Two newly engaged St. Louis couples share their love stories.
Sonya Bhakta, 26 & Mayur Patel, 25 Katie Cernuto, 30 & Shane Duke, 30
Occupations: I am a case manager at BJC Behavioral Health, and Mayur is an architect with ASD in Atlanta.
The Proposal: We went on a two-week trip to Greece, and our last stop on the journey was Oia, Santorini. The sunset overlooking the northern cliff is a sight to see. We were sitting alone, away from the crowds, watching the beautiful sunset when he asked the magical question.
Believe it or not: After Mayur proposed, I was on the phone with my parents sharing the good news when a friendly stray dog came up and sat next to me. When we walked back into town, the dog followed behind until he lost us in the crowd. Later, Mayur and I were taking pictures in the middle of town when that same dog found us in the large crowd of tourists, and sat down next to me again. I was very tempted to take him home with us!
Our “Meet Cute”: The first time I saw Mayur, I was picking him up from the airport for a visit. It was like a movie—we walked toward each other, talking on the phone as we tried to find one another in the crowd. I spotted him first, and he gave me a hug so comforting and warm, I knew then and there that he was someone special.
Our Song: “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.
Together, we like to: We don’t get to spend a lot of time together, but generally we are goofing off, making each other laugh and always looking for fun and tasty places to eat.
Home Sweet Home: After the wedding, I am moving to Atlanta, GA, where Mayur is currently living.
The Big Day: September 23, 2012 at World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park and Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel.
Katie Cernuto, 30 & Shane Duke, 30
Occupations: I work in marketing and communications at Enterprise Holdings, Inc., and Shane works in the IT department at Cassidy Turley.
The Proposal: It happened on Leap Day 2012. We took a snowy group vacation with four other couples to Northwest Montana to ski, ride snow mobiles and go dog sledding.
First Impressions: We used to work together at Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters. I was in marketing, and he was in IT, so I used to think of him as the “IT nerd.” He tells me he used to call me the “cute new marketing chick.”
Perfect Date Night: Every year, we make time to grab a drink at Kilkenny’s in Clayton, where we had our first kiss, and toast to everything we’ve been through together. We also love Franco in Soulard. It was the first fancy restaurant we visited as a couple, and we like to think of it as our special place. We celebrate there for birthdays, anniversaries or just to grab some oysters and champagne after work. Together, we like to: Go to concerts at The Pageant, The Firebird and other amazing STL venues, or attend wine classes at The Wine Merchant. Most recently, we enjoy hanging out on our patio with our two dogs while smoking a cigar, sipping wine and watching a movie projected onto the side of our house.
The Big Day: Sept. 2, 2012 in Galveston, TX.
Recently Ringed: Bhakta & Patel
Recently Ringed: Cernuto & Duke
Photo credit: Bhakta & Patel photos by Heather Roth Fine Art Photography; Cernuto & Duke by Keith Lee Studios.