Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories
Ryan Kasper, 32 & Camilo Restrepo, 22
Occupation: I am a service manager for C&K Automotive, and Camilo is a violation specialist at CitiMortgage.
The Proposal: Camilo proposed on our first anniversary together. I was awakened at midnight with the question, “Will you marry me?” When I said yes, he asked me to look up, and there was a photo of him holding a sign saying, “Will you marry me?” Seconds later, he told me to look at my ring finger. He had switched my promise ring with a diamond engagement ring while I slept!
First Date: What was supposed to be just two friends hanging out quickly evolved into a fascinating night. We drove around for several hours refusing to stop somewhere just to avoid ending our conversation. Once our night ended, we knew we would see each other again.
Quirkiest Thing About Our Relationship: We have an extensive list of nicknames we give each other, but the ones we get the most trouble about is anything that begins with a “P”—Pookie, Pooksters, Papi, Pookie Bear, etc.
Ideal St. Louis Date Night: An elegant dinner and drinks somewhere we’ve never been before.
Together We Like To: As long as we are together, our time is well spent. We prefer to explore St. Louis and find new places to visit.
Our Unique Love: When we first met, we had very dissimilar viewpoints about life, religion and sexuality. I told Camilo that it was possible to be married, monogamous, live in the suburbs with a white picket fence, have a dog, kids, be a Christian and be openly gay all at the same time. He was skeptical at first, but now we are making this dream our reality. We fought tooth and nail to be the couple we are today, and with each challenge that arises, we only continue to grow stronger.
Our Song: “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding.
Our Relationship in Three Words: Committed, joyful and passionate.
The Big Day: Oct. 4, 2014, at Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles. Our legal nuptials will take place in Illinois.
Rachael Pace, 20 & Anthony Burchett, 23
Occupations: I am the CEO and founder of Water for Panama, and Anthony is a ministry assistant at Newsong Fellowship.
The Proposal: After I spent nearly a month on a trip in Ghana, Anthony proposed in the St. Louis Airport as soon as my plane landed. While I was setting up a water treatment center, Anthony drove to Chicago with his best friend during the polar vortex snowstorm to get my ring. Following my little sister’s suggestion, he had my soon-to-be initials monogrammed onto a sweater—to keep me warm in the frigid St. Louis winter after spending a month in the African sun! He gave this to me right before he got down on one knee.
First Date: It wasn’t until he showed up at my dorm with flowers that I realized it was a date. We ate at The Fountain on Locust and then went to the Cardinals game. We didn’t have tickets, so we watched from outside the fence and even got featured on the news because of it!
Our Unique Love: For our first Christmas together, Anthony gave me an adventure book, and all of our favorite memories and adventures are in it, starting from our first date. We both try to save little pieces of things we do together: movie tickets, pamphlets, wristbands— there are even dried flowers in it.
Our Relationship in Three Words: Laughter, faith and adventure.
The Big Day: Sept. 26, 2014, at Newsong Fellowship.
Photo by Carol Marion, Joel Marion Photography