By Megan Willett Chaleen Ciora, an HR representative at Target Corporation, and Dave Almsted, business development for MCG Energy Solutions, had been dating for two years when he found out about an upcoming work trip to Austin, Texas. "It hit me two months out that it would be the perfect time to propose, but a lot had to happen in those two months!" The Minnesota couple were first introduced at a mutual friend's Halloween party when Chaleen moved home from Arizona, but this was not their first encounter. "Supposedly we met at a New Years Eve party years prior, but I didn't think anything of it at the time!" Chaleen laughs.
"I went to high school with her sister," says Dave. "I heard Chaleen was moving back into town, and I had seen her maybe a year or two prior, but when I saw her again I was like, 'Wow, who is this girl?'" Not long after, Dave asked Chaleen out on their very first date where the pair had dinner at McCormick and Schmick's and watched the Holidazzle Parade. Their relationship blossomed from there. "Dave has a wonderful sense of humor and is definitely a gentleman," says Chaleen. "He likes to make people feel special, and we can do pretty much anything together!" Dave felt the same way, which is why he found himself rushing to plan the perfect engagement for Chaleen. "It snuck up on me. I didn't want to do something that seemed average," he says. "I did a little recon on my own, called her sister, and asked her parents for permission." When the time came for the big trip, Dave casually asked the unsuspecting Chaleen to come along with him. All his diligent planning payed off. After a spa day in the morning for Chaleen and a dinner at The Driskill Hotel in the evening, Dave asked his soon-to-be-fiancé to come with him on a sunset carriage ride through Austin. Their guide suggested the couple walk along the water and while they took in the scenery, a man began to play a saxophone across the river. Seizing his moment, Dave got down on one knee and proposed to Chaleen with a beautiful platinum Christopher Designs ring set by Thomas Joseph & Sons.
"She was surprised almost to a fault," laughs Dave. "There were a lot more questions than answers at first!" Once Chaleen was sure they had her parents' blessing, she of course exclaimed, "Yes!" Dave and Chaleen will be married June 30 at the Church of Saint Anne in Hamel with a reception at Rush Creek Golf Club.