Lauren and Wade

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How We Met

Wade and I met the same way all Cinderellas meet their Prince Charming in college… at a frat party. We were both business students and athletes at Butler, so we knew of each other but had yet to meet. And we were both in our high school relationships at the time, so no feelings developed right away. Then, after six months, we were both single, we had become very good friends, and feelings were clearly starting to form. Wade finally asked me on a date to a baseball game on Friday the 13th!

How He Asked

Wade and I love to travel – no matter if it’s just a quick road trip from Indianapolis to Chicago or a big spring break trip to Sydney, Australia. So after five years of school to earn our Masters degrees and two and a half months of grueling studying for CPA exams, we decided we wanted to celebrate our hard work before starting our full-time jobs. We decided on Italy. We planned every aspect of the trip except for the last two days in Venice, which Wade said he would take care of. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a planner, so this drove me nuts! I started to wonder if maybe he was up to something…

After a few incredible days in both Rome and Florence, it was the morning we were leaving for Venice. As I finished packing up my things and was about to head out the door, Wade grabbed my hand, kissed me, and handed me a journal. On the outside it read in gold script, “TODAY IS THE DAY.” Cue the tears! On the first page, he had written me a letter detailing how he had been looking forward to this day for a long time and had planned out the whole day.

We made our way to the train, and once we were all settled in, Wade told me to turn to the next page in the journal. The next twenty pages were filled with pictures and funny memories, as well as a song to go with each one. Our train ride flew by as we reminisced all the way to Venice.

After dropping our luggage off at our hotel, Wade told me to turn the page again in the journal. It laid out our itinerary for the day. First stop: food (the best part of Italy except for the wine)! Through some online research, Wade found this hole in the wall place where all of the gondoliers eat. After eating our fill, we did some sightseeing and did what they always say to do in Venice – get lost.

We returned to our hotel for a late afternoon nap, and the next page in the journal said to get dressed up for a nice dinner. Throughout our trip, we typically walked or took public transportation to get around the cities, but Wade ordered up a personal water taxi. We cruised down the Grand Canal as the sun was beginning to set. Cue the nerves! I thought for sure we would be going back to St. Mark’s Square, but we began to make our way to the other side of the canal to a beautiful church known as San Giorgio Maggiore.

As our water taxi pulled up to the dock, I watched two middle-aged women sitting on steps that led into the water. As one of them tried to get up, she slipped and fell into the open water! As she scrambled to get back to the steps, and her friend tried to pull her out, the friend also proceeded to slip and fall into the water! I was a competitive swimmer through college and a lifeguard, so I immediately knew I had to help and tried to get off of the water taxi as quickly as possible. Wade, full well knowing he was seconds away from getting down on one knee, kept reassuring me that they would be fine. By the time I made my way off the water taxi and started walking over to them, they had managed to get back on the steps and were drying themselves off. Lifeguard save avoided!

Wade took my hand, calmed me down, and actually had me laughing about it as he led me to the edge of the square. Then, just as the sunset was at its most perfect moment, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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Of course I said yes!

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After Wade’s proposal, he introduced me to a photographer, Kinga Leftska, who I had no idea was there. He had been planning this moment with her for months! She specializes in Venice proposals, so she took us around to all of the best photo spots to shoot our engagement pictures. They turned out better than we ever could have imagined!

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The story doesn’t even end in Italy! Upon our return to Chicago, we stayed at my aunt’s house for a night before heading back to Indianapolis the next day. The next morning, Wade informs me that we forgot to use one of our vouchers from our trip. I, being a planner, knew there was no way that was possible. He handed me an envelope, and as I ripped it open, I realized it was Cubs tickets! I am a life-long Cubs fan and have since converted Wade. So into the city we went!

We witnessed home run after home run and even a gram slam in an incredible 14-2 victory by the Cubs. Just when I thought we were FINALLY heading home, Wade mentioned picking up my favorite deep dish pizza, Giordano’s! I’m terrible with directions, so it didn’t dawn on me until we were pulling into his family friend’s apartment building that we were not going to Giordano’s. Wade asked if I’d like to enjoy some deep dish pizza thirty floors up with a view of downtown. Little did I know, my parents, grandparents, and siblings were waiting upstairs for a little engagement celebration! I completely broke down while hugging everyone as I realized what an incredible man I get to spend my life with. Wade had spent months planning all of these surprises, and I still can’t believe how perfect it turned out. We like to joke now that while we don’t have a great “how we met” story, we have an extraordinary “how he asked” story!

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Special Thanks

Kinga Leftska
Photographer