Hannah and Jack first met at Northwestern University, where they were both athletes. Jack was playing baseball and Hannah was playing volleyball and their two teams hung out a lot. They first met at a party at Jack’s teammates’ apartment.
The First Date
For our first official date, we went to dinner at a local Evanston favorite, Bar 17.
Jack is a year older and was the first to graduate, move back home to Kalamazoo, MI and soon after to Terre Haute, IN. That was when we committed to making long distance work and knew we were in it for the long haul. We spent almost every weekend making the four-hour drive to see each other (with Jack generously doing the lion’s share of the driving). It was difficult to be so far from each other for those couple of years, but really helped us perfect our communication and make the most of the time we spent together.
Since we’re a little food obsessed, we went food themed here: Jack likes to eat oreos like soup in milk with a spoon. And I tend to eat my food in shifts, finishing all of one type of food on the plate first, then moving on to the next.
In September of 2018, we were spending a weekend at my (Hannah’s) grandparents’ place, a giant piece of land in rural Illinois where they had a business boarding horses for 25 years. “The farm,” as we called it, is my favorite place in the world. Growing up, my siblings and I spent summers there riding horses, exploring in the woods, and enjoying the freedom of life on the farm.
On the Saturday of the proposal, Jack asked me to go for a walk down in the woods (which is pretty out of character for him—I should have been immediately suspicious). It was a nice, cool fall day and as we approached my favorite spot on the farm, a big hill overlooking the rest of the land, I started to wonder if this was it. While we admired the view, Jack came up behind me and wrapped me in a hug, gathering up his courage, and proceeded to get down on one knee. He made a beautiful little speech, pulled out my beautiful ring, and popped the most beautiful question. We both cried and laughed and hugged and kissed and somewhere in the midst of it all I said “yes!” When we got back up to the barn, my family was waiting with cheers and hugs. It was perfect.
There are quite a few songs that we have soft spots for. Our first dance was to Forever Girl by Jon Langston, and another all time favorite is Little Bitty Dreams by Will Hoge.
My dress is designed by Rebecca Schoneveld, purchased at Schone Bride in Brooklyn, NY. The suits are from The Black Tux and the bridesmaids dresses are from Brideside.
We just passed the 6 month mark in May. As everyone knows, 2020 has been a rough ride thus far and has brought us a lot of personal and global hardship. Already in our young marriage, we’ve had to rely on each other for strength and comfort in ways we never have before. We make each other better and are guided each day by the promises we made to each other on our wedding day.
You only get to be fiancés for a little while. You’ll likely hold the title of boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife for a lot longer than fiancé. That period is full of excitement and anticipation and planning. Embrace the giddy, giggly moments between getting engaged and getting married, and try not to stress too much. I heard this advice given to another couple at a wedding we attended: it’s a party, not a performance.
The Shout Outs
“The Haight of course! Special thanks to Brett for being our personal Rockstar! EDEN provided our dreamy florals & greenery (@jceden on Instagram). Photos by Alexandria captured our sweetest moments (@alexbryjak on Instagram). True Cuisine catering earned us lots of compliments from our guests. Scott Krema from Backthird Entertainment kept the dance floor packed all night long.”