Cat and Stephen

Image 1 of Cat and Stephen

How We Met

Hi all, Cat here. I’m thrilled to share the story of how Stephen swept me off my feet. Getting to marry my best friend is something I’ve always dreamed about, and now it’s happening. We’re excited, thrilled, giddy, and every other synonym in the book.

It all started in the fall of 2012 when we both moved to New Orleans. Unbeknownst to us, we moved to Louisiana the same week: he for the Marine Corps, and I for Americorps. Our first week there was when Hurricane Isaac hit, so Stephen immediately drove out of the city to Texas to be safe in his RV, and I (still apartment-less) stayed on the floor of my friend Tracy’s house to weather out the storm.

Image 2 of Cat and Stephen

Once the storm was over, and we were both being acquainted with New Orleans, Tracy and her Marine Corps boyfriend, Ben, decided to throw a party to introduce some Marines to some girls. Their plan worked, as one particular Marine caught the attention of this girl.

Ben’s grand plan was having coed beer pong teams, and pairing up one girl with a Marine. Having none of that, my friend Charlotte and I challenged Stephen and a fellow Marine to a game. After a lot of taunting (on their end), we won by a landslide. Despite the defeat, Stephen and I still hit it off, and spent the rest of the night getting to know each other.

Image 3 of Cat and Stephen

The following week, he asked me on our first date. The restaurant that he planned on taking me to (Ben’s recommendation) ceased to exist, so we ate at an impromptu Thai place and played pool at a local bar. There was chemistry from the start, and if you ask any of my friends/family members, they can tell you I was immediately smitten.

Shortly thereafter, he asked me to be his date to the Marine Corps ball, and then asked me to be his girlfriend on the river at Jax Brewery in New Orleans. The ball was magical, and still is one of the best nights we’ve ever had together. I know that night really solidified that we were great together.

We moved in quickly, as my roommate and I in New Orleans didn’t get along well. So, after 4 short months of dating, we were living together (and with his daughter, and my soon to be step-daughter, Aurora). It was a bit of a transition for both of us, but it ended up being a great move for our relationship.

In New Orleans we explored the swamps, frolicked around the French Quarter, collected more beads than anyone should ever have in a lifetime, ate more crawfish than we can recall, and built a solid foundation for a beautiful relationship.

Image 4 of Cat and Stephen

And after 2 years of living in the Crescent City, Stephen’s time in the Marine Corps ended. After job hunting around the US, he decided that being back in Colorado with his family is really where he wanted to be. Without question, I knew I was going with him. I knew that although I loved my job in NoLa, I could always find another job, but I could never find another Stephen.

So just like that, we drove the RV from Louisiana to Colorado and started our new life alongside the Rockies.

This past year and a half in Colorado has been filled with picturesque views, invaluable family time, adding his other two children to our house’s roster, lots and lots of snow, and falling even more in love than we had in Louisiana.

After 3.5 years together, on the most beautiful day, Stephen asked me to marry him while on a private horse-drawn carriage ride through the mountains in Breckenridge, surrounded by snow-covered trees. As an added bonus, my sister and her husband were in town to celebrate with us. I couldn’t have asked for a more magical, well-thought out proposal, and I can’t believe the guy who planned the most perfect day is the man I get to marry.

And here we are. In the past few years we’ve been through a lot together, and both of us couldn’t have persevered so well without each other. Now, we have forever to look forward to. Here’s to endless adventures, smiles, memories, and love.

how they asked

After an exciting and incredible 2 years together in New Orleans, we picked up and moved to Colorado. Now, fast forward to the present, 3.5 years after we started dating, my love proposed to me on a private horse-drawn carriage ride through the Breckenridge mountains.

Image 5 of Cat and Stephen

My sister and her husband live in New Jersey, and they were in town visiting us in Colorado for the weekend. My dad, his wife, her children, my sister and her husband, and Stephen and I rented a cabin in Frisco for the trip. On the day we drove up there, we had a heavy snowfall.

The weekend was spent with the boys skiing, my sister and I brewery hopping Breckenridge, and a lot of family time. On Sunday, we had all planned to go tubing, and Stephen drove. Right before we got to the tubing place, I saw a group of horses to the right. Being a horse lover, I got extremely excited. Stephen then said, “What if I told you we were going to go ride horses in 30 minutes?”

I freaked out. I was so happy. So, Stephen and I dropped off the crew, said our goodbyes, and headed to the horses about 30 minutes away.

Image 6 of Cat and Stephen

When we got there, I found out we were taking a private horse drawn carriage ride through the mountains.

With the snowfall the night before, the scenery was seriously magical. We both couldn’t believe how beautiful it was, and couldn’t stop looking in awe around us.

Midway through the ride, the carriage driver stopped so the horse could rest, and so we could get out and explore/take photos since I brought my camera.

Image 7 of Cat and Stephen

During our exploring, Stephen said, “So, best boyfriend ever huh?” And I said something along the lines of “absolutely.” And he said, “I don’t really like that, I’d rather be the best fiance.” And he pulled out the most perfect ring I’d ever seen.

Image 8 of Cat and Stephen

He then asked me to marry him. And after an extremely confident “Yes!” the carriage driver gave us a bottle of champagne she had been hiding, and we toasted to our future and happiness.

And if that wasn’t enough, the photographer from Keeping Composure Photography (Breckenridge, CO) popped out of the trees. She had been hiding there taking photos of us the whole time–which I’m sooooo happy Stephen organized, because now the best day of my life is well documented.

Image 9 of Cat and Stephen

The carriage ride back to the lodge was filled with a lot of cuddling, champagne sipping, “I love yous” and staring at my gorgeous ring.

The day was perfect, the man was/is perfect, the atmosphere was perfect. After the fairy tale ride, we returned to my family and I got to celebrate with my sister, which was so important to me. Stephen really did think about every detail.

Special Thanks