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Snuggled up by the fire- Calgary Engagement

Sarah & Steve's story of how they met has to be one of my favorite of all time. I remember during our consolation when Sarah and Steve were telling me this story and I was like coolest way to meet someone ever! We shot their engagement in Griffith woods park at the south end of Calgary. I can not wait to capture their wedding this year.

It was a random Saturday in May. Sarah was sitting at home with nothing to do, so she called up a few friends and wanted to go for drinks. So, she met up with her two friends at a local bar. The weather was nice enough to sit outside around the firepit table. After a while, a second group joined the patio party, but they sadly didn’t have the fire. On her way to the washroom, Sarah noticed this group. This is when it all started.

Sarah came back only to find four strangers sitting with her friends. This was before COVID-19, so it was still OK to sit and talk with strangers without asking the awkward, Are you vaccinated, questions. Once she got back to the table, she was greeted with "Hi, I'm Steve. I saw your fire and was jealous, so here we are". Those words are what led us here today.

Sarah and her friends welcomed this group. Turns out, Steve was on a date with one of them, and she decided to bring along two of her friends. We all laughed about it, talked about their first date, how they met and so on. This group of strangers had a fair amount to drink, so it was funny listening to them explain their stories and how they all know each other.

At one point, Sarah thought this strange man was hilarious and texted her friend who she was sitting next to "I like him, he's funny, I want to date him" - knowing that his current date wasn't going too well.

As the night goes on, Steve's date and her friends left the bar. Steve stuck around and the smaller group kept visiting and laughing. When the date left, they talked about their shared online dating horror stories. This led to critiquing and editing each other’s dating profiles with the help from Sarah's friends. Towards the end of the night, Steve confidentially asked Sarah and her two friends for their phone numbers so they could all hang out again. Sarah was disheartened when this happened as she thought this man was asking only to get her friends number. Clearly Sarah was wrong.

We met on Saturday May 12, 2018 but our actual first date was the 15th

Favorite place to go on a date: There was this cute, family-owned pub in Braeside called Bobby’s Place. This was where we had our official first date and pre-COVID have been back there regularly. It has since moved to Legacy to an even bigger, better location. We highly recommend.

About Steve- There is so much to love about Steve, it’s hard to write it all down. He is very kind, caring, passionate, thoughtful, and sympathetic. I love how much of a hands-on parent he is, and how the two boys are his world. I love that he has welcomed me into their lives, and in return I’ve welcomed them into mine. I love that every morning he still texts me good morning, even if I am just downstairs drinking my coffee. I love the little kisses on my forehead or shoulders, they make me feel so special. He validates my feelings, views and opinions, and isn’t afraid to hold me accountable and have those hard conversations. He does the dishes when I make a mess in the kitchen. When I am having a hard day he knows what to say and gives the best hugs. I really am lucky to have such an amazing partner, and I can’t wait to call him my husband.

About Sarah- I love that she is always so thoughtful and thinking about how to help others, how she has accepted and taken on the boys as her own and her obvious love for them. She is a very proactive thinker and therefore always thinking about what makes sense to do next. We have a similar enough mindset that we work very well as a team but differently enough that she complements my approach. She helps me see logic that I sometimes won’t on my own. She is the ying to my yang, as the cliché goes. On the other hand, I love when she is zany and our little in-jokes. Like starfishing across the bed, for example. I also adore her toes, her shoulders, anywhere I can lightly kiss basically. She makes me excited for the days to come.

Overall, we complement each other’s personalities in every way. We have a great chemistry and work together well. We pick up where the other leaves off naturally and without thought. We never stop laughing at each other, even when the other person doesn’t initially think it’s funny. We support each other, listen to each other and encourage each other to be the best version of ourselves we can be.

Sarah’s birthday was coming up and we had the boys for the weekend. As such, we had some small presents to give to her, mainly from the two kids. At this point in our relationship, it’s been a few years so there was some anticipation as to when we were going to get engaged. Sarah was hoping if her birthday this year would be the time, and it turns out it would be. Steve intentionally downplayed his plans and told her that the night with the boys was the extent of his plans for her. Sarah was disappointed when nothing happened, but Steve was working on getting the best surprise reaction.

On her actual birthday, after work Sarah went and ran errands, while Steve rushed home to prepare for his surprise. When Sarah’s returned home and finished putting groceries away, she went downstairs to see if Steve was going to come eat dinner. He told her to sit down, that he had to tell her something. Then all of a sudden, he had his guitar and proceeded to sing a love song he wrong specifically for her. Afterwards, her pulled out a small box, got on one knee and popped the question.

What advice can we give to couples planning their wedding? Stay organized with a solid plan, find your big ticket vendors first in order of bookings fill up fastest. Ex. Start with venue, then photographer, then caterer etc. A good tool to have is a wedding planning binder to ensure nothing is missed and to keep everything organized and on track. This also provided a shared location for all information for both partners to refer to, eliminating misses and gaps.

Ask for help, input and opinions but be true to yourself and don’t let others’ views dictate your wedding.

Many hands make light work, so pick a bridal party that while close to your heart will also contribute to the planning and can be delegated to.

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