Todd & Anna went on their first date on July 4, 2016 and have been going strong ever since! Their relationship has included long distance from Alaska to Florida, deployments, and very very long road trips. They are so excited not only to be together come September but to celebrate their marriage with their closest friends and family. Read more about their love story below and see their sweet engagement pictures!
How did you meet?
Todd and I are both in the military and we were each assigned to Alaska. I was reluctant to move to Alaska because it was so far away from my family, and I did not know anyone there. I signed up for E-Harmony to try and re-energize my dating life in my new location. It was not long before I was matched with Todd. I could tell he was a pilot and he seemed to have an interesting story. Rather than starting the E-Harmony conversation process, I sent him a “wink” to gauge his interest. When I did not get a response, I cancelled my online subscription at the earliest opportunity, threw myself into work, and tried to establish my own circle of friends. I did not realize my E-Harmony profile was still visible to other people, and Todd happened to see it on a free communication weekend and sent me a message one year later.
Share one of your favorite dates.
We had not been dating long before we realized there was an Air Show nearby, and Todd asked if I wanted to go. I couldn’t remember the last time I went to an Air Show, but I knew I was fascinated with his crazy pilot world and I enjoyed hearing his flying stories. We went to the show, and I was practically like a kid at a carnival—I insisted that we stay for the entire show, and I wanted to see everything from all the static displays to the flying maneuvers of each jet. Todd was wonderful and took time to explain everything. I remember being even more impressed with his abilities to articulate complex concepts of his awesome job, and yet he remained so very humble about it all.
When did you know he was the one?
We had been dating for several months when Todd had to go Guam for 3-4 weeks of training and we were not sure how well we could communicate while he was gone. He always volunteered to fly a jet to the training location, so this meant he would be flying over the ocean up to 10 hours before stopping. That morning, I parked outside the front gate of the Air Force base to watch them depart. I saw each jet take off and disappear into the sky. I am not an emotional person, so it was my own surprise when I immediately started to cry and prayed for his safety. In that moment, I realized how much I loved him and wanted him to stay a part of my life.
How did he pop the question?
Todd learned his squadron would be doing about six weeks of training in Australia. I thought that sounded amazing, and announced to him, “I would love to meet you there when your TDY ends.” He eventually agreed and I booked my trip. Neither of us were expecting him to get new assignment orders to Florida in the next few months. When reality hit, I became rather emotional and concerned about the prospect of maintaining a distance relationship between Alaska and Florida.
We had a wonderful week exploring Sydney. On one of our last nights there, we got dressed up and he took me on a Sydney Harbor Dinner Cruise. Under the guise of ordering cocktails from the bar, Todd laid out his proposal plan to the cruise staff. No, he did not make arrangements with the cruise director. No, he was not interested in having the lounge singer call me up on stage for a proposal in a room of strangers. I was beginning to wonder if my martini order was too complicated… He brought over the drinks and our dinner was served. Our waitress offered to take our picture on the boat deck with a perfect view of the Sydney Opera House. We do not dress up often, so naturally I jumped out of my seat at that brilliant idea, and she took a few pictures of us. As I turned to walk inside, Todd took out an engagement ring, got on one knee, and proposed. It all happened so fast, yet our waitress captured the entire sweet scene in series of pictures. Todd told me later that his entire squadron knew about his plan long before they left for Australia.
Was the proposal a surprise?
Absolutely! While I thought he would propose eventually, I was more focused on maximizing our quality time together before our long-distance separation. We had no serious discussions about getting married prior to our Australia trip.
What is your favorite thing about your fiancé?
I love the fact that Todd is a very skilled and talented pilot (and really anything he does), yet he remains humble about his abilities and achievements. While he maintains a stoic exterior, he is surprisingly very thoughtful and romantic as well.
How do you envision your wedding day?
Our wedding will be a classic celebration and one of the few times we can bring together all the friends and family that have meant so much to us over the years. We will have a Catholic ceremony and I believe the reading and music selections by our friends and family will add our personal context to the ceremony. The reception will feature an elegant dinner and fun dancing in a historic St. Louis landmark.
How did you decide on your venue?
We knew we wanted a Catholic wedding ceremony and I previously graduated from Saint Louis University. St. Francis Xavier College Church is gorgeous and also the place where the university conducted my graduation. We were very excited when it was available on our wedding date. For the reception venue, we knew we wanted a historic structure in St. Louis. We selected St. Louis Union station for the beautiful Grand Hall, as well as the fact it has the hotel attached and would be very convenient for our mostly out-of-town guests.
What are you looking forward to most about your wedding day?
We look forward to officially becoming a married couple. We cannot wait to see our family and friends come together for the occasion.
Stay tuned for their wedding and our kick-off to fall wedding season on September 8th!