Engagements: Recently Ringed

By Stephanie Isaacson
In Culture, Feature

Three St. Louis couples share their engagement stories.

 

Denise Gruber, 28 & Dave Blattner, 34
How We Met

Dave and I met on a night out with mutual friends in December 2009. He ended up contacting me through Myspace later to set up a date. On the day of the date, I texted my girlfriend about how excited I was and gushed about how I knew he wasn’t like other guys. After I sent the text, I realized I had mistakenly sent it to Dave! In reply, he asked, “Was that supposed to go to me?” Even though I was completely mortified, the date went off without a hitch; Dave was really great and acted like nothing happened. We still laugh about the embarrassing message to this day.

The Proposal
It was a Friday evening when Dave came to pick me up from work. We stopped at Imo’s Pizza on the way home to pick up carryout, and ironically Imo’s had printed “Denise Blattner” on the receipt. We laughed about the mistake on the ride home. While I was preparing the salad for dinner, Dave asked me to come into the bedroom so he could give me a present. I made my way to the room, assuming Dave had gotten me something for our trip to Mexico, which we were leaving for in two days. To my surprise, Dave had set up a romantic scene in our bedroom with candlelight and scattered rose petals! As I looked and saw the ring I had picked out months earlier, Dave got down on one knee, told me I was the love of his life and asked me to marry him. I said, “Yes, absolutely!”

The Big Day

October 21, 2011 at Tower Grove Park–Piper Palm House and Andre’s West in Fenton, MO.

Maria Clayton, 24 & Dan Henke, 29
How We Met

Dan and I first met when I was working at Show-Me’s in 2009. One night, I was telling my best friend, Lauren, that I had given up on trying to find the “right guy,” but she was convinced that she could find somebody to my liking. Dan and his friend came into the restaurant for a drink and were seated at Lauren’s table. She insisted that I meet him, so I went to clear off their table, but no words were exchanged. The next day, Lauren and I attended a friend’s wedding where Dan happened to be a guest. When my eyes landed on him, I couldn’t help but think it was more than a coincidence and maybe we were meant to meet. Ever since that night, Dan and I have been inseparable—and now we are planning our own wedding.

The Proposal

Our friends had started to joke about Dan asking me to marry him. When Valentine’s Day approached this year, I entertained the idea that Dan might propose. We celebrated Valentine’s Day a night early with a romantic dinner, but there was no proposal. The next day, we spent the day together before I was due at work; still no proposal. I had given up on the idea when I returned home from work that evening. I retired to the bedroom and was surprised to find Dan down on one knee. He stumbled over his words until he was finally able to ask, “Will you marry me?” I said, “Yes!” Dan retreated to the bathroom to get sick while I sat on our bed admiring my ring. To this day, he claims that he had the flu and it wasn’t his nerves that made him sick.

The Big Day

October 8, 2011 at Immaculate Conception Parish and Knights of Columbus Hall in Old Monroe, MO.

Maureen Shortal, 26 & Mark Mangelsdorf, 27
How We Met

Mark and I met when we were in high school—he went to Chaminade, and I attended St. Joseph’s Academy. After graduation, Mark moved to the West Coast to attend UCLA, and I stayed in St. Louis to attend SLU. A little over three years ago, we ran into each other at a SLU basketball game and ended up hitting it off. Shortly thereafter we began a long-distance romance. We spent romantic getaways at the Napa Vineyards, Lake Tahoe and Carmel-by-the-Sea. We soon realized that we didn’t want to spend any more time apart, so I moved to San Francisco in 2009 to be with him.

The Proposal
In January this year, Mark and I went to meet his friend Tyler for brunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Mark told me that Tyler was in town on a photography assignment and needed to get pictures of the ocean scenery. After we finished brunch, we headed down to the shore. Before I knew what was going on, Mark led me off to a deserted part of the beach. He began to give a speech about spending the rest of our lives together, then got down on one knee, professed his love and asked me to marry him. I missed Mark’s entire speech because I was in an emotional whirlwind of tears, excitement and pure joy. Tyler caught the entire proposal on film—Mark had planned out every detail. We returned to The Ritz for a champagne toast before heading off to a surprise engagement party at a friend’s house nearby.

The Big Day
April 21, 2012 at The Shrine of St. Joseph and Greenbriar Hills Country Club in Kirkwood, MO.

 

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Denise Gruber, 28 & Dave Blattner, 34

Denise Gruber, 28 & Dave Blattner, 34

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Maria Clayton, 24 & Dan Henke, 29

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Maureen Shortal, 26 & Mark Mangelsdorf, 27

Maureen Shortal, 26 & Mark Mangelsdorf, 27

 

Photo credit: Photos courtesy of the couples

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