Courtney and Kevin

How We Met

Kevin and I met very unexpectedly during my freshman year of college. A friend of mine, named Teegan, was at the time attending Winona State in Winona, MN and another friend, named Lauren, and I decided to road trip down from the cities to visit her for the weekend. Kevin attended Saint Mary’s University, which is located near Winona State campus. Even though he had already graduated, he had many friends still in school so he decided to visit them that same weekend.

Once the weekend was drawing closer, Lauren and I contemplated driving down to Winona last minute due to weather and transportation conflicts, but decided we HAD to go for a ‘girls weekend’ since this was one of the first times all three of us were single at the same time! So we ended up packing our bags after our Friday classes and set out for a fun weekend in Winona. Turns out, Kevin was also contemplating driving down to Winona as well, but thought ‘might as well’ since he hadn’t seen his college friends in a while. The first night in Winona, my friends and I ended up finding ourselves in front of a bar, which we casually walked into to chat with some friends. Kevin and his friend, in the spur of the moment, walked into the bar not even a minute before us. Shortly after we began mingling (like no joke 5 minutes), Teegan had randomly grabbed a guy and dragged him all the way across the bar to introduce him to Lauren and me.

Lo and behold, it was Kevin. Roughly 30 seconds into the conversation, which I couldn’t even tell you what exactly it was about) he looked at me and bluntly asked for my number. He stated, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but could I get your number?” I remember thinking, “You’re a random guy who I’ve said maybe 10 words to…” but something told me to go for it! After putting my number in his phone, which I just typed “Courtney” and my number, we left to continue on with our night and lost Kevin in the crowd. About two hours later I received a text message from him saying, “Hey! It’s Kevin.” I responded with “Hey!” and that was the entire conversation for the night. Three days later, my friend and I arrive back in the cities and I start to do some homework when I received a text message again, from Kevin saying, “Hey!” In all honesty, I remember thinking, “should I even respond, I don’t even know who he is”– but we ended up texting throughout the night and into the next day, where we found out that he actually lived up in the cities as well and is only a 5 minute drive away from campus. Four days later we went on our first date and it was history ever since!

how they asked

So, my friend, Saige, has a photography business and has taken pictures of me several times. She reached out to me around March and told me about this amazing opportunity she had to work under “Explore Minnesota,” and that their social media representative wanted her to showcase Minneapolis/St. Paul, specifically. She said that since I was graduating in a couple months, she wanted to do something special and have my friend, Nicole, and me in the pictures for this shoot. I thought it sounded like a fun time and loved the idea of getting pictures with a good friend, so I said, of course! She even sent me emails that she was receiving from this ‘Explore MN’ representative and asked me about where we should take pictures and what type of outfits we should wear during the shoot– I loved feeling involved and apart of her exciting opportunity! LITTLE DID I KNOW IT WAS ALL A TRICK.

Behind the scenes, Kevin and my two close friends, Saige and Nicole, were meeting frequently over the past several months to plot and properly execute the best proposal I could have ever dreamt of. They “courtney-proofed” the entire ordeal. Kevin knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t have ever become suspicious of Saige and her photoshoot, which gave him 100% guarantee that I was going to be dressed up nicely because I was taking pictures (for what I thought to be a photoshoot with my friends) but instead turned into my OWN proposal! As the date started to approach, Saige, Nicole and I went shopping for cute outfits for the shoot and they ever so sneakily tricked me into getting an outfit because the shoot “was very important.” Looking back now, how did I not catch on?! They both knew while we were shopping that I was not looking for just any old outfit, but looking for the outfit I was going to be proposed in! Blindly, I just went with the flow and said, “You’re right! I should definitely buy a new outfit for this fun shoot!”

At this point, I still had absolutely no hunch whatsoever that Kevin was planning to propose. Him and I would sometimes casually discuss the idea, but never any specifics! He’d always say jokingly, “Maybe someday!” May 26th finally had come, and I can still remember waking up thinking that it was a normal, average-joe day, and that I was going to get ready to go see Saige and Nicole to take pictures. Kevin was at work (so I thought) and was communicating like normal. I was packing as well for his cabin, because once he was done with work we were heading to his cabin for Memorial Day Weekend. Shortly before I headed for the cities to meet Nicole at her apartment before the photoshoot, my dad came up to my car and said, “Let’s have a BBQ tonight! What do you want?” I responded like normal and said as I was leaving, “I’ll be back around 7!” Little did I know, my parents were in on Kevin’s entire surprise proposal for the past month. Nice work, Mom and Dad. Finally, Saige, Nicole, and I are taking photos around St. Anthony Main and other Minneapolis locations, and then we set out for St. Paul, where we were going to take a few more pictures. We arrived at Como Conservatory and Saige quickly told to me that I should walk down these pretty stairs and she’ll take footage of me doing so.

As aloof as I was, I didn’t think anything of it and proceeded to the stairs to start walking down when all of a sudden I notice some gorgeous red rose petals. Without looking up, I thought to myself, “Aw, a couple must have just had their engagement pictures taken here” — immediately after that thought I looked up and just saw Kevin standing there smiling ear to ear holding something in his hand. I looked at him with a perplexed face, looked back down at the roses, and then back up at him and instantly started to tear up and said, “Kevin?!” I *carefully* walked down the cobblestone stairs and before I knew it he was placing the most gorgeous ring on my finger and then he said he had another surprise for me– I heard cheers behind the bushes that surrounded us and looked to see our very best friends jumping and yelling for us (which of course, made me cry even more).

The entire plan was so perfect and SO ‘Courtney-proof’ (because I usually catch onto things quickly) that I couldn’t even speak. I was just. so. shocked. Kevin then told me that both of our parents were waiting at a restaurant for us so we could all have dinner together (thanks Dad for lying about the BBQ)– and then told me we weren’t actually going to his cabin but we were going to Washington D.C. to celebrate the engagement and Memorial Day Weekend! It was all too perfect. You always think about the way you’d be proposed to and this surpassed anything I could have imagined. & to top it off, Saige created an amazing video that captured this entire moment, which we will cherish forever.

Courtney and Kevin's Engagement in Como Conservatory, St. Paul, MN

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Como Conservatory, St. Paul, MN


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Special Thanks

Saige Fehresti
Blue Nile