It’s been another exciting year of having this contest and I get so excited to take part in it. It’s a great feeling to be able to give back and help someone out. I am grateful for those that have entered and disappointed that I couldn’t include them all. I hope that this is just as fun an experience for them.
Although Lauren and Ryan spent their childhoods in the same Ohio town, they actually didn’t meet until years later, despite unfounded rumors of having been in the same youth swim class .In 2008 ,Lauren returned to Columbus from teaching in New Mexico and that spring I invited her to come play poker at my house with some college friends, including Ryan. Once Lauren, who doesn’t even play poker, and Ryan realized their hometown connection, they started to chat. Later in the evening, it quickly became clear that their conversation would include no one else, so being the wonderful friends that we are, we left them to their own devices.
Over the next few weeks, Lauren would know about happy hours and other gatherings before I even got a chance to tell her because Ryan was quick to invite her. Lauren, being the voice of reason as always, asked me what she would be getting herself into by dating Ryan. It was easy to tell her that Ryan was the most solid guy I knew, and shortly after, they went on their first date. The date almost killed Ryan due to a nasty bout of pneumonia (how’s that for tenacity?), but after making a full recovery, I rarely saw one without the other.
At the end of that summer, Ryan finished graduate school and moved to Cincinnati for work, while Lauren stayed here in Columbus for her work. After a year and a half of doing the long-distance relationship and weekend-warrior commuting between Cincinnati and Columbus, they moved into their first home, which is located almost exactly between Columbus and Cincinnati. They quite literally meet in the middle everyday, a gesture of compromise that truly characterizes their relationship.
Almost three years after the spring they met, I got an email from Ryan asking me to help him pick an engagement ring for Lauren. He had clearly put a lot of thought into this purchase before talking to me, seeming to know absolutely everything there is to know about cut, clarity, color, and carat. In the end, the ring Ryan did choose sincerely represents them both very well The diamond is fluorescent and glows blue under UV light, appropriate for Ryan the engineer who is fascinated with how things are put together. The ring’s band has intricate metalwork and Art Deco design that fits Lauren’s personality perfectly. In the end, the ring Ryan chose sincerely represents them both very well. Ryan waited for the ring for weeks, and once it arrived, he showed it to me before he gave it to Lauren, basically because he was so excited that he thought he would burst if he couldn’t show someone. He proposed at their house after a celebration for Lauren’s acceptance into graduate school. The happiness in their self-timer, post-proposal photos is tangible. They will surely have a wedding that is full of love, laughter, and unforgettable merriment. They are, after all, very fun people who know lots of other very fun people. As a bridesmaid with the pleasure of knowing the groom-to-be for 5 years and the bride-to-be for 13, I so look forward to the marriage and celebration of two of my very favorite people in the whole entire world.
Why This Couple:
After 4 years, we’re thrilled that they’re finally tying the knot. They love, support, and complement one another—a model of what marriage is supposed to be.
COUPLE #2 JEFF AND JEN
How did you meet?
Erin and I met through the online dating site ‘Match’ in January 2010. There are two interesting pieces to this. The first is that I had been on Match for nearly a year and had had very little success. I was about to let my membership expire at the end of January and had already signed up with another online site. It figures it would happen like this especially after I shelled out six months of service with the new site to get absolutely zero use out of it. : D The second is that Erin and my first actual datemeeting got rescheduled due to the flu. When this happened, I had a bad feeling that she developed cold feet and that this may not occur. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case the flu passed and we met up for drinks a couple of nights later on Thursday, January 28th 2010 at the Rusty Bucket in Arlington. As they say, everything was downhill after that. : D
How did you propose?
I always wanted the engagement to be a surprise. Where’s the fun if you know when or where something is going to happen. To that end, I planned on proposing at a date and time when she wouldn’t be expecting anything. I also caught a big break when her best friend decided to come into town the day of our anniversary. I nonchalantly said that the date her friend was coming into town worked for me knowing that this would probably drive Erin crazy. It did. : D
I like to think the actual proposal itself was flawless. I had put the wheels in motion a couple of days earlier by letting Erin know that my parents wanted us to come over for dinner on Saturday, January 21st. I knew that Erin wouldn’t be expecting anything with dinner plans at my parents.
When I got over to Erin’s that night I asked if she could review a presentation I had put together prior to heading to my parent’s. Saying the presentation was the result of a recent PowerPoint training class I had taken. I sold this to Erin in the prior months letting her know that my boss wanted me to develop presentation skills for my job hence the class and assignment.
I pulled together a photo album with pictures over the previous two years of our relationship and embedded an mp3 of One Republic’s ‘Good Life’ with text around some of the pictures. As I set up the presentation with Erin I let her know that she should focus on the timing of the slides, text, and arrangement of slides. I wanted her opinion on the overall flow and where I could revise something like this for my job. I then fired up the presentation and let her know that I needed to freshen up before we headed to my parents. The song gave me the perfect timer to know when I needed to get back downstairs. As I heard the song playing, I could hear the chuckles and giggles. I could also hear a couple of “wow I didn’t realize he had that picture” comments. I quietly grabbed the ring and flowers I had stored away upstairs and made my way back downstairs.
At the very end of the presentation I inserted two slides that tied the presentation together. The first was the picture of a fortune cookie message that read “If you wait for the perfect moment, the perfect moment will pass you by”. I had always liked this message because it signified that perfection and timing rarely (if ever) line up. The final slide was a picture of the ring itself with the text “Make me the happiest man” as this slide came up I made my way back into the room and got down on one knee with the ring in one hand and flowers in the other. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really remember her saying yes, but saying how sweet and great the presentation was. She was floored and elated that her day was finally here.
Why do you deserve to win?
I want to win for Erin’s sake. Erin’s love, kindness, and compassion make me a better person. Spending time with her has given me a greater appreciation and perspective around the importance of family, friends and the things that truly matter. Erin also has a great appreciation for pictures. One of Erin’s favorite hobbies is scrap booking. When I first heard about this hobby I kind of chuckled and thought isn’t that a hobby for women in their 60s or 70s, but when I saw some of her work and how she could make even the blandest of pictures come to life and sizzle I no longer was a doubter and became a believer.
Good luck to you all!! Stay tuned to find out who won…..I’m giddy with anticipation!