Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love storie.
Jennifer Tyus, 34 & Brandon Haynes, 35
Occupations: I’m a senior attorney at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Brandon is the Director of Community Engagement at The Deaconess Foundation.
First Date: We went to Dave & Buster’s. I had a frustrating day at work, so we played the “Rambo” video game all night long.
The Proposal: Brandon proposed on Dec. 25, 2012, at my home. He was living in his hometown of New Orleans and came to St. Louis to spend Christmas with my family. I typically do a large share of the cooking on Christmas Day, so Brandon suggested we wait until after all of the festivities were over to exchange our gifts. With such a long day, we didn’t exchange gifts until late in the evening. My sister knew he was going to propose and huddled at the top of the stairs during the entire event.
Our Unique Love Story: Brandon and I were in a long-distance relationship for almost three years. When we first began communicating, he was attending graduate school in New Orleans and often was at a coffee shop. I joked that our relationship was a scene out of “You’ve Got Mail.” On Christmas night, he gave me a big box, and as I began to open the box, I said, “This smells like coffee.” When I opened the box, I saw a coffee mug with coffee beans. He had hidden my ring in the coffee beans.
Ideal St. Louis date night: Holding hands while walking through the Saint Louis Zoo, or enjoying music at Jazz at the Bistro.
Our Song: “Joy” by Blackstreet. Quirkiest thing about us: We both love music, so it’s not unusual for us to break out in song or dance wherever we are.
Our relationship in three words: Entertaining, enduring and evolving.
The Big Day: Aug. 31, 2014, at Wash U’s Graham Chapel, followed by a reception at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel.
Libby Rogier, 25 & Justin Seward, 26
Occupations: I am a full-time nanny, and Justin is a facilities coordinator at Juggle.com.
First Sight: We reconnected at St. Louis Mardi Gras, and it was the first time we talked and actually hung out. We started dating shortly after, so I guess we are proof that love can happen anywhere.
First Date: Justin took me camping at Carlyle Lake. We had a great day fishing and hiking.
The Proposal: It was on our four-year anniversary (Sept. 25, 2013), in our home—I was completely shocked! Justin came home with a present for our anniversary—a snowboarding jacket. I tried the jacket on, and the ring was in the pocket! It was about 10pm, so I was in my pajamas and had my retainer in—which I had to take out to say yes!
Quirkiest thing about our relationship: We always sing and rap together. We get pretty serious about freestyle rapping on road trips and try to memorize at least one new song per trip.
Ideal St. Louis date night: Going snowboarding at Hidden Valley, then out to a Mexican dinner and margaritas.
Together we like to: We love to travel and spend time outside hiking, biking, boating and snowboarding. We both trained and completed a triathlon relay together last summer and we hope to do more this year.
Our relationship in three words: Goofy, exciting and fun.
Home Sweet Home: We live in Belleville, IL, and love it. Both of our jobs are here, and we enjoy being close to family and Downtown St. Louis.
Our Song: “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.
The Big Day: Sept. 27, 2014, at our family friend’s farm in Southern Illinois.
Photo by Abbie Takes Pictures