Chuck and I met 9 years ago at work. I remember what kind of phone I had when he scheduled our first date in it.Part of that is because we worked in the cell phone industry, the other part is due to him already standing out to me. I also remember thinking he was out of his mind. We were friends, and next thing I knew this guy wanted to go on a date.
He was persistent and I showed up. To freaking Indiana Jones. I'm not a girl who watches Indiana Jones. But...I never had so much fun and obviously part of it was the fact that I whooped his butt in arcade basketball afterwards. I still do, to this day...no matter what he says.
The next few dates after that included a variety of things we still enjoy to this day- the casino, cookouts, more movies, and tons of laughing. Chuck was unlike any other guy I ever dated. Complete opposite, and I'm convinced that's why it worked.
In addition to my full time job, I also worked part time at a bar downtown. I would leave work and find his business cards with silly messages written on them on my car. He never stopped making me laugh, and it's a huge reason of why people are drawn to Chuck. He's hilarious.
He waited until we got more serious until I was introduced to Ethan and I respected that. Ethan and I became instant buddies. I remember sitting outside playing cars with him and his sweet little voice asking if I would see him again the next day. Some of our dates turned in to ones at Chuck E. Cheese and mini golf, with Ethan coming along and I didn't mind. I loved hanging out with them and I never really processed what dating a man with a child would be like. It just sort of happened.
Out of the blue one day Chuck asked me if I would like to go look at rings. "Wedding rings?" I replied. I immediately sent a text to his Mom and Sister...this was happening! We looked, and I found some things I liked but one I loved...it was different. Just like us and our little family. I started to guess when the proposal would happen. Sorry guys out there, no offense at all, but Chuck is not a fan of holiday or birthday proposals or anything around a big occasion. So then I thought he would do it to fake me out...nothing. Nothing for a while.
It was a Friday night and I took Ethan to a movie... afterwards could not get a hold of Chuck. It was weird, he's always getting back to me right away. The next day we had planned to take my grandparents to the premiere of Draft Day because they are huge Cleveland Browns fans. While we were in the movie I found out that I had won a contest for a suite at the Cleveland Cavaliers game that night. SO exciting for a Saturday night when we had no plans! Right? We proceeded to take my grandparents to lunch and then go home to change and relax before the game. Chuck sat down next to me and was being a little strange, but that's normal for him. ;) To this day, I don't remember what was said to me...but the next thing I know a beautiful ring was on my finger and we were officially engaged.
Turns out the night before he was at my grandparents house showing them the ring and asking my Grandfather's permission to ask to marry me. They were the only ones who knew what was about to happen. Ethan was the first person we told and when we talked to him he was like "Finally! Now let me see the ring!" When we called Chuck's mom she thought we were joking because she had just asked him when it was coming. It was such a surreal day, and Chuck planned to propose on a special day, April 12th. 412- which is the area code in Pittsburgh, our favorite city.
We got to go celebrate at the Cleveland Cavaliers game, and the next day we were off to Columbus for a concert and got to share our exciting time with a group of friends too. It was a great weekend and I felt like I was on a high. I didn't think life could get better.
I was wrong, each day with Chuck is better than the last. I teased him for waiting so long to propose (we were together almost 7 years before he did) but I am so glad we went through all we did before being engaged. From hardships, career changes, deaths, to traveling across the country, celebrating successes and enjoying family moments there is no one else I would rather come home to each day.
I've said for years that I know my Mom sent Chuck to me. He came in to my life when I was having a tough time, and helped me more than I can ever repay him for. I would have never pictured staying with him or going through all we have after that first date. I didn't know what was to come, but I'm glad I didn't run. Chuck is the calm to my crazy, the balance I need and my #1 fan. I got the best out of our deal, because I have Ethan too. Our imperfect, fun, never a dull moment family completes me.
And that's our story.
Wedding Wednesday in week's past...in case you missed it:
Details & Vendors:
Photography: R. Frank Photography
Venue: The Retreat at Peek'n Peak
Cake & Cupcakes: Allie Cakes
Hair & Makeup: Panache Salon and Spa
The Dress: Bridal Elegance
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka (similar)
Bride's Clutch: Rent The Runway
Groom & Best Man Shoes: Nike Lockwood
Flowers: Afloral (handmade bouquets by the Bride)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way
Bridesmaid Earrings: Frou Frou & Frill
Butterflies: Shallowtail Farms