Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.
Patrick Conners, 29 & Sarah Erker, 28
Occupations: Patrick is an investment specialist at Edward Jones. Sarah is research study coordinator at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis.
First Date: Patrick took me to Boogaloo in Maplewood for a fun dinner on the back patio. We laughed and talked late into the evening.
The Proposal: A little backstory—Patrick and I originally met at Molly’s in Soulard. We were back at Molly’s about a year later for the Mardi Gras festivities. In my over-served state, I stumbled on a loose brick in the patio. In order to prevent anyone else from tripping on the brick, it was my bright idea to remove said brick. I gave it to Patrick and told him it was our “love brick.” It was a token that we carried around with us the rest of Mardi Gras. Fast-forward two years: Patrick told me we were going to meet his sister for drinks at Molly’s. As we walked up to Molly’s, Patrick drew my attention to a flower bed where our love brick was placed, engraved with the message, “Will you marry me?” I turned back to Patrick and he was standing there with my gorgeous ring. It was a beautifully thoughtful and romantic proposal.
Ideal St. Louis date night: Our ideal date night would be taking a Vespa ride through Forest Park as the sun sets, then hitting up one of our favorite restaurants like Baileys’ Range for a burger and a shake.
Home Sweet Home: We will be residing in Maplewood, just a few blocks from our first date spot.
Our relationship in three words: Spontaneous, caring and fun.
Our Unique Love: Our relationship is special because we had many missed connections before we officially met. I come from a massive family—we’re talking 80 people at Thanksgiving huge—and ultimately that is how we met. Patrick actually grew up with my cousins and we can trace our first encounter back to grade school. We met again at a party in high school and again when we were both home from college. However, it wasn’t until years after college that we formally met and realized that we were a perfect match.
The Big Day: April 5, 2014, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church followed by a reception at The Starlight Room at Chase Park Plaza.
Daniella Corcuera, 24 & Reed Essick, 24
Occupations: Daniella is a JDMBA law and graduate business school student at the University of Pittsburgh. Reed is a Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
First Date: Reed cooked us a meal of Cornish game hens with bacon and pearl onions. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’m not a fan of Cornish game hens.) We watched a series of bad movies afterward and kept finding excuses to watch another, because neither of us wanted the night to end. I left and went home right before 6am.
The Proposal: Reed proposed at Soulard Farmer’s Market on May 25, 2013. During our time as undergraduates at Washington University, we had a tradition of going to the market every Saturday to get breakfast at the mini-donut stand. On a visit to St. Louis, we went to get breakfast. When we got the donuts, we found a quiet spot in the park next to the market, and Reed proposed there.
Our Unique Love: My family is Peruvian. Reed’s family is largely Midwestern. We’ve had to take the time to learn about each other’s backgrounds. I’ve introduced Reed to Peruvian food and dance, while he’s been very patient with me when I ask him silly questions about fishing and football.
The Big Day: Oct. 17, 2015, at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel Downtown.
Patrick Conners & Sarah Erker. Photo courtesy of Keith Lee Studios.