Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.
Katie O’Brien, 30 & Erik Sackman, 33
Occupations: I am a creative technical designer at Weissman’s Designs for Dance and Erik is a training manager with Storage Banc St. Louis.
First Date: While in college, I interned for ALIVE as a fashion assistant. I thought I was really, really cool because Mike Shannon’s was having its grand opening and I was invited. Erik loves sports, so of course I brought him along. How awesome did I look when there were all kinds of St. Louis sports legends and broadcasters there for Erik to rub shoulders with?
Our relationship in three words: Laughter, strength, support. Together we like to: We like to explore new things. We’re both from St. Louis—I’m from Florissant and Erik is from St. Charles—but we mostly stayed in the county growing up. Now that we’re back in STL, we have bought a house in South City and love trying all the new restaurants and different places around us. We’re seeing our hometown in a whole new light!
The Proposal: We moved back to St. Louis about two years ago and took a loss on our house in Indiana, so we were living with my mom and staying in my old room in the house I grew up in. One morning, Erik got up early and wanted to go get the paper, so I asked him to grab me a Dunkin Donuts coffee, too (my favorite). I fell back asleep and when he came home, he had flowers. He handed me my coffee and then two St. Louis Bread Co. bags—we shared our first breakfast ever with bagels at Bread Co.—and I was a bit confused that he had gone to both Dunkin Donuts and Bread Co. I looked into the first bag and saw my two favorite bagels, bread-sliced just like I like them. When I reached into the second bag, I found a box and couldn’t believe it. I looked over at Erik, who was on one knee, and he proposed in broken, horribly perfect French. (I’m also quite the Francophile.) All I could say was, “Is this real?”
Our Unique Love: We’re probably nothing alike, but love everything about each other. It’s pretty incredible how we’ve grown and melded into one another. Do you think seven years ago, before we started dating, Erik had any idea who John Galliano or Karl Lagerfeld was? And the random sports knowledge and trivia I can spit out is amazing!
The Big Day: Jan. 25, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Florissant (Katie’s grade school), followed by a reception at Spazio Westport.
Rachel Mitchell, 23 & Jeff Holthaus, 26
Occupations: I’m a freelance photographer, and Jeff works at Total Metal Recycling as a maintenance supervisor.
First Sight: We first met at a bonfire at Jeff’s friend’s place. His smile was the first thing I noticed, and then his quirky personality. But it was his big blue eyes that I loved the most!
Believe it or not: We’re very different in public than when it’s just us—sometimes we do the most ridiculous things. Jeff has pretty sweet rapping skills, and I tend to break out in song and dance!
Home Sweet Home: We actually bought our first house together last year in St. Paul. It’s our dream home! It’s a beautiful ranch house with a barn and land. I’m able to keep my horses here, and he has space for his “man cave.” We plan on making many memories here.
Together we like to: Our favorite weekend thing to do is take our boat out on the river or to the lake. During the week, we just hang out around the house, drink, barbecue, ride our fourwheelers and horses. For date night, we love to go out to our favorite restaurant, Brio, then The Fox if we’re lucky enough to get tickets.
The Proposal: Last Christmas was hard—my mother passed away Christmas morning in 2011, so being home for the holidays this year was something I couldn’t handle. So Jeff and I planned a trip to Paris. After Christmas day, we went out and explored Paris together. We had a romantic dinner with a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower, and after dinner we went up in the Eiffel Tower. When we got to the top, Jeff tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around to find him down on one knee. He told me he wanted me to have a good memory of Christmastime. It was perfect.
The Big Day: Sept. 13, 2014, at Chaumette Winery.
Lisa Meyer Photography