By Stephanie March
By Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
Harvest Beer Festival
By Parties Editors
The Morning After
By Tad Simons
Arts Off The Cuff
by Arts & Nightlife Editors
By Allison Kaplan
ASID MN Showcase Home
By Edina Realty
Super Real Estate Agents
Super Mortgage Professionals
The FAM Editors
By Emily Howald Sefton
By Real Brides-to-Be
Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Occupation: Communications Manager at U.S. Bank
Hometown: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Occupation: Senior Specialist, Asset Protection at Sleep Number
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!
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!
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.
Real Bride Kara opted to hire a day-of coordinator at the last minute.
Real Bride Kara says goodbye to the single life with 'Gossip Girl' and '90s boy bands.
Before the big day, Real Bride Kara tests out her spray tan, hairstyle, and makeup.
Real Bride Kara's loved ones celebrated her upcoming nuptials with six bridal showers.
Real Bride Kara's take on the "old, new, borrowed, and blue" tradition.
Real Bride Kara chose a contemporary invite to reflect her summer wedding's vibe.
These are the tasks on Real Bride Kara's to-do list as her June 18 wedding approaches.
Real Bride Kara shares her tips for choosing a florist for her wedding.
Real Bride Kara's favorite wedding-planning websites.
Real Bride Kara turns to former brides-to-be for wedding advice.
Real Bride Kara let her wedding color palette inspire her bridesmaid dress choice.
Buttercream made Real Bride Kara's dessert decision a cake walk.
Kara wasn't planning on a traditional registry—until she found out how many showers her family had planned.
How Kara got her fiancé Sean involved in the wedding plans.
Finding ceremony and reception music was an easy to-do for Real Bride Kara.
These pre-wedding invites are fun, but time-consuming. Here's how Kara tackled the task.
Real Bride blogger Kara wasn't planning on changing her last name—until she talked it over with her fiance.
Real Bride Kara tackles the most delicious part of wedding planning.
Real Bride Kara shares the wedding traditions she and her fiance are skipping.
Real Bride Kara shares her experience and tips for a close-to-home engagement session.
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