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 In Culture, Feature

Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.


Kate Hamlin, 25 & Brandon Alexander, 27

Occupations: I am a second grade teacher at a private school in Kansas City, and Brandon is in his fourth year of medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He is graduating the week before our wedding!

First Date: Our first official date was to see “Slumdog Millionaire.” He made it memorable by bringing me balloon animals that he had made, because we were planning on going to the circus later in the week.

The Proposal: I was flying back from a work trip in Chicago, and Brandon asked me for all of my flight information so he could pick me up. As soon as I landed, I turned my phone on to see a text: “Someone is there to pick you up, just look for the sign.” At baggage claim, there was a man waiting for me with roses and a sign, and he took me to a limo, where I found a note from Brandon saying that I was being taken somewhere special—along with wine and a CD filled with our special songs. Eventually, the limo pulled up at a hotel, where one of Brandon’s friends, Jess, met me and escorted me up to the top floor. When the elevator door opened, my friend Sara (now my maid of honor) was standing there, along with Jess’ wife with a camera. Around the corner was Brandon, all dressed up and standing in front of a wall of windows overlooking the Kansas City skyline. At that point, I lost it. After greeting me with a suave, “Hey, how’s it going,” he went on to say very wonderful things that are all blurry to me now; then he got down on one knee and popped the question!

Our relationship in three words: Playful, complimenting and easy.

Our Song: “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles and “Circle of Life” by Elton John are both songs that make us think of each other.

The Big Day: May 26, 2013, at Graham Memorial Chapel on the Washington University campus, with a reception

Heather Kuester, 25 & Jeff Grass, 28

Occupations: I am a program coordinator at Motivation Technologies, and Jeff is communications manager at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The Proposal: I have always wanted to do a carriage ride during the Christmas on the Hill celebration, and this year Jeff surprised me with reservations. Partway through the ride, the carriage turned down the street that we lived on—which was not part of the outlined route. When we pulled up in front of our house, my three best friends, his three best friends and my mom all came up and handed me a rose. Jeff gave the sweetest speech ever (which I only heard part of ), and then handed me a dozen roses and a ring. I found out later that he had even Skyped my dad, who was serving in Afghanistan at the time, to ask for his blessing.

First Sight: We met in night classes at Webster University. I thought he was cute, and every class he managed to sit closer and closer to me—which I didn’t mind a bit! Our relationship in three words: Passionate, adventurous and supportive.

Our Song: “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones and “That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke.

The Big Day: March 23, 2013, at the Old Cathedral Downtown, with a reception at Missouri History Museum.



Kate Hamlin, Brandon Alexander

Kate Hamlin & Brandon Alexander


Heather Kuester, Jeff Grass


Photo credit: Katie Day Photography; Brea Photography

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