Recently Ringed

 In Guide, Style

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


Kelly Bouckaert, 29 & Ben Cherven, 29

Occupations: I’m a retail development manager with Nygard International, and Ben is an outside field rep for Liberty Mutual.
The Proposal: During one of the hottest days of the summer last year, Ben said he wanted to take me somewhere. He had arranged a private tour of the whole winery at Cedar Lake Cellars. At the very end of the tour, near the waterfall, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised that right after I said “yes,” I had to run to the air conditioned car because I thought I would pass out from the heat and excitement! One of the best parts of the proposal came later that afternoon. I was eager to tell my mother in person about the engagement, but Ben insisted on going to eat dinner first. I was a little disappointed, but agreed. When we got to our favorite Mexican restaurant, I was surprised again to find both of our families there. It was the perfect ending to the best day of my life so far!
Our Song: “First Dance” by Corey Smith.
Our relationship in three words: Fun, adventurous and outgoing.
Together we like to: We have a map where we mark all of the places we have traveled to together—our hope is to fill it up over the course of our lives together! Some of our favorite trips have been to the beaches of Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, but we also have some great memories road tripping to Kansas City, Springfield and our favorite spot in the Lake of the Ozarks.
The Big Day: September 15, 2012 at Wine Country Gardens.

KC Baugh, 29 & McDara O’Brien, 36
The Proposal: McDara had planned to propose on Thanksgiving at his parents’ house. He had the ring in his pocket all day, waiting for the perfect time to propose. But then, a family friend brought costume jewelry as a gift—so at dinner, all the women received very large, very fake diamonds. He decided his proposal, with a real diamond, would be better saved for the next day!
Together we like to: We love having the O’Brien Olympics—it’s the two of us going head-to-head in Yahtzee, Uno, darts and Golden Tee.
Our Song: “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.
The Big Day: September 15, 2012 at Christ Church Cathedral and Lumen Private Event Space.

Lauren Strnad, 27 & Matthew Reynolds, 34
The Proposal: Right before we boarded a plane for Christmas with his family in Michigan, Matt got down on one knee and proposed at the very spot where we first saw each other at Barnes Jewish Hospital. We were able to spend the holidays celebrating with our families. It was perfect!
Our “Meet Cute”: We were seeing patients on the opposite sides of a curtain divider, and I was an inexperienced therapist trying to maneuver my patient’s IV pole in a small space. This resulted in the pole crashing repeatedly into Matt’s backside while he was attempting to deliver important information to his patient on the other side of the curtain!



Kelly Bouckaert & Ben Cherven

Kelly Bouckaert & Ben Cherven


KC Baugh & McDara O•À_Brien


Lauren Strnad & Matthew Reynolds

Lauren Strnad & Matthew Reynolds


Photo credit: Charisma Photography; John Koch Photography

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