Chris & Kristin: Engaged

I’m so glad I get to help out Chris and Kristin on their wedding day! They have been together 5 years and engaged for 2. Safe to say, they’re beyond ready and excited to tie the knot! Read all about their story, the proposal, and take a look at their fun engagement photos:

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How did you meet your fiancé?

Chris was starting his new job at Mastercard, and I was in my first year of graduate school at Saint Louis University in 2011. I had moved to St. Louis for school, so I did not know many people. With clinicals during the day and classes at night, I did not have much of a social life, let alone time for dating. After major coercing, my mother and grandmother talked me into getting on “Match.com” to meet new people and get out and enjoy my new city. At the same time, Chris’ friends talked him into giving it a try as well…What great timing! I was his one and only date off match; he signed off and closed his account after our second date.

Our first date was at Bar Louie in Kirkwood, MO. I remember being on the phone with my sister, nervous as all get out for my blind date, when I saw a cute guy in a blue shirt walking on the sidewalk. I remember telling her “I hope my date’s that cute, wow!” I walked into the bar, and there was my date…the cute, blue-shirt guy! I tried to play it cool, but my nerves got the best of me and I was a chatty-cathy the entire date, unsure if he was even interested. Anyone that knows Chris knows that he is a little hard to read and definitely does not wear his emotions on his sleeve. At the end of the night, we shared an awkward hug and I implied that we should meet up again sometime to which he replied, “I will contact you, I am going to be out of town for a while and will not have good service.” If anyone has ever seen that romantic comedy “He’s Just Not That Into You,” it was a RED flag in my mind. I remember calling my sister back saying it was a no-go, he’s not interested, and he was blowing me off. To my surprise, I get a call a few weeks later while eating lunch with my grandma Mamo from the one and only “Chris from Match.” I was so caught off guard, nervous, and intrigued all at the same time, so I held off calling him back until I got home. Our phone conversation ended up lasting for 3 hours. He told me all about the Canada trip he actually did go on, and I nervously talked about everything under the sun including my obsession with potatoes. Somehow, we penciled in a second date. We went to Bocci restaurant in Clayton, where we closed down the bar, lost in conversation. Third date, we went to Transformers movie in 3D (my idea), where we shared our first kiss in the parking lot. It wasn’t until our fourth date that I knew there was a future for us….the night I met Macie, his dog. I came over in comfy clothes, no makeup, Jimmy Johns in hand, and we spent a cozy night in watching movies.

Five years later, those are still our favorite nights. We now share an obsession for potatoes. Macie is still the love of our lives. And now, we’re getting MARRIED!

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When did you know they were the one for you?

On our first “home” date, we watched a movie and him and his dog, Macie (first time I met her) both fell asleep on me, and I remember thinking “I could get used to this.” 🙂 Then, when we met each other’s families, we both bonded with them so quickly and easily, it just fit.

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What is one of your favorite dates you have been on?

We enjoy brewery-hopping and bike-riding together, or anything with our dog.

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How did he propose? Was it a surprise?

We had “discussed” ring looks and overall idea of what I would like, but I had NO idea he had even looked at rings, picked one out, let alone bought it and asked my dad and stepdad for my hand. His and my entire family knew the whole time up until he asked me.

We took a road trip together to Pigeon Forge, TN in June 2014. We stayed in a cute cabin in the Smokies. Just me, my man, our dog, and the mountains-it was the perfect trip! We went hiking on the trails with Macie, had some drinks at local breweries, and just enjoyed some relaxing time together. For Chris, it was relaxing AFTER the first day…to my surprise, he had a little something up his sleeve. He told me he had it all planned out in his head to propose to me on the top of the mountain peak during one of our hikes. The first day of hiking, we almost reached the top when a man warned us that there were no dogs allowed on this particular trail and that bears would smell her scent. Chris tried to convince me to continue up the trail to the top, but I was so concerned about Macie getting attacked by bears I couldn’t do it. After another, more unpleasant stranger came up to us and said he would call us in if we did not leave with Macie, we decided to not hike, but run the trail all the way back to the car. Lesson learned, we’ll look up dog-friendly trails in the future. Obviously this ruined Chris’ plan. When we got back to the cabin, we were enjoying some wine and snacks on the porch swing while listening to music. The song “Rude” by MAGIC! came on, and I started singing the part “Marry that girl” with a big smile on my face not knowing, ironically, what was about to happen…. He turned to the left to grab what I thought was his wine glass, so I took a nice big bite of hummus, and turned back around with a mahogany ring box in his hand. I didn’t know if I was going to starting crying or choking, I was so suprised. He laughed, and let me swallow my bite before he proceeded to ask me to marry him. He said he had a huge speech all practiced in his head, but all he was able to get out was, “I don’t want to ever lose you,” with tears in his eyes.

We got to enjoy the rest of the trip together as an engaged couple! On the road trip home, I learned all the details behind the plan. Both our families knew it was going to happen, he had already asked both my fathers for my hand, and the ring box was in the top-desk drawer in the den the WHOLE time!

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé? 

His motivation and his eyes.

How do you envision your wedding day?

A big party! A relaxed feel, mingling and dancing, and just F-U-N!

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How did you decide on your venue?

We knew we wanted to have an outdoor wedding venue. We were winery hopping with both of our parents one day and stumbled across Wine Country Gardens as our last stop because we had never been there. As we were driving up the beautiful driveway and saw the view with vineyards on the huge hill and cool patios, and indoor-outdoor reception hall, we decided right then and there that we could both see this on our day, so we booked that week 🙂 (2 years in advance!)

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Are there any special or family traditions you’ll be incorporating?

I will be wearing my mother’s veil for my own special day!

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What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

The dance with my dad and stepdad, seeing my fiance’s face as I walk down the aisle and saying our vows, then dancing with family and friends!

 

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Follow us for sneak peeks of their big day on October 15th!

 

Luke & Courtney: Engaged

Starting out as friends, Luke and Courtney were always there for each other, despite where life took them. This beautiful couple has now been together for four years and I can’t wait to see them tie the knot!

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How did you meet your fiancé?

We worked at the same summer camp when we were in High School. We became friends and kept in touch even through semesters abroad, different significant others, etc.

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When did you know they were the one for you?

Luke:I knew that Courtney was the one probably pretty early on in the relationship (at least I like to think so!). She was just everything that I had imagined the person with whom I would spend the rest of my life with being.

Courtney: I had a crush on Luke long before we started dating, so it was pretty early on that I figured out he was the one. He’s a great man who just wants to spend his life making me happy. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

 

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What is one of your favorite dates you have been on?

We once couldn’t decide what we wanted to do with our night, so we ended up going on what we called a classic “high school” date. We went to play putt-putt golf, played arcade games and air hockey. We had so much fun and we even got pretty competitive in the end.

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How did he propose? Was it a surprise?

Luke stayed home from work for my birthday but I had just gotten my first job and couldn’t take the time off yet. He cleaned and set up our living room with candles, played a song we loved, and proposed in our first apartment.I was completely surprised!

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé? 

Luke: I have a few favorite things about Courtney (everything). I love her sense of humor and how much she can make me laugh every day. She also is one of the kindest people I have ever met and has a huge heart for everybody. She is my best friend.

Courtney: Luke is the funniest person I know and can truly make me laugh more than anyone else can. I also love how headstrong and dedicated he is to everything in his life. Not only his relationship with me, but to his family and friends, work and hobbies he has.

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How do you envision your wedding day?

We’re hoping it is a beautiful fall day out at the vineyard. We want to do a reveal mid-day and take photos with friends and family before the ceremony. We are going for a rustic look with fall colors, a classy backyard feel.

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How did you decide on your venue?

We had looked at a few different wineries before we finally found Wine Country Gardens. It was a perfect mix of everything that we were looking for. We very comfortable with the atmosphere that the venue provided, along with a stunning view and rustic feel. We could easily see ourselves getting married there and having our friends and family enjoy it as much as we knew we would.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

We look forward to getting married in a beautiful venue, surrounded by all of our friends and family. We hope that the day will be filled with happiness, love, a little bit of food and drink and a lot of dancing!

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Follow us for sneak peeks of Mr & Mrs Sanchez and their special day on October 14th!

 

Photography by Chris Bauer Photography

Jimmie & Julie: Engaged

Julie has been such a pleasure to plan a wedding with. There have been a couple of bumps in the road but it’s going to be a fantastic celebration! This couple is perfect for each other and I’m so excited to be part of their big day. Take a look at their beautiful engagement photos and story!

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How did you meet your fiancé?

We lived in the same dorm our freshman year of college. We started out as friends and have been for 8 years now!

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When did you know they were the one for you?

I knew a few months into our friendship. We were friends for 6 years before we started dating. I remember thinking, “he’s my best friend – it would be fun to spend the rest of my life with him.”

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What is one of your favorite dates you have been on?

My favorite date was the first time we went for a hike together with our dog at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton. We made our favorite sandwiches the night before and had a picnic in the woods. It was so peaceful.

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How did he propose? Was it a surprise?

We went for a hike near Defiance, Missouri during the day. Afterward we were so hungry, we went to the only winery nearby that was still open for dinner. We had dinner, and when we went outside they had this beautiful patio lit up and a wedding arch. He proposed underneath the arch. The weird thing about it was he didn’t plan to go to that winery. It was just a coincidence they had this wedding arch outside that was the perfect setting for his proposal! We had already talked about getting married, but I was a little surprised still!

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé? 

We have the same sense of humor – we are always laughing together. And he keeps me grounded when I start to act crazy!

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How do you envision your wedding day?

We are having a morning wedding and brunch reception, so I think it will be an intimate gathering of our closest family and friends.

How did you decide on your venue?

We were actually planning to get married in 2017 because I could not find any venues I liked that were available this year. Then one day we were driving around, and we saw a sign for the Daniel Boone Home. So we went and saw this perfect little chapel. We talked about wouldn’t it be crazy if we got married here this year. The next day I called them, and they had our date we wanted available!

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Are there any special or family traditions you’ll be incorporating?

Our faith is the most important thing to us, so we will definitely stay true to that the whole day. We are hoping to put together a unity cross during our ceremony.  Also, Jimmie and I both love the movie Titanic and can quote all the lines together, so we are having a string quartet and Titanic trivia/games.

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What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

I can’t wait to marry my best friend and spend the rest of my life with him!

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Follow us for sneak peeks of their big day on October 8th!

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Photography by June Hallowell Photography

Matt & Sara: Engaged

I’ve only had the pleasure of working with Matt & Sara for a week, but I can’t wait for their big day! It’s going to be a gorgeous celebration full of dancing, great food, family, and friends. Scroll through their stunning engagement photos and read their love story:

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How did you meet your fiancé?

I was close friends with Matt’s cousin in high school so during my senior year in college, we all met up over Thanksgiving break at, believe it or not, Steak n Shake, for some late night eats. I liked that Matt was cute and a little nerdy…great husband material 🙂

When did you know they were the one for you?

Matt: Hanging out with her while she was still in college, but found she was so mature and she encouraged and motivated me to go for my dreams and goals. I was also sure of it when we got a puppy together and did so well taking care of her together. Now we have 2 crazy pups.

Sara: I knew on our first date sitting across from him.

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What is one of your favorite dates you have been on?

Matt: Skiing in Vail, Colorado and exploring after, it was our first trip together

Sara: One of my favorite dates was our first date at the downtown Jazz Bistro off Washington. We listened to Christmas Jazz and had drinks. He planned it all on his own and it was my favorite last first date!

How did he propose? Was it a surprise?

I was studying for my nurse practitioner boards so I was very distracted while he planned. He brought me to the Boathouse in Forest Park for a “study break” saying we were meeting his sister for drinks. He led me to a bench and told me he tricked me, meanwhile, his sister was hiding in a willow tree taking pictures of the proposal. I blacked out and don’t remember a word he said, I was so in shock! He had my friends tell me it was going to be sometime later in the summer and I had no idea it would be two weeks before my exam. It was fun to study with a little bling on my finger 🙂 When I passed my boards, we had more than a few things to celebrate and look forward to.

After the park, he had a surprise party waiting at our house with catering from Pastaria, my favorite restaurant, with all our family and close friends hiding out! It was the most surprised and happy I have ever been and he still has a picture of that bench as his desktop backgrounds.

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What is your favorite thing about your fiancé? 

Matt: In everything she does, it is evident that she cares about everyone she interacts with, both professionally and personally. She gives me more confidence to be a better person and better at what I do. She encourages me to have meaningful relationships with everyone around me, especially family and friends.

Sara: How he makes me feel safe and taken care of, he is so thoughtful and respectful to everyone he meets and is never in a bad mood. He is the most positive person I have ever met.

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How do you envision your wedding day?

A mix of Classic Romantic and Italian vibes with a St. Louis flavor, both indoor and outdoor settings. We can’t wait to have all of our family and friends there celebrating and having fun. I want my face hurting from smiling incessantly and no voice the next day!

We also have a huge wedding party, 11 on each side, because we couldn’t imagine any of our close friends throughout our lives not being next to us the whole day.

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How did you decide on your venue?

I am Italian and it meant something to us to have our venue be a classic, family-owned Italian restaurant the St. Louis families have been going to for years.

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Are there any special or family traditions you’ll be incorporating?

At each place setting we are placing boxes with the 5 Jordan Almonds- the Italian Tradition of 5 wishes for the couple: “Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat, to remind us that life is both bitter and sweet. Five wishes for the new husband and wife–Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life!”

In lieu of a guest book, we will have a glass jug with advice for us to open on our one year anniversary. I’m also including photos of my Jewish and Italian grandparents.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?

Matt: Seeing Sara in her dress ….and the food 🙂

Sara: Matt seeing me in my dress and getting ready with all of my best friends!

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Follow us for sneak peeks of their big Italian celebration on September 24th!

 

 

Photography by Alison Duffy Photography