Kari and Cory

How We Met: Cory and I met in January 2012 during my freshman year of college. It was the first day of my anatomy and physiology class, and much like any freshman would be, I was pretty nervous. I arrived fairly early so the class was still gathered outside in the hallway; I kept to myself and found a spot to sit as I anxiously awaited for class to begin. Unbeknownst to me, I caught Cory’s eye long before the professor showed up. Once the instructor arrived, everyone began to file into the classroom and find a seat. I quickly took the first seat that was available and waited for the rest of the class to get settled in.

I like to think it was fate (or maybe Cory strategically planned it out) because he just so happened to find a seat across from me. We struck up casual small talk and found out that we were both in the Exercise Science program and were pursuing a doctorate in Physical Therapy. A perfect match! Turns out we became lab partners the first day.

I had no intentions of getting into a relationship at that time, but Cory was so polite and such a gentleman (not to mention super cute!) that I couldn’t help but have a little crush. After class, Cory asked me for my phone number so that we could study together. Being the studious student that I am, I took him up on the offer. I didn’t know at that time that Cory was maybe not quite as serious about his studies as I was and that the study sessions were more or less of a chance to spend some time together.

We remained “study buddies” for the rest of the semester. After several months of study sessions, talking regularly, and date nights, Cory stole my heart. We’ve been together ever since and will be completing our doctorates in Physical Therapy as husband and wife.

Fun fact: Over 3 ½ years later and Cory still remembers what I wore that very first day of class! I must have made quite the impression ;)

Image 1 of Kari and Cory

*The picture was taken after graduation in the EXACT spot where Cory and I met.

how they asked: As a graduation gift, Cory Image 2 of Kari and Corysurprised me with a planned trip to Chicago. He strategically scheduled our little getaway around our 3 year anniversary; I had a sneaky suspicion this trip was going to be significant, but I could have never prepared myself for how it was actually going to happen.

We took the train early in the morning on July 1st and checked our bags into the hotel before heading out for the day. We spent the entire afternoon exploring the Science and Industry Museum. It was nearing dinner time so Cory suggested that we head back to the hotel to find a place to eat.

Little did I know that he had an entirely different plan up his sleeve. When we arrived back at the hotel room, Cory handed me the key so that I could open the door.

(I don’t think Cory even knows now that this simple act in itself made me a little suspicious because it was so unlike him to purposefully go out of his way to hand me the key and make me open the door for myself.) Once I entered the room, I quickly realized the purpose of his actions.

There laying on our bed was a beautiful black dress, a sparkling necklace, Nine West pumps, and a matching clutch to top the outfit off. (Apparently while I was settling into our room earlier in the morning, Cory had arranged for the hotel staff to lay out my outfit while we were away at the museum.)

He told me we had dinner reservations at 8 for The Signature Room. I had never heard of the restaurant before but figured it must be upscale dining because of the outfit he had bought me. I asked Cory what he was going to wear since he was still dressed in khakis shorts and a t-shirt from the day out.

He told me he had packed a collared shirt and some slacks. I headed into the bathroom to freshen up and get ready for our dinner date. I was literally shaking from all the excitement that I had a difficult time applying my mascara. After about an hour of trying to doll myself up, I opened the bathroom door and to my surprise there Cory was all dressed up in a brand new suit! I knew Cory never owned a suit prior to our trip so it was an extra special surprise to see him decked out in a tailored gray suit.

The surprises had only just begun! I still had no idea what or where The Signature Room was, but I followed Cory’s lead. As we made our way down Magnificent Mile, Cory wanted to stop at the John Hancock Center to snap a few pictures. Blissfully unaware to anything that was going on, I totally fell for it. We took a few photos in front of the building and preceded to venture inside for a few more shots. Over in the corner of the building was a ‘reserved’ elevator. Cory made his way over where we were greeted by an elevator man who asked us if we had reservations.

Image 3 of Kari and Cory

This is when I finally caught on that The Signature Room was located IN the John Hancock building. However, it was not until the elevator doors shut when a recording welcomed us that I realized we were making our journey up to dine on the 95th floor! We stepped off the elevator to an incredible view. The restaurant had floor-to-ceiling windows around the entire perimeter.

Image 4 of Kari and CoryCory had strategically made reservations for a table by the window with an incredible view of Downtown Chicago skyscrapers immediately to our right and Lake Michigan to our left. It was still daylight when we arrived, but we were able to enjoy our amazing dinner as the sun set.

After dinner was over, Cory finally asked me to be his wife, 95 floors above the most breathtaking view of the city. It’s certainly a sight I will never forget.

Image 5 of Kari and Cory

He even recorded the whole proposal with a ring box that also served as a mini video camera. Unfortunately the restaurant was so dark that the video did not turn out, but the sound is great so I will always be able to listen to his promise and hear him ask me to marry him. To top the night off, there was still one final surprise.

Cory handed me an envelope that read “Future Mrs. Hough”. Enclosed was a fake ‘save the date’ Cory had created for our wedding reception. Unbeknownst to me, Cory had previously visited my dream venue with my mother, and the two of them had booked the ballroom for our wedding all so that Cory could surprise me at his proposal. I really have no idea how I landed such a romantic guy, but I can’t wait to spend the rest of forever with him. I am truly one lucky girl.