Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories
JEN WHITING, 30 & LARRY DRURY, 31
Occupations: I am a wealth manager at Whiting Family Partnership LP, and Larry is a realtor for Coldwell Banker Premier Group.
First Date: Larry and I had dinner at Brio Tuscan Grille, then saw a movie at the Landmark Theater at Plaza Frontenac. It was Larry’s 29th birthday, and we were the only people in the theater that night. It made for a very special evening for us both! The Proposal: Larry took me to dinner for my 30th birthday. He said he would make the reservation and I didn’t need to worry about a thing. When we arrived at Brio Tuscan Grille, I knew he was recreating our first date. After sharing a wonderful meal and a bottle of Cabernet, we went to the Landmark to see “Midnight in Paris.” I was hopeful we would again be the only two in the theater, but we were joined by another couple. About 30 minutes into the movie, the screen went blank and all of the lights came on. My first thought was that this theater was ruining my birthday and my amazing date night, but seconds later, a question popped up on the screen: “Jennifer Whiting, will you marry me?” I was in complete shock as Larry turned to me on his knee and revealed the most beautiful ring I had ever seen! I was so surprised that I must have asked, “Are you serious?” five times before I said yes! We hung out in the theater for a little while longer enjoying the moment. They didn’t turn the movie back on, so the other couple wished us the best and left.
First Sight: We first met at Mosaic on Washington Avenue about a year before we started dating. I just remember thinking he was a cute, tall drink of water!
Our Song: “You & Me” by Penny & The Quarters and “Forever My Friend” by Ray LaMontagne.
Our relationship in three words: Fan, fricking, tastic! Perfect date night: An amazing dinner out and a show at The Pageant.
The Big Day: November 3, 2012, at Salem United Methodist Church in Ladue and Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.
KEONA HARDEN, 33 & JOHN PHILLIPS, 42
Occupations: I am a Senior Recruiter with Edward Jones, and John is a Youth Coordinator with Neighborhood Houses.
The Proposal: John popped the question on October 13, 2011, following dinner. It was totally unexpected, in the middle of the week and on the same day we negotiated the purchase of our new home. Talk about a day full of emotions!
First Sight: We were at an event at 609 Restaurant & Lounge with mutual acquaintances. We kept catching glimpses of each other throughout the night, until John finally broke the ice. For our first date, we met up for martinis at The Pepper Lounge.
Together we like to: We have a great time just enjoying each other’s company—whether we’re seeing a live band, catching a comedy show or ordering take-out and having a movie night at home.
Believe it or not: Although we are a lot alike, our tastes in TV shows are completely opposite. John can watch sports and world news programs for hours on end, while I am a comedy and reality TV junkie!
Perfect date night: Attending a concert or comedy show followed by drinks at one of our favorite spots, then capping the night off with breakfast at South City Diner. Our relationship in three words: Fun, loving, uncomplicated.
Our Song: “Nothing Can Come Between Us” by Sade.
The Big Day: March 2013, in St. Louis.
Jen Whiting, 30 & Larry Drury, 31
Keona Harden & John Phillips
Jen Whiting, Larry Drury
Photo credit: Whiting & Drury photo by Zettl Photography; Harden & Phillips photo courtesy of the couple