Helen and Ian

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How We Met

Ian and I met in the St. Louis Children’s Choir when we were eleven years old. In appropriate pre-pubescent fashion, we both sang in the same section of the choir, but it was hardly love at first sight. Ian’s inability to stay on pitch and match the harmonies as he belted out the incorrect notes standing right behind me annoyed me to no end, and Ian has admitted he was too busy harboring a crush on another girl to devote much time to me. We became friends as we started going to school together in seventh grade, which grew into romance years later during our senior year of high school. Nearly seven years later, the romance has definitely stuck!

How He Asked

On the Saturday evening of a weekend trip to Los Angeles, Ian and I were scheduled to meet three of our other friends at Zuma Beach in Malibu before dinner. As soon as we arrived at the beach, I was suspicious– there was a live band set up in the sand right nearby that happened to be playing one of my favorite love songs. The guys all laughed it off as a weird coincidence, and Ian grabbed a football out of his bag and announced it was time we work on throwing a spiral. Football is a shared passion of ours, and my spiral is indeed pitiful, so this seemed innocuous enough.

After tossing the football around a bit, he announced I was doing it all wrong (I was). “Come here and let me see your fingers,” he said. As I approached him and he showed him my throwing hand– my left– on the ball, I noticed his fingers trembling intensely, and all of a sudden, I knew. “Yup,” he continued, “the problem is definitely your fingers. Let me fix them…” Honestly, I was too overwhelmed to perfectly remember every word he said in the two minutes that followed. But the image of him reaching into his pocket and getting down on one knee is something that will be permanently seared into my memory.

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After I said yes (emphatically! ecstatically! elatedly!), we danced to the band playing some of our favorite songs. Two of our friends and now groomsmen had helped Ian plan the whole thing, but another friend and now bridesmaid was as shocked as I was. Our group had a gorgeous celebration dinner overlooking the ocean as the sunset, and it was so special to be able to share the evening with people who mean so much to us. So much champagne!

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Our wedding is now just a few months away, and we cannot wait to start the next chapter of our life together. Oh, and my fingers were most definitely fixed.

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Special Thanks

Alexander Jaffe
Photographer