All’s Fair in Love
With vintage flair from an era enamored with the future, this STL couple celebrates their own happily ever after.
34, disabilities adjudicator
31, IT projects manager, AT&T
One night when she was out on the town with friends, Christina struck up a conversation with a guy—only to return from the ladies room to find him chatting up her friend instead. Like a true gentleman, his friend Tom swept in and there were instant sparks between him and Christina. The two spent the rest of the evening together, right up until Tom walked Christina to her car. A few days later, she got a text from an unknown number: “Great meeting you, sorry it has taken awhile, busy week, we should meet up.” She had given her number to both men that night, so she replied, “Depends, are you the nice guy who walked me to my car, or the jerk who flirted with my friend all night?” Once she discovered it was Tom, they began dating and have been inseparable since. (Note: Christina later learned Tom’s friend wasn’t a jerk after all.)
A few years later, Tom came across a beautiful coral-colored sapphire engagement stone that he knew would be perfect for Christina. He had it set into her late grandmother’s band and planned a romantic picnic proposal in Forest Park. But Christina, ever the planner, decided they would go see the Shakespeare Festival production of “Othello” that evening instead. Not wanting to ruin the surprise, Tom went along with her plan and snuck a bottle of champagne into the picnic basket Christina had packed for the show. As they left the park that evening, Tom abruptly stopped, set down the basket and asked Christina to marry him. Christina thought he was joking at first, but when he got down on one knee and pulled the ring out of his pocket, she knew it was real and accepted.
Both Tom and Christina love living in the city. So when both of their leases were ending, they began searching for their first place together. After looking at more than 25 homes without any luck, Christina received an email about HGTV looking for first-time homebuyers. She was immediately interested and, after a little persuasion, so was Tom. They starred in their own episode of HGTV’s “My First Place,” which documented their hunt. After a few months of filming, they settled on a home in Soulard— the neighborhood where they’d eventually get married, as well.
Back in Time
Christina never planned on having a themed wedding, but once she and Tom chose The Franklin Room in Soulard as their venue, the vintage space with its high ceilings, wood floors and red drapes inspired them to design their nuptials with vintage flair from the World’s Fair era. For authenticity, Christina read up on the historic event and even paid a visit to the Missouri History Museum to learn about the time period. At the reception, each table was decorated with pearls and lace, and featured a World’s Fair postcard depicting a different building or attraction from 1904 in Forest Park. The guests were given admission tickets that directed them to their seats and offered up facts about the fair, along with mini bags of cotton candy. The wedding cake and cupcakes, made by Mommy & Me Cupcakery, were wrapped in lace to match the vintage theme.
On a drive a few months before the wedding, “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton came on the radio and Tom began to sing along. Realizing this wasn’t the first time he’d serenaded Christina with the romantic tune, they decided it would be perfect for their first dance. Only later did they realize that Tom’s father had always sung the same song to Tom’s mother—making it all the more meaningful.
While picking up a bridesmaid dress for a friend’s wedding at David’s Bridal long before the engagement, Christina spotted her own dream gown on a mannequin: a Galina ball gown, made of organza with a drop waist and asymmetrical tiers. She found it online and bookmarked the site, but when she went back to find it a year and a half later, the dress was discontinued. On a prayer, she called the store and was thrilled to find that it had one dress left in stock. Though it wasn’t her size, somehow it still fit her perfectly—naturally, she couldn’t believe her luck. To personalize the look, Christina added a belt, adorned with a vintage brooch from Ruth’s Vintage on Cherokee, and a darling lace parasol.
All’s Fair in Love
Photo credit: Amkar Photography