Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.
SARAH SALNIK, 23 & DANNY COOK, 23
Occupations: I’m a sanitarian at St. Clair County Health Department, and Danny is a civil engineer for the US Air Force.
First Date: Though we met in our sophomore year of high school, it wasn’t until senior year that we went on our first date. It was a snowy Sunday afternoon in December. We grabbed some coffee, talked for a while, decided to see a movie and then walked through downtown Belleville to look at the gingerbread houses on display in the shop windows.
The Proposal: Danny proposed while we were camping in Washington State Park back in March. Toward the end of the trip, he left me at the campsite to enjoy the amazing weather while he drove into town to get supplies for our return trip the next morning. He returned as the sun was setting, hopped out of the car dressed in a suit, smiled sweetly and said, “C’mon, babe! Let’s go for a drive.” I had known that something special was coming, but it still felt completely surreal and spectacular. We drove to a lookout spot and walked underneath a gazebo. He had set up the area with pink and white paper lanterns, with chocolates and wine nearby for celebrating. He got down on one knee and reminded me—as I fought to contain my joyful tears and excitement—why he continues to grow in love with me and of his vision for our incredible future together.
Together we like to: We love watching movies, walking his dog, staying active, reading and cooking together, and spending time with friends. We have fun exploring new places and trying out new hobbies on dates!
Our Song: “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat or “Tidal Wave” by Josh Kelley.
Our Unique Love: Not many people are so blessed to find their future spouse at such a young age. We are best friends, and our relationship works because we balance each other out in so many ways. We also share the same sense of humor and ease with which we relate to one another in love and life.
The Big Day: May 24, 2014, at the Butterfly House.
ANGELA NOBLES, 30 & JONATHAN RITCHIE, 36
Occupations: I’m a real estate agent for Reid Case Group, and Jon is the director of marketing and promotions at LatinWorks Marketing.
First Sight: When I first saw Jon, I thought he was really attractive, but he had on horrible shoes. He jokes that he truly fell for my personality first, since I wore a hat on our first date.
Believe it or not: Despite our outgoing personalities, people would be surprised to know that we are total homebodies. We have been guilty of watching “48 Hours” marathons for eight hours straight.
First Date: We met for cocktails at Pueblo Solis, which led to more cocktails at The Royale. On that date, Jon also made plans for our second and third dates!
The Proposal: Jon proposed in Eureka Springs, AR, last October. He grew up going there with his family, so that town has always been very special to him. We started going there together and always had a wonderful time, so it meant a lot for both of us to get engaged there.
Our Song: “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam
Ideal St. Louis Date Night: We are fortunate to live in the DeMun neighborhood of Clayton, with our favorite places in close walking proximity. Our ideal St. Louis date night is sitting on a patio enjoying a great dinner, listening to music and having cocktails.
The Big Day: Oct. 5, 2013, at Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta, MO.
Sarah Salanik, 23 & Danny Cook, 23
Photo credit: Angie Mertz, Simpli Photography and Stephen Seebeck