Kara Eliason

Kara Eliason
Photo by Megan Daas

Kara Eliason & Sean Dorsey

The Bride

Age: 31
Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Occupation: Communications Manager at U.S. Bank

The Groom

Age: 35
Hometown: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Occupation: Senior Specialist, Asset Protection at Sleep Number

The Details

Engagement Date: Dec. 19, 2014
Wedding Date: June 18, 2016
Wedding / Reception Location: Lowertown Event Center, St. Paul
The Ring: An emerald-cut blue sapphire surrounded by baguette diamonds. I always wanted a unique engagement ring, and sapphire is my birthstone. Plus, Kate Middleton has one, so there’s that!

Our Story

I spent most of my twenties going on a series of bad dates. To branch out and avoid the dreaded bar scene, I decided to try online dating. Thank goodness I did! In the summer of 2012, Sean’s eHarmony profile caught my eye. We started exchanging messages, and after a few weeks, we had our first date on the rooftop of The Liffey in downtown St. Paul. Conversation came so naturally to us. We talked about everything from work to family and our shared love of “Friday Night Lights”—the greatest show on television. At the end of the date, I wanted to make it bluntly clear that I liked Sean. I stared at him straight in the eye, pointed at him and said, “You’d better call me.” Thankfully, he wasn’t freaked out by this, and he called me two days later. Sean and I had an amazing kiss after our third date at Moscow on the Hill, and that sealed it for me. We’ve been together ever since!

Engagement Story

When I thought about my ideal engagement, two words came to mind: special and intimate. I wanted the proposal to be just between the two of us. No crowds, cameras or jumbotrons! I also wanted it to feel more special than an average day. The thought of getting proposed to in sweatpants at home made me cringe. Luckily, Sean understood what I wanted and pulled off an amazing proposal.

After two years of dating, Sean and I had been talking seriously about marriage. I knew a proposal was coming, but I had no idea when or where Sean would do it. When the holiday season arrived, I suspected I would get a ring on Christmas Day. Sean threw me off by proposing the Friday before Christmas instead! Weeks before, I managed to score a dinner reservation at Spoon and Stable, which had just opened in our neighborhood. I got dressed up and figured it would just be a fun date night. But Sean had other plans. He called the restaurant earlier that day, so the whole staff was in on his plan. When we arrived, the hostess led us to an intimate table right next to the wine cellar. Our server was a total pro and didn’t give anything away. I didn’t realize something was up until Sean’s dinner came and he didn’t touch it. Sean loves meat, so I was worried he was sick! But he was just nervous. Sean planned to wait until dessert to pop the question, but he couldn’t hold off any longer. He pulled a small red box out of his pocket, showed me a beautiful sapphire ring and asked me to be his wife. I smiled and immediately said, “yes.”

Then the celebration began! The table next to us sent over champagne. Chef Gavin Kaysen congratulated us personally and told us we were the restaurant’s first engagement! He also encouraged us to come back every year for our anniversary and sit at the same table. That’s something I’m looking forward to—but not as much as spending a lifetime with an amazing guy like Sean.

Catering Considerations

Real Bride Kara tackles the most delicious part of wedding planning.

Breaking with Tradition

Real Bride Kara shares the wedding traditions she and her fiance are skipping.

Engagement Photos: Making it Personal

Real Bride Kara shares her experience and tips for a close-to-home engagement session.

Personalized flower girl bracelets
Flower Girls: Making the Ask

How to ask the flower girl(s) to be part of your wedding, in three easy steps.

Bridal Boudoir: What Happens at a Photo Shoot

Kara shares what to expect at a bridal boudoir photo shoot.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

You said yes. Now will your gal pals? Find out how Kara popped the question to her bridesmaids.

Laura Eliason, Kara Eliason, and Gail Dorsey at Posh Bridal Boutique
Saying 'Yes' to a Dress

Thankfully, Kara's dress shopping experience was nothing like the drama on Say Yes to the Dress.

Wedding budget
Bills, Bills, Bills

When Kara thought of planning a wedding, she envisioned dessert tastings and trying on fancy dresses—not the budget.

The Venue Decision

Kara found out that pinning down the guest count, budget, and the couple's top priorities was crucial in selecting a venue.

Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Twin Cities
Bizarre Twin Cities

We celebrate the weird and wonderful, strange and surprising foods, finds, people, places, art, and more that make the Twin Cities such a fun, vibrant, creative place to live.

Laura & Alex:  Three Wedding Wishes
Laura & Alex: Three Wedding Wishes

Laura and Alexander shared three wedding wishes when planning their wedding—great food, a live band, and fabulous photography.

Sara & Tom Pelissero: Keeping It Personal
Sara & Tom Pelissero: Keeping It Personal

From original music to familiar faces, Sara and Tom incorporated plenty of personal touches in their May 2012 wedding.

Good Deeds: 2012 Volunteer Hall of Fame
Good Deeds: 2012 Volunteer Hall of Fame

For more than 20 years, we’ve recognized Minnesotans who make a positive difference around the Twin Cities. Meet our  Volunteer Hall of Fame class of 2012.

Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect

How to hire a wedding photographer to ensure picture perfect shots. Plus, tips for framing up one-of-a-kind engagement photos.

Top  Doctors 2012: Going the Extra Mile to Save Lives
Top Doctors 2012: Going the Extra Mile to Save Lives

Meet six Top Doctors who volunteer around the globe—and the Twin Cities—to save lives and inspire others.

Erin & Chris: A Hint of Color
Erin & Chris: A Hint of Color

Erin and Chris Moser incorporate turquoise, the bride’s signature hue, into their big day.

Amy & Hans: A Family Affair
Amy & Hans: A Family Affair

The couple incorporated friends and loved ones into every aspect of their wedding day.

 Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's 40th Anniversary
Mpls.St.Paul Magazine: 40 Years of the Best

To celebrate Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's 40th anniversary, we give you 40 lists that showcase the food, fashion, sports, news, and pop culture that shape this place we love (and love to make fun of).

Dance Class
Dance Class

Associate editor Kara Eliason tries The Cowles Center’s Open Door Dance classes, featuring a different dance style and teacher each month.

Stephanie and Lance
Stephanie & Lance: Keeping it Simple

This Hollywood couple made their Minneapolis wedding low-key and stress-free.

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