Elizabeth and Matthew

How We Met

The first time I met Matt we were watching the NFC Championship game (Bears v. Packers) at our friend Drew’s place. During a commercial break, I made a comment about how the commercial didn’t make sense (or something to that effect), and Matt said, “man, you’re sassy”. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but Matt calling me “sassy” made a lasting impression.

I didn’t talk to or see Matt again for about 5 months. It wasn’t until June, when I mentioned to Drew that I was tired of dating jerks and asked if he had any nice, single friends. As Drew thought about it for a minute, I blurted out, “What about that red-headed kid?” Drew said, “Zollner? Ya he is single.” We decided that the best time for Matt and I to meet again was going to be at Drew’s housewarming party later in the month.

I arrived at Drew’s party with my best friend and roommate, Amanda. Matt wasn’t there yet, so I grabbed a beer and talked to some friends, while nervously awaiting his arrival. About 30 minutes later, Matt showed up with some friends. While Matt was talking to someone in the kitchen, I made my way over there to grab another beer. Slightly eavesdropping on Matt’s conversation, I interjected with a comment and became part of the conversation. As our conversation continued, I managed to bring up Star Wars, and Matt was hooked.

While we were at the party, I asked Matt if he wanted to go see my brother’s band play the following weekend. He said, “Sure, sounds fun.” The week went by and we talked occasionally via text message about random things: I learned that he had a vegetable garden and he learned that I had no green thumb whatsoever. Friday rolled around and I asked Matt if he needed a ride to the show. He declined and said that he was going to meet me there because he had a few other friends that were interested in going. Instantly, I felt like I was being blown off. “Who is going to drive 30 minutes away to see some random band and hang out with a chick he barely knows?” I asked Amanda. After a few minutes of trying to figure out if he was actually going to show or not, I decided not to worry about it. If he showed, he showed. If not, he was a jerk. My heart stopped when I saw him walk into the bar.

I knew I was in love with Matt…long before either of us said it. It didn’t take long. Matt was everything I had been looking for. One night while cooking dinner together, I told Matt I was falling for him, but didn’t exactly hear the words I was hoping for. A month later at Lollapalooza, while the we were dancing and listening to Delta Spirit for the very first time, Matt whispered those three little words into my ear.

how they asked

It was a very windy, cold, and rainy November day. In fact, Soldier Field had stopped the Bears game and evacuated the stadium due to the severity of the weather. I had been feeling miserable all morning, but Matt was persistent about getting out of the apartment. I sensed something was up because earlier in the week he originally said he wanted to plan a day date for that Sunday, which was a rarity, and he seemed a bit on edge about things. Matt kept checking his phone, made a few comments about how the weather looked like it was going to improve, and said he really want to go out if I felt up to it. I slowly got ready, and by the time I was done, the Bears game had started back up, the rain let up, and the sky lightened up a bit.

We drove to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. The wind was blowing about 25 mph and it started to drizzle again. We went into the museum at first, but when Matt realized that we couldn’t get to the spot he was looking for through the museum, we went back outside and around the back of the museum to the North Pond. As soon as Matt started talking, I quickly I realized what was happening, and I completely lost focus on what he was saying! Then I heard the song that we would always belt out signing when we were being silly, Can’t Take my Eyes off You, on an acoustic guitar. Before I could say anything, Matt got down on one knee and popped the question.

I was speechless at first, stunned by the question and how beautiful the ring was, but I collected my thoughts and said, “Yes!”. We stood together for a few minutes, listening to the music. We then went back into the museum, walked around for a bit, and snapped a few selfies. Matt suggested we leave and go grab a bite to eat. He took me to the bar across the street from my apartment, where a table and bottle of champagne were waiting for us.

Special Thanks

Kristina Staal Photography
engagement photographer