They met in 2004 at school. Jess was Joel’s first crush. They had random interactions throughout the next 10 years, but it wasn’t until this past September that they really reconnected. Joel randomly decided to send her a message to see how she had been over the past few years. Little did he know, she was in need of a worship leader for a youth retreat she was running the following week.
Jess’ students called it from the beginning, but she was skeptical. She wasn’t sure if his immediate commitment to Connect was about her or the kids. Turns out it was both! The following weekend they went out on a hike and ended up spending the day and into the night talking about their dreams and passions. Over the next week, Joel met with Jess’ dad and it was official!
Jess says January 17 of this year, was easily the most magical day of her life. Joel had her convinced he and his buddies were going to Blue Mountain for the day (they had taken pictures the night before to post on social media!) so she made plans to have a girls day. Her friend Sara told her that her friend was looking for new models and that they’d be having a photo shoot at a gorgeous apartment downtown later that night. When she and Sara got to the appointment, Nicole sent her upstairs to sign waivers with the photographer. She was sent to the wrong floor and got a little lost for a few minutes (which is when Joel really started to get nervous!)
When she arrived at the right place, she walked into a room that looked like something out of the Bachelor! Her first thought was “this is really bad lighting for photos.” Then she realized she had walked into someone’s proposal and started backing out. But it’s not every day something like that happens! So she decided to snoop. When she saw the letter addressed to Jessica, she skimmed it but it wasn’t sinking in so she put it back down. Then she looked at the table and noticed the M&M’s (her and Joel’s little thing from day one.)
She turned around and there he was. She had to get him to repeat what he said later because she was laughing uncontrollably and shouting out details as she put them together – while he was trying to propose…! She was then fooled into going to his house where their families were waiting to celebrate. (That’s when she cried!) Jess says it was such a beautiful day and such a beautiful glimpse into the sincere and selfless heart of the man she’s going to marry!
Ah! Jess and Joel, it’s honestly been such a blessing getting to know you both over the past couple months! We can see that your relationship is so amazing and Christ filled and we are so so excited for you guys as you take this big step into marriage. We can’t wait to photograph your big day in September! xo