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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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#1 Love Story, Our Valentines Day Couple!

It was our first Holiday season at our new condo and I really got into Christmas (decorating, music, everything!) We spend both Christmas eve and Christmas Day with our families which we love doing but we decided to do our own little Christmas together at our place on 12/23/11. We had decided to do a fondue dinner so it would be mess free and we love fonduing! So the night started out some wine (of course) and Adam had bought a beautiful huge red rose center piece. We decided to do our stockings (in mine was the movie Bridesmaids) then have our dinner and then do our presents.  Adam came up from downstairs with 6 ornaments boxes and said that he had some help with making my present this year….

 He put them all out in front of me and he anxiously kept checking the bottom to make sure they were in the right order.  He started then by saying the ornaments represent a timeline of our life together (we had been together for almost 6 years then.)  He opened the first one and on it was hand painted a picture of our WIU mascot and underneath said “our beginning” (where we met).

The next one was a painting of our dog Jax and said “our pug.”  With each ornament too he had told a story and explanation of the meaning of it, like how Jax was our first big responsibility and so on.

The third ornament had a hand painting of the Chicago skyline on it and said “our move”  It was after we had graduated and got jobs in the city (actually right across the Chicago River from each other).

The fourth ornament said “our home” on the bottom and had a painting of our condo building we had bought that last year.

He sort of ended at that and said this is about where we are at now, then opened the fifth one that said “Our Future” with a question mark; this is when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

After hugging and crying and enjoying the moment he opened the sixth box with the final ornament that said on one side “Adam proposed…” and on the other side it had a picture of the ring and said “December 23, 2011 Erika said yes!

 It was truly the best thing ever and could not have been any better! I had started crying when I opened the Jax one (I’m a little obsessed with him.)  He had another present for me under the tree which I opened later and it was a pair of ugg boots which he explained was in case I get “cold feet”  He had also planned for my sister and her boyfriend and two of our good friends to come over and celebrate after the proposal too!  The next day on Christmas eve was so fun to celebrate with family! He had bought my Dad the Father of the Bride dvd too which he loved! I had also actually made him put all the ornaments in the box and re-propose about 45 minutes after the original because it was so great!

On May 25th we are getting married and I will be wearing a Jim Hjlem gown.  I purchased it at VIP Occasions in Elmhurst, IL!

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JLM Couture Love Story #2

The ultimate love story. We actually met 8 and 1/2 years ago and we’ve been dating for 8 years. He lives just a few houses away from mine and I never knew he existed. Believe it or not, we met on the internet when his cousin, who was also my friend, introduced us. Unfortunately, when we started talking, I was on the verge of entering another relationship. When I started that relationship, my fiance refused to speak to me. And in the 3 days the other relationship lasted ( yes 3 days!), I realised how much I missed him. I knew that he offered so much more than the ’3 day wonder’ :). So we just talked for about 6 months and then decided to give it a try. Its been 8 years since! I think I knew that he was the one for me was when I saw that unconditional love from him when my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Every single day he made those trips to chemo and radiation and back. When my dad was too ill to move, I saw my fiance sleep on a sofa half his size just in case my dad needed to be moved in the night. I saw him ask my father for his blessings to marry me the night before he passed. I also saw him stick by me when my father passed, refusing to be moved just to make sure that I was going to be ok. I still see him here today, standing by me no matter what. And on December 21st, I’ll see him at the end of the aisle, waiting on me to marry him in my gorgeous Lazaro gown! I hope you enjoyed my love story and even though its bittersweet for me, I know that I have someone who my father approves of and that means the world to me. I have someone who can almost fill those shoes my dad left…

 

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JLM Couture Love Story #3

Whitney and Micah traveled around the world to meet each other!  In February 2007 Whitney Hassett and Micah Norton met in the same study abroad program, American Institute for Foreign Studies, on their way to Sydney, Australia for a semester.  Whitney was a junior studying at Providence College in Rhode Island where she is from.  Micah was a junior at St. John Fisher in Rochester, NY (about 2 hours North of his hometown, Elmira, NY).  While members in the same study abroad group, they also happened to be neighbors in their town house complex, Macquarie Village at Maquarie University.

After a few weeks of dodging feelings for one another (let’s be honest you go to Australia to meet an Australian!) Micah and Whitney finally admitted to having feelings for each other! Ask any friends of theirs from Macquarie and you’ll get the typical response from Whitney “I do not like him, we’re just friends!”  That game could only be played for so long….

After leaving Fiji (a quick stop over from Sydney on the way back to the States)… they started their long distance relationship. Whitney back to Providence College and Micah off to St. John Fisher for the final year as college students!  Micah was playing his final season of football, Whitney busy student teaching.  Directly after graduating in 2008, Whitney took a job teaching 1st grade in NYC while Micah accepted a management position at Wells Fargo…. the distance continues.  After about 2.5 years of 6 hours of distance, Whitney (amidst a tearful ride home from Toronto – the most perfect birthday weekend ever – Micah surprised her with a weekend in Toronto to see her favorite band, U2)… a light bulb switched on. “I’m moving to Rochester, NY” – Whitney told her family and friends.  Sure enough…. January 2, 2010 Micah and Whitney packed up a big UHaul, towed her car up to snowy Rochester, NY.

About two months after Whitney moved to Rochester… Micah got transferred to Buffalo! Back to distance!  Fortunately this time it was only an hour, and even more fortunately, it didn’t last.  Micah quickly returned to Rochester and accepted a job as a Commercial Real Estate Leasing Manager.  After finishing her Master’s in Literacy at SUNY Geneseo, Whitney accepted a 1st grade teaching position at Discovery Charter School.

Dating was fun in Rochester and not having to worry about traveling each weekend to see one another was even better!  In February 2012 Micah told Whitney he had a “bowling tournament on Friday the 3rd with Steve”  Whitney (thinking how lame that sounded) quickly texted Steve’s wife, Kelly to see what the girl’s had plans while their men bowled the Friday night away.  Kelly had been dying to see The Artist and they made plans to grab a drink Friday after school and go to The Little Theatre downtown for the 8:00 show.

A goblet of red wine later, Kelly and Whitney headed to The Little for the movie. The first preview started with a shot of the Sydney Opera House! “Look!” Whitney excitedly poked at Kelly who was frozen in her seat.  As the preview continued, Micah is all of a sudden on the screen… telling their story, starting in Australia.  He’s telling his best friends about how he wants to marry her but doesn’t know how to propose!  The preview continues with Micah catching a ride to The Little, buying a ticket for The Artist (grabbing popcorn behind the concession stand) and opening the doors to the movie theatre.  The screen goes black….

Kelly at this point had left Whitney alone in her seat (obviously freaking out!).  The doors behind Whitney open and Micah runs down the aisle, gets down on one knee and proposes!…. even had a light put in the ring box so Whitney could see the gorgeous thing! Yes Yes Yes! (of course!)…. soon the lights turn back on in the cinema and its revealed that their closest friends and family were hiding in the theater (among real strangers!)

Whitney wore Jim Hjelm's Blush 1601. She found it at The Bridal Garden in East Greenwich, RI

 Whitney and Micah got married September 7, 2012 at Warwick Country Club in Rhode Island.  Whitney’s family has been members there her whole life and she has dreamed of one day getting married there!  Their wedding day was a sunny day, packed with family and friends, and was the ideal celebration of their friendship and love!

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JLM Couture Love Story #4

How we met:

“Brandon and I met at a wedding…..  yes, how cliche does that sound!  He was living in Tampa, Florida at the time and flew up to Minnesota to stand up as a groomsmen in his cousin’s wedding.  I am from Minnesota and my high school girlfriend had asked me to be one of her personal attendants.  Yes these are the same weddings!  The night of the rehearsal dinner, I commented to my fellow personal attendant and best friend, “who is the hot, tan groomsmen in the purple shirt?!” We looked in the program, established it was the grooms cousin “Brandon”, and I thought nothing else of it – he was way out of my league… :)

The wedding day came and the night was winding down – it was busy and fun and I didn’t really have time to think about that cute guy I
spotted the night before.  I was doing my personal attendant duties!  At the very end of the reception the entire wedding party (including myself) was waiting outside the venue for the coach bus to pick us all up, and bring us back to the hotel.  I must’ve have been cold (well, I was – I’m always cold!) and I must have looked like it.  Before I even knew it, someone was putting their jacket on me….. I turn around… IT WAS THE HOT GROOMSMEN!  He said “Hi, I’m Brandon.” When the bus arrived, he asked if he could sit by me – and we started to talk.  The next morning as most of the wedding party was eating breakfast in the hotel, he asked for my number before heading back to the airport for his flight back to Florida.  I gave it to him of course, but thought “he will never call me!”…  That afternoon my phone rang and it said “Brandon” on the screen….

After 1 year of long distance from Tampa, FL to Minneapolis, MN – many flights down, many flights up, endless phone calls, millions of texts… Brandon took the biggest leap of faith and left his management role in distribution for a major corporation and moved to Minneapolis, MN to give our love is fair shot”.

Our engagement:

 ”6 months after he moved to Minnesota (so about a year a half after we met) we were taking our first “vacation” TOGETHER.  We had been on airplanes to visit each other, but never together!  We were headed down to St. Petersburg, Florida where a now mutual friend was getting arried.  We made a long weekend out of it and stayed at a nice little resort right on the beach.  The second day we were there, Brandon had suggested we make the drive to Siesta Key Beach – one of the prettiest beaches in the area!  White sand, great restaurants, cute shops, and amazing daiquiri’s.   He had taken me there once before – on my 2nd trip down to Florida about a year ago- when we just started  “dating.” It was very romantic and I was excited to go back with him! We spent the day doing the things we did on that original date – got  daiquiri’s at the same place, walked along the beach, soaked up the sun, looked for shells, and then ended with amazingly fresh seafood at the same restaurant we had previously discovered.  After dinner – instead of going home like we planned, he suggested we go watch the  sunset back on the beach.  I was all for it!  Once we got to a good quiet spot, he told me to get my camera ready for pictures. It got a little chilly being later in the evening and by the ocean, and e put his fleece jacket on me and gave me a wonderful hug, standing behind e.  As he started to tell me all of hese amazing and wonderful things about us, our relationship, our love, and our journey – he reached in his pocket, came around/in front of me, and got down on one knee asking me to marry him and placing a diamond ring on my finger!!!!!

It was the most perfect proposal I could have ever imagined….”

Jodi will  be wearing an Alvina Valenta gown purchased from Che Bella in St. Paul Minnesota!

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JLM Couture Love Story #5

“Jill and I met on Match in September of 2010. We grew up one town away from one another and both graduated from Villanova University so we were amazed that we met on Match.com! She claims she found my profile and emailed me first, but I maintain I emailed her first! After several emails back and forth we discovered how much we had in common, and during a particularly hectic workday she logged onto her profile for a quick break, saw my latest email, and said, “Shoot me a text, because you make me smile!”

The rest as they say is history! We went on our first date several days later at a local sushi restaurant. Two days later we were texting one another non-stop and we decided to watch the Eagles game together. On our 4th date we spent the entire day together! We went hiking in the morning, she met my parents in the afternoon, and we went to a romantic BYOB together that night. That was the night I KNEW she was the one!

Our love continued to blossom over the next few months as we learned more about one another and shared so many amazing adventures together!

Ten months from the time we met on Match I proposed to Jill in a beautiful and intimate proposal that swept her off her feet! She showed up to run an errand for her father (that I coordinated with him to set-up) and arrived only to find that I had transformed a local art gallery into a room filled with flowers, candles, and a violinist playing our favorite songs! I had set up tables with pictures and love letters documenting our Beginning on Match.com, our Adventures, our Sweet Love, and our Future…. When she arrived at the last table I came into the room and asked her to marry me. Her answer… “Obviously!”

Real Bride Jillian is wearing Alvina Valenta style 9102 which she purchased from La Bella Moda in Conshohocken, PA!

Jill and I are so in love with one another and our love just keeps growing every day! I finally met my Match! She feels the exact same way. We have so much in common and we have so many mutual connections, but it wasn’t until we met on Match that we found one another! We have both waited our entire lives to find one another and we are so grateful that Match.com brought us together.

Jill was my first date on Match.com and since I teach Yoga part-time I told her I put the intention into the Universe to find her right away! She is even better than I hoped for! Of course Jill went on a bunch of dates, some good, some bad, before she found me.
We just set our wedding date for September 29th, 2012 at Jill’s childhood church and we are having our reception at the Union League of Philadelphia!

We are both very grateful that we found one another on Match.com and we cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together! Our journey and adventures together just keep getting better and better! We love sharing our story about how we met on Match! Friends and family are constantly on the edge of their seat as we share our success story on Match!

We are so excited to share our lives together forever! Let the journey continue!

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