difficult detail of your wedding to plan?
Joshua: For me, any and all of it. Even growing up around 6 female cousins and a little sister I never learned much about the wedding planning process. I didn't know anything about it at all, and trying to learn it so soon was so foreign to me that I couldn't grasp any of it. When asked for my input I gave what I could but Melissa carried everything and did an amazing job of it.
Melissa: I planned the majority of the wedding while I was in New Zealand! The hardest detail is planning with all of the moving pieces. Trying to get dinner and set tables up with a moving guest list is frustrating, and inevitably there was something random that came up that threw a kink in the “original” plan.
Q: What advice would you give to other engaged couples who are planning a wedding?
Joshua: Honestly, elope and just hold a big party later. Save yourself the money. We went on the ultra-affordable end as far as weddings are concerned (less than $7,000 USD, even including Melissa's dress), and just think about what that money can do for a new couple. Pay for a proper honeymoon! Take a trip and plenty of time off to actually enjoy each other and your new time together. Weddings are expensive and everything associated with them gets an automatic mark-up. Go to a courthouse, do the paperwork, and then just hold a big party for all your loved ones and friends, to properly celebrate.
Melissa: I would say to slow down and take it all in, and ENJOY the little moments along the way. I feel like I was WAY too stressed out for so much of the planning months and looking back, I wish that I hadn't stressed so much and that I had enjoyed just being engaged! All of the little, seemingly stressful details don't really matter that much in the long run, and you will only be engaged once in your life.
Q: What have you learned in 5 years of dating?
Joshua: Just learn and grow. There's so much more to this world and life than I ever knew about in my small town, small world I grew up in. I have grown so much as a person thanks to the guidance and partnership that I've been so lucky to have, that I'm slowly becoming the person I never knew I wanted to be. I actively seek out going to the gym now, I help plan travel and adventures, I study and look up research on the world I live in now, all because I have had such an amazing partner in Melissa. She's helped me grow. My advice is to never stop growing, never stop learning. Don't be complacent with what you have, because there's so much more to see and experience in this world, that one lifetime is never enough for it. To share two lifetimes with someone almost makes up for it, but never, ever stop growing and loving. Also to take my shoes off in the house, clean up after myself, iron my clothes, make the bed, and stop leaving lights on when I'm not in the room. Thanks Mel!
Melissa: Communication is definitely key- and something we still are learning to do! On another note -- He balances me out in every way, he is strong in all of the ways I am weak, and I can't wait to be 90 years old with him, rocking in our rocking chairs on our front porch. He is everything I've ever wanted in a man, and I couldn't be luckier.
I’m looking forward to continuing to write our own story, together. I’m so excited to see what the future brings us! Happy five years of dating, Josh! Hope you aren't sick of me yet, haha.
How did you and your SO meet?
Hi, I'm Melissa! I'm a girl obsessed with macaroni & cheese, puppies, and eco-friendly products. Welcome.
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