Lauren and John

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Saint Petersburg, Florida

How We Met

On March 7, 2014, John and I met (as cliched as it sounds) at a bar. We were both out on a Friday night with our best friends, celebrating the end of a long week. I remember walking into the bar and seeing John across the room and thinking, “Wow, he’s really cute, I want to talk to him!” In hindsight, that was definitely my love at first sight moment. However, I didn’t have the courage to go approach him, so my friend Liza and I sat down at the bar and ordered some beers, chatting away about our tough week (we’re both teachers). Next thing I know, John is right next to me to order a drink, so I think, “This is my chance!” I struck up a conversation with this cute stranger and we hit it off right away, talking for several hours. By the end of the night, he hadn’t asked me for my number. Not wanting to leave without being able to talk to him again, I offered him my number and he happily saved it.

Where to Propose in Saint Petersburg, Florida

The next day he texted me and we met up at a local place called The Ale and the Witch. There was a band playing, but I don’t remember much of that. All I remember is being totally smitten with this bearded guy I had met the day before. At the end of the night, he walked me to my car and kissed me, then asked me out on a proper date, which I happily agreed to. The three days I waited for that date felt like forever! We finally met up again on Tuesday night for our dinner date. We were out for hours, talking about anything and everything. I knew once he took me for lobster truffle mac and cheese for “dessert” that it was meant to be!

Within the next few weeks, I met his kids, Emma and Ryan and fell even more in love with the whole family. As a 23-year-old, I never expected to become a step-mom of two kids, but sometimes life doesn’t take you where you expect. Over the next four years, I fell more in love with all three of the Cattells, wondering when I would get the chance to be an official part of the family.

Lauren and John's Engagement in Saint Petersburg, Florida

how they asked

On March 20, 2018, our fourth anniversary, John arranged for his parents to pick up Emma and Ryan from school so we could go out for dinner. We went out for dinner to the same building (different restaurant) John took me on our first dinner date. We ate ramen and enjoyed some cocktails, celebrating all the memories from the last four years. Meanwhile, John was trying his best not to have me notice the ring box in his pocket!

After dinner, we walked down towards the water. I kept on asking him to stop and ask someone to take a picture of us, but he kept on saying no, that we would, we just needed to walk a little bit farther. Finally, we got to a pergola down by the water covered by bougainvillea trees. Every spring, the trees bloom with beautiful pink flowers. Once we got there, he stopped underneath the blooms and faced me. He told me how much I meant to him, how the past four years seemed to fly by, and how he wanted to spend all the rest of his years with me by his side. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so excited! I leaned down and kissed him, apparently forgetting to ACTUALLY say yes – oops!

Afterward, my best friend Liza (the one I was with when I met John!) popped out from behind a tree and ran over to us. She may have cried as much as I did! We made our way back to the car and rode over to my future in-laws’ house to share the rest of the evening his parents and the kids. All night, all I could think of was how I am so lucky to be not only marrying my soulmate, but also marrying into a family with so much love to give.

Special Thanks

Michael Zawadzki
 | Photographer