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Our Valentine’s Day Love Story Winner!

And our Valentine’s Day winners are…(drum roll)….

Kelley & Troy!

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We melted over this story and the lengths Troy went to to make this perfect for Kelley. They are our 2014 Valentine’s Day Love Story winners!

THE PROPOSAL

“Troy surprised me, {yes i really had no idea} with the most AMAZING trip to Chicago so that he could propose to me under “the bean” AKA Cloud Gate; a magnificent mirrored sculpture in millennium park. This proposal and entire trip was ridiculously planned- down to all the details and moments. Troy is NOT a planner by any means and this is what made the whole thing that much more special.

Chicago was and is “our special city” the tip we had taken there the year before was simply magical, we had gone through a lot that year and the trip had us falling in love all over again. We both were in love with the architecture, food, beer, people, the walk-ability of the city, the atmosphere, art…everything!

I came home from work on a Thursday in May 2012 and he told me to pack my bags he had a surprise planned ( he had spoken to my boss and gotten me a few days off, which I didn’t know). He gave me a list of what to pack and the next day at 2pm we were in Chicago. I couldn’t contain myself with excitement. Troy was very cute, he seemed so organized and a little nervous. After we checked into the same hotel wed had been the year prior, he told me to get ready, he laid out an outfit for me and ran to get me my favorite lunch. We took a cab to millennium park, as an art lover this was amazing to me. Troy and I are not ones that like to have the spotlight or have all eyes on us. We walked over to the “bean” and there were people ALL over the place. As soon as we got under the beautiful structure he dropped to a knee(everyone was watching but he (and I ) didn’t care. He told me that I was his best friend and the woman of his dreams, that he saw himself with me and our kids when he looked into the future..I couldn’t believe what was happening it was the most romantic thing I’d ever experienced.

 

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The next few moments were pretty much a blur, especially once I saw the most amazing ring he pulled out of his pocket, that he had custom designed for months. I was shaking and saying oh my god oh my god. I few moments later a man walked over and was taking our photo, I soon realized and him and Troy were talking. He hired a photographer to capture the moment he proposed, something completely out of his comfort zone but Troy knew how important this moment was and wanted it captured for me!

Then we went all over the city for the most unforgettable engagement photo shoot, seeing sights that we would never see otherwise. After, we went for a romantic candle lit dinner.  The day after the best day EVER (the proposal day) Troy had more surprises- he had gotten us practically dugout seats to a Cubs game! Needless to say it was the best Chicago trip of our lives!

The weekend before the engagement trip Troy told me he was going up to Orange County to visit a friend. I had no clue he actually flew up to northern California, where I’m from to surprise my parents and ask for their blessing. Needless to say he had it already since wed been together over 5 years; but he planned out the trip with my best friend to surprise my parents at their favorite restaurant. My best friend and her husband and plans to go to dinner with my parents to celebrate mother’s day weekend. (My mom is like a mother to my BFF). They drove almost 2 hrs to the airport to pick up my guy and brought him to the restaurant. My parents were so shocked and surprised to see Troy, who had flowers for my mom and a Tiffany bean necklace to commemorate where we would get engaged the next week- he also told her of the silver beans meaning, new beginnings. He also showed them the custom ring he designed and explained that the sapphires symbolized eternal love. They were in tears. The kicker was my mom was flying out the next morning to meet me for our annual mother’s day weekend trip. We met in Las Vegas for a spa weekend and she said it took all she had to not spill the beans J I will never forget our engagement weekend as long as I live it was easily one of the best weekends of my life!”

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Kelley made an absolute stunning Tara Keely real bride! She looked beautiful in style 2052!

Thank you to all of our brides and brides to be for entering! We look forward to hosting again next year!

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JLM Couture Love Story #2

Our runners-up. Story told by the “glowing” bride to be!

“We met, we liked each other, and then I found out he was moving to Japan in two weeks. A bit of a downer right? Well yes, but we kept in touch while he was gone for about four months and when he moved back to the states we were inseparable. Shortly after his return,we both decided to go back to school. I was striving to finish my first bachelors degree and he for his second. We talked about getting married, but both decided it would be more responsible to do it when we both accomplished our scholastic goals and had our finances in order. Or, so I thought…

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We decided to take a vacation together to San Juan, Puerto Rico in August of 2012, while we were both on a break from school. I was planning on a little downtime, some cocktails by the pool, and a little adventure. I certainly got more adventure during that trip than I was expecting! On our third day there, we took a trip to a small island called Vieques, which has the brightest bio luminescent bay in the world. After it gets dark and you disturb the plankton (or something or other) in the water, the water actually glows around you. We stayed the night in Vieques to be able to visit this bay after dark. As we hopped into our two person kayak and began our group tour with 14 other people, I was mesmerized by the sparkling water and my surroundings. Little did I know he was carrying around a ring in his pocket that was attached to a very small buoy. When the gentleman who was leading our group said that we were free to roam around, I was in my element. I had my hands in the water, watching everything glow. I was splashing it all over my legs and watching it sparkle all the way down. It was absolutely amazing. Then, he asked me to turn around in the kayak. After I very reluctantly turned all the way around (everything was so sparkly!) he pulled out the ring on the small flotation device and said he was having the time of his life, and the only thing that would make it better is if I would marry him. My response? Well, shock at first, and then of course yes! This wouldn’t be a love story otherwise! The man that I love proposed to me in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, surrounded by strangers, and made it seem like we were the only two people who existed in the entire world. He is honestly the man of my dreams and I can not wait to marry him in my fabulous HP dress!

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JLM Couture Love Story #3

We love stories told by the groom! Here is our 2nd runner up:

How we got engaged…

“Sandy and I were well into our first year of dating when I asked her to go to Baton Rouge to meet my family and last two surviving grandparents for Christmas. I knew it was important for me to have Sandy meet them since I knew in my heart they didn’t have much time left.

We walked into my Aunt and Uncle’s place and saw all the great-grandchildren roaming around. In the corner of my Aunt’s living room sat my two grandparents smiling ear to ear. They always sat in the same spot year after year.

I remember my grandmother Bonnie telling Sandy, “you know Graham is my favorite grandchild right?” Truth was she always told every grandchild that they were the favorite. Pop asked Sandy what she was doing with a knuckle head like me. He grinned five seconds later.

Bonnie died September 17, 2011 and Pop died exactly three months later on November 17. I was so happy that Sandy got to meet them right before they both passed away. They were magical people.

My Uncle Lewis, who is a predominant criminal defense lawyer in Baton Rouge, told me I better put a ring on Sandy’s finger before some doctor does. He saw what I saw in Sandy and it was agreed, I was going to propose to Sandy with Bonnie’s diamond.

My mom and future sister-in-law Tara all got together and designed the perfect engagement ring. I could have never done it without their help.

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I planned a trip to Vail with my best friend Kenny and Tara. My good friend growing up, Blake, got a degree form the Cordon Bleu in Austin and has become an amazing Chef. It just so happened that he was a chef at a members-only restaurant called Game Creek atop Vail Mountain. It has been described as cozy European-style chalet.

We took a snow cat to the top and when I got off I was so nervous I could barely breath. Tara ordered four glasses of Vueve Clicquot and Sandy mentioned later how she thought that was somewhat strange because my first drink of choice was rarely champagne.

We sat out to the back patio overlooking all of Vail and I decided I was going to get it over with right then and there. I dropped down on one knee, opened the box and told her I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. She said YES and tackled me.

Here is the clip that Kenny caught with my GoPro.

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When we sat at the dinner table to celebrate, a man came up to the table and told us that his five year old daughter had watched the whole thing and kept telling him while it was going on,”DADDY HE’S ENGAGING HER, HE’S ENGAGING HER!”

We proceeded to eat and drink the finest foods you could ever dream about. We even snuck a bottle of Vueve Clicquot for the ride back down the Gondola. It was a night for the ages.

We tied the knot April 6th, 2013 in downtown Houston, Texas at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church with her childhood priest and celebrated at the Magnolia Hotel.

I love and cherish her very much.

Our wedding video highlight is simply amazing. Sculpting with Time is the best of the best in Houston when it comes to wedding videography. “

Sandy looked so beautiful in Hayley Paige style 6205!

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JLM Couture Love Story #4

How We Met:

 “My fiancé Corey and I first met when we were both in kindergarten. We have both admitted that the first time we saw each other we both had crushes on each other (as much as you can have in kindergarten!) and used to send each other “love” letters through our elementary school’s mail system. Corey even once got in a fight with another classmate because he claimed I was his “girlfriend” and not Corey’s!

Corey and I in middle school

 We stayed friends throughout school and when we were in 7th grade we began dating (as much as you can “date” in middle school) and ate lunch in the cafeteria together every day, talked on the phone a few times, and even went to a movie once. We were also each other’s first real kiss which is something that we cherish to this day. After a few months, we knew the timing wasn’t right and parted ways, remaining friends as we entered into our high school years.

Corey and I in high school

 We drifted apart as friends the first few years of high school, each of us growing individually and seeing other people. It wasn’t until senior year when, through the help of a mutual friend, that we began to rekindle our friendship. Corey even asked me to prom, however because he asked too late (he asked the week of prom!!) I already had another date! We did, however, sit at the same dinner table at prom, attend many of the same graduation parties, and saw each other many times during the summer before heading off to college.

 Since we went to colleges in different states, we went through periods of time when we would be in frequent contact and others when we barely heard from each other. However, despite the fact that we weren’t always in contact, whenever we did catch up we both knew that we still had feelings for one another. On my 22nd birthday, after months of having not heard from each other, Corey texted me to tell me happy birthday. We spent the next few months driving between each other’s schools to visit and see if we could turn our friendship into something more, and on Corey’s birthday my birthday present to him was accepting his Facebook request to be “In a Relationship.” Since that day we’ve been inseparable.”

 Our Proposal:

 “We planned on meeting our parents for dinner in NYC at one of our favorite restaurants, Po. The day had been hectic with running errands and cleaning the house, so I forgot to check the train schedule into the city until about 5 minutes before we were about to leave. I saw that we would only have about 50 minutes to drive the hour long ride to the station. Once he heard this, Corey quickly ran down the stairs and we were out the door in seconds. Driving up the turnpike at a speed we probably shouldn’t admit, Corey was able to get us to the station, park, get tickets, and board the train with seconds to spare.

 We had a few issues with getting downtown, but we eventually got off the subway in the Village. We started walking to Po and I called my mom to make sure Corey’s parents had made it to the restaurant. Despite everyone being at the restaurant already, we took the “long route” to get there and I even commented “you know it would have been much quicker if we had gone the other way.”

 Just before getting to the restaurant, Corey handed me his phone and said “I forgot to show you this video I found on YouTube, you have to see it,” and pressed play. While I was confused as to why it was necessary to watch the video right before dinner when we were running late, I went with it and let Corey press play. Immediately, a song began playing (a cover of “A Thousand Years”) and some very sweet photos of words and phrases showed up on the screen. At first I was very confused, but then realized that what I was looking at were the words of our friends and family describing our relationship. At the end of the video, Corey and Parker (our puppy child) came on the screen. Corey then held up a sign that said “Look behind you.” When I turned around, I found Corey on one knee holding open a box containing the most perfect ruby ring (which he designed himself) mouthing the words “will you?” I couldn’t contain myself and started crying and OF COURSE said yes :)

Corey proposing!

 The best part is that all 6 of our parents as well as Corey’s brother and his girlfriend were there to celebrate with us and take pictures of the entire proposal!”

We are thrilled to have Stefanie join the Tara Keely Real Brides family this Fall!

Engagement photo

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JLM Couture Love Story #5

“Patrick and I are big Disney fans. We try to get down there a couple times a year. When it came to be around the time I thought he might propose, I paid particular attention to the times when we were at Disney, which is such a special place for us.

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On March 23rd 2013, Patrick and I made our way to the Magic Kingdom, first thing in the morning. We were the only ones on the bus coming from the Saratoga Springs Resort, which has been somewhat of a tradition with us, since we’re such early birds! I had been looking for signs since we had boarded the plane the day before that a proposal was coming–but he didn’t give anything away. I kept an extra eye on him going through security at the airport, even looked at his pockets on the bus – I didn’t see any bulge that looked like a ring box, so I though, “Okay…I guess this isn’t happening at Disney. He must think that’s too predictable for us.”

When we arrived at the gate, Patrick mentioned he wanted us to stop at City Hall and grab a Happy Birthday pin (my birthday had been about 2 weeks prior.) I was sort of confused and asked why that was necessary–we’d already planned on going straight to Splash Mountain (my favorite ride) since it had been closed the last two times we’d been at Disney, and I didn’t want to slow us down in any way! He insisted that it wouldn’t take us much time at all, that the pins were just in a basket in front of City Hall, and what if we got a free dessert or something? So I agreed that we could stop and get a Birthday pin.

At opening, we stopped by, got a pin, and hurried toward Frontierland. We walked right on to the ride – in fact, we noticed that there was no one behind us. Strange, but I figured everyone now rushes to New Fantasyland, so it wasn’t that surprising that Splash was empty first thing in the morning.

We thus had our own boat. While on the ride, we actually laughed because it was completely empty! I took a picture of all the empty boats behind me.

Right as we ascended to the top of the big drop, Patrick got all giggly and took the ring box out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him just before we dropped! He had timed it perfectly – the photo snapped and got my reaction of laughing, crying, while also getting soaked. I said “Yes, of course!” when we reached the bottom and put on my beautiful ring. The center stone was my grandmother’s, which Patrick had had reset into the exactly setting I wanted. I was so thrilled with how it turned out!

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However, the surprises weren’t over yet! A bunch of Disney employees were waiting for us when we got off the ride, applauding, and wanting hugs and pictures. They were all in on it and had been expecting us! We were still confused though – how were they all able to hang out and take pictures with us while the ride was going? It turns out that Splash Mountain was supposed to be CLOSED that morning for maintenance…but since Patrick had contacted them ahead of time, they decided to hold off the closing until we arrived! This is when I started to learn how elaborate this plan had been. Patrick had contacted Erin, the Splash Mountain manager, asking for some help. He wanted to ensure that we had our own boat so the picture wouldn’t have complete strangers in it. Patrick sent them our pictures, as well as the shirt he’d be wearing, so that any cast members could identify us. They came up with the idea that I’d be wearing a birthday pin, which would give the cast member an excuse to give us our own boat! Now, it turned out that that wasn’t even necessary – once the cast members saw us get in line, they actually shut the ride down, which explained why there was no one behind us! I hadn’t even noticed. Patrick said on our way in, cast members were giving him the “thumbs up” sign and winking at him–which also went completely unnoticed by me.

But perhaps even the best part was still yet to come…when we exited the ride to go look at the picture that was taken, to my complete and utter surprise, I saw my parents and Patrick’s parents waiting for us. WHAT!?!?!? I had absolutely no clue about any of this. Of course, I was a complete mess by that point (I hardly remember it!) but in my confusion, they also informed me that we’d all be staying at the park until Monday (we were supposed to leave that night!) WHAT!?!?!?!?! One thing after another! Disney then showed us our picture–we laughed so hard. So perfect! Patrick just nailed the timing! The Splash Mountain cast members also gifted us the 8×10 picture in a themed frame – what a treasure! “

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We are so excited to have Annie join the JLM Couture Hayley Paige Real Brides family this summer!

 

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