Recently Ringed: Two Proposals, One Wedding

By Grace Bueckendorf
In Culture

It was college move-in day, and Melissa Bradford was starving. She moved her boxes into her room, met the girl that she was going to have to live with in a 12×12 room for the remainder of the year and said goodbye to her parents—all in the span of four hours. That’s when she remembered that there was a luncheon for incoming freshman. Like a moth to a flame, she headed toward the free food.

Abby Orscheln, also a freshman, saw Melissa from across the room. It was love at first sight. She had never actively flirted with anyone before, but something about Melissa drew her across the room. Nervously, Abby approached Melissa, trying to start a conversation. Melissa, focused solely on the sandwich in her hand, looked up, startled. All she managed to say was, “Blghghl hrgrl.” And the rest is history.

The now-engaged couple’s fun, quirky and love-filled story can be found below, as told by Melissa. But first, the fine print:

The couple/ Melissa Bradford and Abby Orscheln
Current age/ Both 23
Occupations/ Abby—Research Assistant at University of Missouri — St. Louis; Melissa—Journal Manager at Graphic World, Inc.
Wedding date/ December 17, 2016
Engagement date/ November 2014 (Melissa) and December 2014 (Abby)
Ceremony site/ The Conservatory in St. Charles
Reception venue/ St. Peters Cultural Arts Center
Length of relationship/ 4 and a half years

Orscheln and Bradford shamelessly take a selfie at a Cardinals game. Bradford says the couple looks forward to going to Shakespeare in the Park each summer.

Orscheln and Bradford shamelessly take a selfie at a Cardinals game. Bradford says the couple looks forward to going to Shakespeare in the Park each summer.

 

When and where did your fiancée pop the question?
I called dibs on proposing first. We drove out to the nearby state park, and we sat on a quilt by the lake and tied our dog to a tree. She knew I was going to propose, but as we were sitting there she couldn’t figure out where I was hiding the ring. We each had our own thermos of hot chocolate, except mine was secretly empty—I was hiding the ring box inside.

What was the most special or unique thing about the engagement?
We actually have two stories. Abby proposed to me a month after I proposed to her. A mutual friend/roommate tricked me into driving her around on seemingly endless errands. When we finally got home, I walked through the door and heard our song playing—“Fools Rush In” by Ingrid Michaelson. Abby was waiting for me with a home-cooked meal, flowers and a ring!

How do you like to spend time together?
On a normal night, we watch movies together, but when the weather is nice we like to play tennis. It brings out our competitive sides.

Bradford and Orscheln walk through the park, hand in hand. The couple met at a free luncheon at Truman State University during freshman week. (photo by Maddie Perel)

Bradford and Orscheln walk through the park, hand in hand. The couple met at a free luncheon at Truman State University during freshman week. (photo by Maddie Perel)

 

What is your ideal St. Louis date night?
One St. Louis date night we look forward to every year is going to Shakespeare in the Park. We pack some snacks and blankets. The atmosphere is so relaxing that we honestly start to fall asleep halfway through. It’s great.

What’s the quirkiest thing in your relationship or something people would be surprised to know?
Not sure if this is quirky … but before I leave for work every day, while Abby is still asleep, I write her a note on the dry-erase board on our fridge. Usually something quick while my coffee is brewing. Yesterday I drew a picture of us getting married on a killer whale jumping out of the ocean. That makes more sense if you know her #1 favorite animal is killer whales.

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