Engagements: Recently Ringed
Three St. Louis couples share their engagement stories
April Amos, 28 & Kenny Powell, 34
How We Met
It was April 2007, and I had just moved to St. Louis. I happened to go to a birthday party at Nectar (now El Borracho Taqueria y Cantina) with a friend of mine from work. I went to the bar for a refill, and there was Kenny. He looked at me, I looked at him, and he said, “How are you?” I responded in the normal, casual manner and returned the question. His response: “I’m too blessed to be stressed.” I knew I’d met my match!
Our birthdays are a day apart in February, so we normally have a shared celebration, and this year, I’d planned a dinner for us and 20 of our friends at one of my favorite restaurants, ARAKA, in Clayton. I walked into the private room and was surprised by a huge bouquet of flowers, balloons and a professional magician Kenny had hired. (Kenny is really into magic.) We had an amazing dinner with our friends and, of course, a magic show with dessert.
Suddenly, two of the restaurant’s valet attendants came into the room and told us
that someone had hit Kenny’s car! But when we got outside, the car was nowhere in sight. We walked up the sidewalk looking for the car, and I became increasingly angry and a bit loud. I started to do what I call the “my-heels-are-way-too-high-to-be-walked-in” shuffle up the street, and suddenly realized that Kenny wasn’t walking with me. So I turned around, and saw Kenny on his knee in the middle of the sidewalk with the ring box open and the bling shining in the moonlight. I took a few steps forward and finally asked, “Are you joking?” He said, “No. I’m not joking. I love you, and you’re my best friend.” I think I said “yes” before he even asked!
Kate McHugh, 26 & Grant Wiegmann, 26
How We Met
Grant and I first met during our senior year at Mizzou, but we were both thinking more about graduation and our post-college plans than we were about meeting someone fabulous. It wasn’t until the last sorority function of the year—when Grant came as my friend’s date—that sparks finally flew. Fortunately, a cat fight was avoided, and we had fun dating the last few weeks until graduation. Afterward, Grant moved to Wisconsin, and I moved to Florida, but we vowed to give the long-distance relationship a chance. One year later, Grant and I both moved to Greenville, S.C., where we now call home.
We are both originally from Missouri and are, of course, huge Mizzou football fans. This past November, we took a 13-hour road trip back to Columbia with seven of our friends to go to the MU-Kansas State football game. On the morning of the game, Grant told me he wasn’t feeling well and wanted to get some fresh air. He was looking a little white and shaky, so I figured he needed some company (little did I know it was nerves). We walked to the Francis Quadrangle, and right in front of the Columns, Grant got down on one knee and proposed! I was completely surprised and burst into tears, barely getting out the word “yes!” He had even hired a photographer to hide in the bushes and capture the moment. When we returned to our tailgate, our friends had set up a surprise engagement party!
The Big Day
August 20, 2011 at Messiah Lutheran Church and Lumen Private Event Space
Amanda Hill, 27 & Zach Chasnoff, 31
How We Met
Zach and I met through the bride of the first wedding I ever helped coordinate back in 2007 (I’m now co-owner of Lucky You Productions). During one of our meetings, the bride asked if I was single, and thankfully I was! He was the best man, and she thought we’d be a good match. The next week, we met during my business partner’s birthday party at The Royale. I knew there was something special about him, but he was supposed to be set up with another girl that night, so I steered clear. The next week, the band I had booked for a big event I was helping produce canceled at the last minute, and the bride-to-be suggested Zach’s band, Pandelerium, to play. We ended up chatting all night and started dating after he sent his friend with a “check-yes-or-no” note if I’d like to go out on a date with him!
It was the most “perfectly us” proposal ever. After a very long day at work, Zach came home while I was cooking dinner. He came into the kitchen, acting really on edge, mumbling about a stain on his shirt. I dismissed it to a happy hour out with the boys and continued making dinner. He walked back in, asked if dinner was almost done and if he could talk to me for a second. My favorite movie has always been “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”—so after weeks of trying to find a Cracker Jack box with a ring inside, and in his words, he “couldn’t wait anymore, so here goes”—he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Tears were flowing from both of us, and I just kept repeating, “Are you serious?!” over and over until I finally answered, “Yes!” I was so surprised; I called my mom to tell her the good news, and she was waiting for my call because Zach had asked my father’s permission earlier that day. I was so happy that he involved my parents and kept that traditional aspect of the proposal.
The Big Day
November 11, 2011 on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat and Soulard Preservation Hall
Recently Ringed? Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org, and your engagement moment could be featured in ALIVE.
April and Kenny
Amanda and Zach
Photo credit: Photos courtesy of the couples