Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.
Susan Mitchell, 29 & Andrew Zanowski, 31
Occupations: Susan is a women’s health nurse practitioner, and Andrew is a financial advisor.
First date: Since we met online, our first date was “blind.” We met up and went hiking at Castlewood State Park, where we later had our engagement pictures taken. After hiking, we went out for sushi in the city and then off to Baileys’ Chocolate Bar for delicious treats. It was a long and wonderfully amazing first date.
The Proposal: Andrew and I went to Washington, MO, for New Year’s Eve in 2012. We rented a cabin at Heaven on Earth Bed and Breakfast. Once we arrived at the cabin, the owners asked us to move our car, and Andrew slyly asked me to move it. When I came back into the cabin, he was at the door and on one knee with a ring box and the sweetest words to ask me to marry him. It was priceless and so special.
Together we like to: We love to spend time at home with our dog, Wrigley, and our cat, Magnus. We love to work out together either at the gym, running at the park or at an occasional yoga class. We also love going to see movies, reading at local coffee shops, checking out new and local restaurants, travel and enjoy time with our cherished family, and trivia or game nights with friends.
Ideal St. Louis date night: Going to one of our favorite St. Louis restaurants, like Acero, the Tavern, Broadway Oyster Bar or Ted Drewes. And depending on the season, either walking through the Botanical Garden or attending concerts there, hiking in Castlewood, driving through Tilles Park or any neighborhood with Christmas lights.
Our unique love: Our relationship is unique because without online dating, our paths would have never crossed and we would never have met. Throughout our years of being together, we have realized how many common interests we have, like our love of Christmas, Disney and the seasons.
Home sweet home: Right now we live in a townhouse in Kirkwood. We love the areas of Kirkwood and Webster Groves and would like to buy a home in one of those areas to raise a family.
The Big Day: Date TBD at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church with reception at Moulin Events.
Kelsey Sinn, 25 & Brandon Leetch, 26
Occupations: Kelsey is a production coordinator at Momentum; Brandon is a business consultant at Lockton Companies.
First Sight: Brandon claims he first noticed me at a bar during college. I was rapping to a song and he was very impressed I knew all of the words. While I remember that evening, I believe I noticed him long before, during my first year at Southeast Missouri State University.
First Date: He took me to The Loop for dinner at Blueberry Hill. We walked around for a while, then went back to his parents’ house for some drinks. Simple and sweet.
The Proposal: Brandon asked me to marry him after dinner at Prime 1000. We were walking over to the bar area when he asked if I wanted to take a picture. The manager took my phone to capture the moment and Brandon slid off the couch onto one knee. Soon after, friends joined us to celebrate, and we had champagne and strawberries waiting for us in the Presidential Suite at Renaissance Grand.
Engagement Backstory: He had an entirely different plan to propose on a ski trip, but when a massive snow storm prevented our travels, he pulled this together in 24 hours. It’s just like Brandon to be quick on his feet and still make it look seamless—I was very surprised.
Ideal St. Louis date night: An ideal STL date would start with an afternoon Cardinals game. Following the win, we would go to a new, fun restaurant for dinner and drinks. We tend to finish off our date nights with a dessert cocktail at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar.
Our relationship in three words: Loyal, spontaneous and growing.
The Big Day: June 7, 2014, at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, followed by a reception at Windows on Washington.
Photo by Amkar Photography