Jen and Ian
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
High School: Anoka High School
College: Hamline University
Occupation: Emerging media specialist at Olson Agency, writer for City Pages
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
High School: Webster Groves High School
College: University Of Minnesota
Occupation: Regional Services Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, DJ, writer for City Pages
Engagement Date: Feb. 14, 2011
Wedding Date: May 11, 2013
Wedding Location: The Grand Hotel Minneapolis
Reception Location: The Grand Hotel Minneapolis with public after party at First Avenue
The (fabulous) Ring: Antique 1940s .75 carat round brilliant diamond in a square setting flanked by 3 diamonds on either side
A Bit about Us:
Ian and I are both writers, a craft at which I'm proud to say he's far more skilled than me. After returning to Minneapolis from a two-year stint in Chicago at NBC in 2008, I joined City Pages for my second tenure as editor of their website. I posted to a local message board seeking interested writers, and Ian—whom I knew casually as a local DJ around town—responded. After a short time he became a frequent contributor and worked more with the music editor on blurbs for print. I'd still see him out at shows and thought he was so smart and stylish—dashing, even (and that's a word I'd normally never use to describe anything). Finally one night at a First Avenue DJ gig, we connected in conversation on the outskirts of the dance floor. He asked me if he could take me to lunch sometime, and I noticed his arm wrapped around my waist. Taking that as a much welcomed clue, I responded, "No, but you can take me to dinner." I'm so glad I'd had just the right amount of vodka to muster up the courage to say that. Ever since our first date a week later, I've been completely enamored with him and finally sold on the idea of soul mates.
He will not be happy about my sharing this part, but it makes this story a bit more endearing. Ian accidentally crashed my precious 2007 Mustang into our parking ramp downtown one irritating autumn night in 2011, just three weeks after having it repaired from a hit and run. Suffice it to say Ian never really liked the car after that, especially after paying cash for all the repairs. Several months later, the wounds to both checkbook and pride were healed, and I joked he should know I love him because I didn't want him to sleep on the couch that night. In fact, the truth is I respected him immensely for handling it so responsibly.
About two months later in February—Valentine's Day to be exact—I was frantically trying to get our loft tidied up for a nice dinner for two when I received a phone call from our parking ramp attendant: "This Tom from Allied Parking and I'm really sorry to tell you your blue Mustang was hit in the ramp today . . . I need you to come down to answer a few questions." I couldn't believe the timing. My stupid car was hit again? After much ado over who exactly was going to pay for this, I stomped the two city blocks over to the ramp and . . . nothing. There was no one there, the car was fine. I called the attendant back, no answer. Confused, I phoned Ian and told him about the fiasco. He urged me to "just come home."
I returned home bewildered and annoyed, opening my apartment door to find my boyfriend standing there in a gorgeous suit with a big bouquet of tiger lilies in hand. "I'm sorry for all the subterfuge, my darling, but I had to get you out of the apartment for a second." He got down on one knee, pulling a black velvet box out of his jacket pocket. I don't think I even let the poor guy him ask me to marry him, I was so uncomfortable that my man was on the floor on his knees! I grabbed his hand and he stood up and before I knew it, the ring was on my finger and we were both hugging and tearful.
In so many ways this was a Valentine's Day miracle. Before Ian, I never thought I'd find the right guy and I wasn't willing to settle—an equation that added up to being alone in my book. And just weeks earlier before this engagement surprise, I mentioned to friends that he couldn't possibly catch me off guard me with a proposal—we live together and are around each other all the time. I'm happy to be wrong sometimes.
I sold the Mustang shortly after—it was such a pain—but there was a pang in my heart for the significance it had in our story. Oh, and the phone call from the nervous parking attendant? It was actually Ian's boss, who was in on it from the start.
The Big Day:
I'd like to think of this as more than just one big day—we've got one big life ahead of ourselves! On May 11, we're getting married at the Grand Hotel, taking over the sixth floor for a small ceremony (100) and a huge party (200-300). If everything works out, we'll also be having a public afterparty at First Avenue, our second home of sorts so many years (and where we first kissed). We're trying not to get too caught up in details—or give too much away—but if all goes as planned it's going to be one really fun night with the people we love. And isn't that what it's all about?