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 In Culture, Feature

Three newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.


Michelle De Villar, 26 & Nick Cook, 26

Occupations: Professional ballet dancer with St. Louis Ballet and law student at SLU Law.
The Proposal: Nick proposed atop a cliff in Lanai, Hawaii, with a breathtakingly beautiful view.
First Impression: When I first met Nick, I thought he was attractive, but too full of himself. Once I got to know him, you could say he grew on me. Now, we've been together for 3 ½ years!
Our “Meet Cute:” The night after our first date, my car got stolen. The next day, it was recovered, but having just moved to St. Louis, I had no one to call to help me pick it up. Nick came to my rescue, and after spending four hours together, we felt a like we'd known each other forever. Five days later, Nick's car got stolen from a different location. We started our relationship on a roller coaster and have been along for a fun ride ever since. We now look back and can laugh at our misfortune and how it was, in fact, the best thing that could have happened to us.
Our Song: “Smile” by Madeleine Peyroux.
Our relationship in three words: Funny, inspiring, adventurous.
Believe it or not: We are both a little nerdy and like to play video games.
Together, we like to: Watch movies, go out for good food at St. Louis' great restaurants, see shows at The Fox, go to Cards games and to Forest Park when it's nice.
Home Sweet Home: We will hopefully stay in St. Louis, possibly in the Clayton area.
The Big Day: August 11, 2012 at Randall Art Gallery.

Gina DeGenova, 26 & Stephen Rau, 28

The Proposal: Stephen proposed on the steps leading up from the riverfront to the Arch. It was extra special because we met on a riverbank as well, on a float trip in 2010!
Our “Meet Cute:” I told my friend, “I'm going to marry that guy someday,” as I pointed at this tall guy with long, curly hair. I knew after he shook my hand and introduced himself that this wouldn't be the last time I'd see him. We hung out at the campfire, and he asked for my number. He didn’t have a pen, so he said he would memorize it. Sure enough, he called and we went on our first date. I dared him not to fall in love with me—he lost!
Our Song: “Hooked On a Feeling” by Blue Swede.
The Big Day: April 20, 2013 at St. Genevieve Church and Chaumette Vinyards & Winery.

Alice Coulter, 26 & Jon Benner, 27

The Proposal: Jon proposed at the graduation party I threw for him, with a speech in front of our friends and family. It was fabulous! He managed to keep the secret from me for months.
Our “Meet Cute:” We were 13, and he caught my eye by doing back flips in my front yard! We dated in high school, broke up before he went to college, then got back together in college.
Our Song: “Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland.
Believe it or not: Our average fight lasts about 30 seconds before we both burst into hysterical laughter.
Perfect date night: Dinner at Harvest, dessert at Cyrano's and Netflix at home.
The Big Day: May 25, 2012 at Our Lady of the Pillar Church and Sqwires.



Michelle & Nick


Gina & Stephen


Alice & Jon


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