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 In Culture, Interviews

Two newly engaged couples share their love stories


Dominique Ranice Simmons, 29 & James Barnes Scott, Jr., 29

Occupations: I am a junior high school counselor at Pearland Independent School District and James is a civil engineer at Granite Construction.’

First Sight:
We met when we were 15 years old at Belleville East High School. We had a chemistry class together, and when he walked into the class for the first
time, I immediately thought that he was the best-looking guy in the room. Later, I found out he was thinking the same thing about me!

First Date:
We went to the local movie theater to see “Remember the Titans.” We parted ways after high school when we went to separate universities, but then reconnected in 2010 through Facebook—we’ve been together ever since.

The Proposal:
James came home from work earlier than usual one day, and just popped the question out of the blue! He said he knew in his heart, without a doubt, that I was the one for him. His words brought tears to my eyes, and of course I said “yes”!

Our Relationship in three words:
Relaxing, honest,

Together we like to:
Our perfect date night is going to see a concert at Lumière Place. We also love going to the movies, comedy shows and visiting museums.
Going to see a concert at the Lumiere Theatre!

Believe it or not: My aunt on my dad’s side and James’ uncle on his dad’s side have been married for over 30 years!

Home Sweet Home:
We live and work in Houston, TX, right now…but who knows where the future will lead us!

The Big Day: July 20, 2013, at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles.

Sarah Cress, 29 & Kevin Ackermann, 33

Occupations: I am a PhD student at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and Kevin is the Director of Healthcare Business Development at Medela, Inc.

First Sight: I was a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kevin was finishing his masters at Marquette University when we first met. I was out with friends for the evening on campus, and he happened to be in town visiting
some buddies—somehow we ended up at the same party, and the rest is history.

First Date: We began chatting with one another online and continued a long distance relationship until that summer. I moved home while Kevin was still at Marquette, and he drove down March 16, 2002, for our first official date: dinner at Baci’s and dessert at Baker’s Square.

The Proposal: Kevin popped the question on March 16, 2012, after a wonderful dinner at Charlie Gitto’s. Although we were incredibly full from pasta and tiramisu, I still managed an enthusiastic “yes”!

Our Song:
“Wanted” by Hunter Hayes.

The Big Day: June 15, 2013, at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Brentwood, with a reception at Sheldon Concert Hall.



Dominique RAnice Simmons & James Barnes Scott, Jr.


Sarah Cress & Kevin Ackermann


Photo credit: [1] Simpli Photography [2] Maria Donaldson Photography

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