Kathleen and Brian will be married in July at the Cliffs Glassy Chapel in July. Their reception is taking place in downtown Greenville at the Wyche Pavilion. Downtown Greenville is such an incredible place with so many great restaurants, art galleries, and shopping. They wanted their guests to stay right in the heart of downtown to enjoy all it’s aspects. The rehearsal dinner at the Lazy Goat and the Wyche Pavilion are both within walking distance to the hotels. It should be an amazing weekend for all! Brian and Kathleen now live in Atlanta, and Brian is Brand Planner for Fitzgerald and Co, and Kathleen is in Human Resources for GE. Read below for more about Kathleen and Brian (their engagement story is the best!). I am so looking forward to their wedding!
How did you meet each other?
We were both working at the same Advertising agency in Manhattan, on completely different accounts, in completely different departments, but on the same floor. Brian happened to have an office by the printer. Printer = opportunity. Emails print. Presentations print. Recipes for dinner that you knew you’d never end up cooking print! So Kathleen went through a non-green streak and just kept printing and printing and stopping by Brian’s office to say hello. Fast forward to the beautiful combination of a winter storm, a NYC transit strike, and a cancelled office get-together where a handful of co-workers ended up at a downtown lounge despite the weather — we ended up talking the night away. Three and a half years later, here we are.
How long did you date before you got engaged?
2 years, 6 months, and 1 day…but who’s counting?
When did you get engaged, and how did he ask?
From Kathleen’s Point of View:
We were in Savannah for a little weekend getaway, and we were staying at a beautiful bed and breakfast. We went out to dinner on Friday night, which happened to be our 2.5 year anniversary. We started talking about whether 2.5 years was long or short…. and I was saying it’s LONG it’s LOOOONG! (subtext: I’m ready to get engaged!). And he was saying it felt short… that no time had gone by, that I was in school, that we were long distance forever, etc. By the end of that conversation, I was convinced I had at least another year before we got engaged. Sneaky devil.
The next morning, we went to Tybee beach (right outside of Savannah), because I was CRAVING some beach time. I hadn’t seen the beach forever, and I was so incredibly excited to go…there are very few places on earth that make me as happy as the beach does. After we parked, Brian told me he had a surprise and pulled out all the ingredients for a lovely little picnic. I didn’t think anything of it, just thought it was a nice surprise. The exact words in my brain were: “This would be a great way to start off a day where I got engaged, too bad it’s not happening FOREVER.” (women are evil!) Anywho, so we’re having our lovely picnic on the beach, when Brian says, “Remember last night, when I told you I thought 2.5 years was short? Well, it’s short compared to the amount of time I WANT to spend with you.” All of a sudden, he was down on one knee with a beautiful ring in his hand. He asked me to marry him! I was totally flabbergasted! I kept asking him if he was kidding and if this was real… so much so that I never said yes. He had to clarify about 2 minutes into the nonsense I was blabbering… he said, “so, can I have an answer?” and I said, “Yes! WAIT! Did you ask my Dad???” he said yes to that, and then I said, “well okay then.” (I have a way with words).
We spent the rest of the day wandering around Savannah and had a very romantic dinner and evening. We were so giddy we even told the taxi driver that we got engaged. He told us we should have grandkids first, that they are more fun. haha!
From Brian’s Point of View:
For the Groom-to-be, the engagement story always starts way before the actual engagement…weeks, if not months before the “he got down on one knee,” and well before the “so, would you prefer a summer wedding, because I’d really like a summer wedding.” While the engagement itself is the first moment shared between the newly engaged couple, the engagement story is a series of events orchestrated by and more completely told by (in my opinion) the Groom. So here it goes.
The facts are seldom achieved by asking a simple question.
Kathleen has never been one to wear jewelry. A champion-chip transponder for triathlons and marathons…yes. Jewelry…not really. Put a Super Runner’s Shop and a Harry Winston store side by side, and odds are you’ll find Kathleen in the Super Runner’s Shop with her arms burdened with clothing she’ll buy today, and a significant amount more on hold for future purchase. That’s just how she’s programmed. So getting facts like cut, clarity, color, carat, and ring size out of her without her becoming suspicious was a Herculean task. Luckily I stumbled upon a printout of various passwords, NYC restaurants to try, books to read, and the words “round brilliant.”
Women ask the most questions when you’re up to something.
Many of my weekends leading up to the engagement were spent under the pretense that I was “heading to Starbucks to read the newspaper,” when in fact I’d be visiting jewelry store after jewelry store trying to find the perfect ring. When I got back home, I quickly discovered that Kathleen had clearly spent her downtime taking online Private Investigation courses. “You’ve been at Starbucks this entire time?” “So what were the headlines in the paper?” “Seems like a long time to spend doing not very much.”
The hardest part of the engagement actually happens before the engagement.
I knew an engagement (to Kathleen) wouldn’t be engagement if I didn’t ask her parents and her sister before actually asking Kathleen to marry me. So I invented a lie. I was on a business flight back to Atlanta that arrived (on schedule) at 5pm. However, I told Kathleen that the flight was delayed. In that time, I drove to the office, hung out for 3 hours, called her parents and (whilst sweating and shaking) asked for their blessing. They happily gave it. I wiped the sweat from my forehead with my sleeve and grinned from ear to ear as I drove home. (I asked for her sister’s blessing [and advice on how to broach the subject with their parents] a few days before).
The best-laid plans do oft’ times go astray.
I planned to ask Kathleen to marry me on June 20th 2008; a Friday; exactly 2.5 years from the day we started dating. I pushed and pushed for her to take the day off of work, or at least leave early, so that we could arrive in Savannah by midday for a romantic picnic in the park. Unfortunately, the earliest she could leave work was at 1pm. Not enough time to get to Savannah and propose that night. Instead, we had a simple evening out, and I’d save the proposal for the following day. Kathleen has already filled you in on the conversation that took place that night. It was a slippery slope…trying to throw her off the scent, without making her disheartened at the thought of an engagement not happening in the foreseeable future.
Sometimes strangers make the best allies.
Today was the day. Overcast and threatening to rain, but with a 2-hour window of sunshine. Kathleen loves the beach…LOVES the beach. So I decided to pack a beach picnic and drive to Tybee. The staff at the B&B were in on the plan. “Sir, you have the food, the wine, and the ring. Let us help you sneak the picnic items into your car when she’s not looking, along with a couple beach chairs to make things perfect.” They’re sneaky in Savannah…I like that.
“Yes” doesn’t come as quickly as it does in the movies.
Wine, Brie, pistachios, olive tapanade, red pepper jelly, ring in hand, on bended knee…sand digging into knee…awaiting a response to “2.5 is short compared to the amount of time I want to spend with you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you Kathleen…will you marry me?”
“Wait…is this really happening?!”…I’m on bended knee.
“Now?…are you really asking NOW?!”…sand is digging into my knee.
“Seriously?…but only yesterday you were saying…”…um, yesterday didn’t turn out as planned.
“Did you ask my parents?”…of course.
“My sister?…does my sister know?”…she was in on this whole thing.
“Oh my God, it’s so beautiful.”…really?, can I get a yes, please?
Me – “um…I don’t entirely think you gave me an actual answer yet.”
If you’re reading this, I think you know what the answer was.
I smiled the entire drive back to the B&B as Kathleen phoned family and friends.
What are some of the activities that you like to do together as a couple?
Relaxing, running, skiing, traveling…and sleeping in.
Why did you choose the Greenville area as your wedding location?
My (Kathleen’s) parents are retiring on Glassy mountain in a few years. We have been coming to the mountain for about 5 years, since my parents bought their home there. The first time I stepped into the Glassy Chapel, I knew that was where I wanted to get married– it’s just so beautiful, and it “feels” like Brian and me – very natural, light and airy.
With all of Greenville’s charm and southern hospitality, it proved to be the most idyllic setting for our reception. Greenville’s Reedy River and waterfall were the perfect contrast to our mountaintop ceremony and cocktail hour. And with Greenville’s running paths, quaint shops, and neighborhood pubs, it offered something for every one of our guests.
When you think about your wedding, what are you most excited about?
Kathleen – marrying Brian ☺
Brian – standing at the altar, being in the moment as the doors to the chapel inch open, watching Kathleen and her father take their first steps down the aisle. And from that point…eternity.
What do you love about each other?
Brian: What I love about Kathleen is…her ability to put herself in other people’s shoes, her unwavering determination, her independence, and her ability to laugh at herself…and at me…a lot.
Kathleen: What I love about Brian is…his warmth, his intelligence and creativity, how much we laugh together, and that we can enjoy spending time together – even if we’re just doing the dishes.