Can you remember the exact moment when you fell in love? I can. I feel very fortunate for this because thinking about it always brings a smile to my face.

Evan and I had been spending time together amongst friends for a few weeks when it happened. After an afternoon of tossing around a Frisbee in the park, we all decided to reconvene at my place for a barbecue. What was on the menu? Steak, creamy parmesan risotto and sautéed asparagus with sliced portobello mushrooms. Sounds good, yes?

While our friend Jeremy was outside manning the grill, Evan and I stood in my tiny kitchen preparing the side dishes. I was in charge of the risotto; Evan was preparing the vegetables. While our food was cooking, we stood at my stove attentively stirring our respective dishes, chatting, and smiling. And that’s when it happened. I felt something happy and hopeful within me. I thought, “This could really be something”. And it was.

Fast forward a few years: One day, Evan asked if we could have a date night on Friday at our favorite Italian restaurant, Caro Mio. Being September, the weather was still warm, though the forecast called for rain. We ate our meals and shared a nice bottle of red wine. After dinner, the sky was clear and the air was warm. When we arrived home, Evan suggested that we take a walk.

We headed to Wells Park in Lincoln Square. The annual neighborhood Octoberfest was in full swing nearby. Polka music filled the air, along with voices and laughter of the hundreds of festival-goers. Once we arrived at the park, Evan led us to the large gazebo in the center. He talked about our relationship and gently moved the conversation into talking about the future. You know what happened next, right? He asked me to marry him and presented me with the most beautiful, handmade engagement ring I have ever seen. I said yes.

My ring, made by our friend, Jeremy.

Planning our wedding was no easy feat, but we both agree that the big day was a success. Our closest friends and family joined us for an outdoor ceremony performed by my brother-in-law, Dave, on the Dank Haus terrace, overlooking the city skyline. Afterwards, we headed inside for our reception. Evan and I created a playlist for dinner of our favorite songs. We served Chicago-style pizza and salad for dinner from Giordano’s. The Dank Haus had a BYOB policy which allowed us to supply wine and a couple of beer kegs from two local breweries: Gossamer by Half-Acre, located here in Chicago and All Day IPA by Founders from Grand Rapids, MI. We opted for cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake, which were baked by my favorite local bakery, Dinkel’s. It was a pretty laid-back party. What made it even better? The band! We hired an amazing James Brown cover band, Get Up With The Get Downs. Once they started playing, the dance floor was never empty.

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We had some wedding pictures taken at the same gazebo where Evan popped the question.

Dinkel's cupcakes!

Dinkel’s cupcakes!

It’s hard to believe that our wedding was already one year ago. I feel very fortunate that I get to share my life with such an amazing person. Evan is my best friend and my partner in all that I do. (He is also my blog editor and while I am certain he is touched by this post, he is probably noting all of my grammatical errors, lol). I couldn’t ask for a more loving and supportive husband.

Happy Anniversary, Evan! I look forward to the many more to come. xoxo

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