Amanda and Grant

Image 1 of Amanda and Grant

How We Met

Grant and I met at a bar in Chicago on a warm July evening. I lived in Indianapolis at the time and was visiting friends in the city for the weekend. On the night we met, I had plans to meet my girlfriends for an end of the week, happy hour drink. After bar hopping around for a bit, my friends and I ended up at a bar called Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap. Stanley’s is a small dive bar, with a lively environment, nestled right in the heart of Lincoln Park.

As the bar was darker when arrived, we snatched what table we could find and ordered a drink. Just chatting and having a good time, my friends and I didn’t really notice much (or anyone) around us. Only a short time after settling in, a guy approached our group and then told me that “the dance floor gets pretty crazy around 11.” I brushed it off, not thinking much of it at first. I mean, I lived in Indianapolis and who is this guy anyways, right? My friends and I continued having fun, but the same guy approached me again soon after. This time, I entertained the idea and followed him to the bar as he walked in that direction. We chatted for a while, had a drink together and even ended up dancing around on that “crazy dance floor”. When the night was over, we were both going our separate ways and ended up exchanging information. Afterwards, we kept in touch and casually went on a couple more dates whenever I was in Chicago. Within a couple months after that initial day we met, I ended up moving to Chicago for a job opportunity. Grant and I continued to date and the rest is history.

how they asked

It was August 31st and Grant and I were in the middle of a 9 day European adventure. Our trip began in London where we visited his sister and her family for a couple nights, saw the necessary sights and ate a lot of great food. We took the Eurostar from London to Paris where we spent a couple days exploring just the two of us. This was the one stop of our vacation where it was just Grant and me, which automatically made it just a little more special. In Paris, we had a fairly jam packed schedule and list of things to do, ranging from a bike tour around Paris to an amazing food tour where we learned more about the history and culture of the amazing city.

It was day two of our time in Paris, and Grant had taken it upon himself to plan our last night and a restaurant for dinner. I, of course, obliged! The only details I was given is the time I needed to be ready to leave, and not to be late (which is a fairly critical piece as Amanda time is a real thing). We left our Airbnb with plenty of time to make a 7:30 dinner reservation and see some city views along the walk. We were about half way to dinner, or so I would have thought, when we began crossing the Seine on the absolutely beautiful Pont de Bir-Hakeim Bridge. It is a long, two story bridge with picturesque views in every direction. It was filled with families, couples, friends, and photographers so I had no suspicions of what was going on as we walked across the bridge. We were holding hands and enjoying our stroll to dinner when Grant started to slow down and directed me to look back towards the amazing views we were walking away from. The next moment we were face to face again and he asked me “do you know how much I love you”? At that moment, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him.

Image 2 of Amanda and Grant

There is no doubt in my mind that the answer would have ever been anything but YES!

Image 3 of Amanda and Grant

Within a couple minutes of that surreal moment and realizing what had just happened, Grant proceeds to have me look left, and introduced me to Ian. My immediate thought, “Who is Ian?” I was so wrapped up in the moment and emotion that I hadn’t even realized someone was taking pictures only a short distance away. Grant set up a photographer to capture the moment and to take pictures of us around the city afterwards. We did end up making it to our celebratory dinner afterwards at a quaint little French restaurant. Grant’s plans to propose in the City of Love went seamlessly, and I couldn’t have been more surprised!

Image 4 of Amanda and Grant

There aren’t words to describe my feelings in that moment, other than feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. I’m overly excited about the next chapter of our lives, and to begin it with the best man I know!

Special Thanks

Ian Holmes
 | Photographer