Marisa and Matthew

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How We Met

Marisa and I met at Mizzou, our alma mater. She’s a few years younger than me, so we’ve been in a long distance relationship for the duration of our relationship. We’ve always been able to see each other at least once a week, but that’s never really enough.

how they asked

I rented a gazebo on the historic downtown cobblestone Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri. She had mentioned before that she loved the area and they always took their “nice” high school pictures there before events. It was just beautiful. I enlisted the help of her best friend (and maid of honor) along with her two cousins (both bridesmaids) and planned the whole thing out. Over the course of a month, we planned, and planned, and planned some more. Marisa had always said she wanted her family and friends there when she got engaged and I made it happen! My mom and I scouted out the area a few weeks prior and figured out where everyone could hide without being seen and how they could walk out to see everyone happen.

Taylor (her best friend) suggested that we print 300 pictures of the two of us and hang them all around the gazebo with a ton of lights. After spending hours going through the Photos app on my Mac, I had the pictures and she did the rest. Unfortunately, Taylor was supposed to be on a business trip the day I had picked, but literally bypassed flying home and instead rented a car to drive four hours to be there for the proposal.

Between her side and mine, about 30 people came to watch and everyone was so excited. Some of those 30 even traveled from out of town just to be there for the engagement. I had a nervous half hour with everyone while waiting for Marisa to arrive. Her mom convinced her that they were going out to celebrate her mom’s first day of teaching for the year and Marisa thought I had to work. I even spoofed my location on Find My Friends so she couldn’t see I wasn’t at work. I wasn’t going to take any chances.

Finally, she arrived and I met her on the side walk. She was SHOCKED to see me and had no idea what I was doing there. I asked her to take a walk with me and she was very confused. She finally figured it out when she said “there’s a woman taking pictures of us!” She saw all of the hanging pictures and looked at me and said, “I’m going to lose if if those are pictures of us hanging on the gazebo.” I smiled and just said, “they are.”

We walked up into the gazebo and took a minute to take it all in as she looked at the pictures. Finally we composed ourselves and it was time. I had rehearsed what I wanted to say hundreds of times, but I lost it all in the moment. I spoke from my heart and asked her to make me the happiest man alive and marrying me, and of course she said “YES!”

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As we hugged and kissed, everyone that had walked out to see it started cheering. We turned around and Marisa was shocked to see how many people were there. It meant so much to her that everyone came and that I made it happen.

We greeted everyone and took a bunch of pictures with the photographer before heading to a nearby winery to celebrate with everyone. Our amazing photographer, Ashley (who we’ve already hired for our wedding) did such an incredible job capturing every moment of the night. I didn’t know her beforehand and had found her on Facebook and it was easily one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. Her work was absolutely incredible.

All in all, it was unforgettable night for us and everyone involved. We even overheard someone talking about “the amazing proposal on Main Street” the next day. It was a night that could not have gone any better and one we will always smile thinking about.

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Special Thanks

Taylor Knipp
 | Planning
Rachel Pape
 | Planning
Amy Pape
 | Planning