Emmalee and Matt

Emmalee Vander's Proposal in Lambeau Field

How We Met

It all started with a “swipe right”. I moved back to Milwaukee after I moved to Green Bay for work after I graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2015. On July 23rd 2016 I went to my friend’s wedding and I ended up catching the bouquet! I’m not usually one to participate in the bouquet toss, but I figured what the heck- why not! After I caught the bouquet I said “jokes on everyone else, I’m so single I’m ready for some Pringles!” and even took a picture to commemorate the moment. Little did I know that the next day I would be swiping right on the man I now get to call my fiancé! Our first date was at a local eatery in Milwaukee and from the moment I met him, I was hooked! My older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in the Spring of 2015, and when Matt and I started dating my sister’s cancer had already spread to her brain, spinal cord, pelvis, lungs and had advanced to the point of palliative care only. After a mere month of dating, he came with me to visit my sister at her home before she went into hospice care.

Emmalee Vander and Matt's Engagement in Lambeau Field

He never wavered in his support and love for me, my sister, or my family. He would drive the two hours with me to visit her at the hospice center, sit and talk with her even though she no longer remembered myself or family members at times, and would wipe my tears on the drive home. Matt went to Paramedic Critical Care school in October of 2016 in North Carolina. He had taken the time to write me letters to read when I missed him, and sent me flowers at work. He made sure to let me know he loved me and missed me every day! In his last week of school my sister passed away. Her funeral was scheduled for the day before he was supposed to fly back to Milwaukee, but he said he wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world. He paid to change his flight and he flew into Milwaukee late the night before her funeral. He got up early the next morning and drove to Chicago to be with my family and I for her funeral. I’m not sure how I would have made it through that day without him. Losing my sister at such a young age taught me to live life to the fullest, be with those I care about most, and to make as many memories as I can. And I can’t wait to do that with Matt by my side!

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Lambeau Field

How He Asked

When you grow up in Green Bay, being a Packer fan is a way of life! My family is season ticket holders, so I get the opportunity to go to home games throughout the season. Over the years, Lambeau field has become one of my favorite places on Earth! For our anniversary, Matt told me that he won a private tour of Lambeau Field (which I later found out was all a cover!). I was so excited because I hadn’t been on a tour since 2006 for my sister’s rehearsal dinner. The tour group consisted of his best friend and his fiancé, and my two best friends from high school. As we neared the end of the tour, we walked out of the player’s tunnel onto the field- talk about a fan’s dream come true! We were snapping our own pictures of the stadium when the tour guide asked if we would like to take some pictures together. Matt grabbed my hand and lead me to the south end zone, where I assumed his friend’s fiancé was going to take pictures of us. Instead, Matt turned to face me and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, and do him the honor of being his wife and I screamed yes!

Not only had Matt asked my parents for my hand, he also asked my older brother, and even went to visit my sister’s grave site to ask her for her blessing. Matt put so much thought, planning, and time into making this the perfect day, and he went above and beyond!

Special Thanks

Hannah Terpening
photographer