I never thought it would be this hard to narrow it down… I know I said 3 finalists would be chosen but I had to go with 5… it’s my contest… I can bend the rules 😉
i just loved reading each and every one of these stories! i love, love!
how to vote:
comment on this post with the name of the couple you think should win
go to www.facebook.com/katiebaldiphotography, “like” the page & vote for the couple you think should win.
each comment / like will be counted as one vote.
friends/family/fans will have until february 15th, 2012 11:59pm pst to vote for their favorite couple. the winning couple will be announced on the blog / facebook fan page on february 16th, 2012.
meet the finalists:
Tom & Angie
Tom and I have been together for almost a decade. We started dating our senior year of high school, but that is not how we met. When we were born our parents were next door neighbors and continued to be friends even after we moved. Tom and I always had our own interests; I liked sports like volleyball & basketball and Tom riding mountain bikes and cars. I first really NOTICED Tom when he and his family came to my parents 25th Anniversary party at our house. I was about 17 when I saw him in the garage playing ping pong and I knew that I had to have him. So later that week, I asked him out to my Homecoming dance. (We went to different high schools so this was a big deal.) He said yes to the dance and we started dating soon after. That was October 26, 2002. Our wedding is June 23rd 2012 in Chico, Ca where we went to college. We now live in SF, where I am a special education teacher for SFUSD and Tom is a construction manager. We both love what we do for a living and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.
Katelyn & Jonathan
I went to Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont for my 4 years of college. I had many past relationships that had so many problems that I went into college ready to start over. Going into college I knew I did not want a relationship for a while and only wanted to focus on soccer and school. I was not prepared for finding/meeting Jon. In the first couple months of school, I would see him with his friends. I found him attractive, yes, but did not think anything of it. As the months went on we ran into each other more and more at school randomly. I was interested in meeting him but never got up the nerves. Then one night I was heading out of my dorm building to do laundry and in comes Jon at the same exact time (we literally ran into each other). From that moment on we just started talking, about the most random things (the typical get to know you conversation). He then said he would walk with me to the other building to do laundry. We spent the next 3 hours talking. It was so amazing. The best part was, after such a great conversation, we both were so reserved, we did not even get each others phone numbers or anything. For the next couple weeks, we again kept running into each other near classes, the cafeteria and at events. Then it was about a month later that he officially asked me out on a date. Jon would not tell me where we were going, he just told me to dress a little fancy and be ready by 5. That night, he took me on Bart all the way up to San Francisco to have dinner on top of the roof at the Cheesecake Factory! From then on we were official and have been for over 6 years now!
I believe we deserve this because we are hard working, positive, caring individuals and an unbelievable team. We have supported ourselves since freshmen year of college. We lived in an apartment my Junior year, paying for rent, bills, health insurance etc with no help at all. We believe in being independent and believe in supporting each other. I am sure you have received many entrys for this contest and I am sure there are so many stories that are amazing. Maybe to most, we do not have a “wow” story but I believe we have a great one. He is so positive, loving, caring, supportive and just an amazing human being who always puts others first. The moment we started dating, we knew it was going to last. We naturally had the utmost trust and faith in each other because we both felt the same. We both wanted the same things and we still do! We love each other dearly and really appreciate each other for who we are, we bring out the best in each other!
In October of 2010, Jon flew me out to Los Angeles where he was traveling for work for several weeks. The day that I was leaving, he signed us up for a couple massage and then we had a wonderful dinner near the beach. After dinner, we walked down to the pier in San Clemente where he then asked if I wanted to walk on the sand. He took me under the pier and we just held each other. He turned to me and told me that I was the one. He has always known that. He started talking about how I am great with kids and that I will be a wonderful mother one day and he believes we will be wonderful parents together. Basically, he started talking about our future and he has complete faith and belief that we will be together until we grow old. Then he got down on one knee, pulled out the box and asked me to marry him. The proposal was maybe simple to most, but to me it was perfect and totally us!!….he nailed it (it is how i imagined it)!
Melissa & Anthony
We met on November 15, 2010 at the oracle arena for a Warriors/Detroit pistons basketball game. I only go to this arena once a year. I am a pistons fan, Anthony is a warriors fan. So it was definitely a once in a lifetime moment to have met my true love. November is the only time the warriors play the Detroit pistons. We were in the club level getting something to eat and not knowing this at the time, Anthony had spotted me from across the way. He also went to get something to eat and during this time a friend that he was with came over to our table. It happened to be that his friend was one of my friends ex boyfriend. Talk about a small world. It was Anthony’s in to come on over. His friend introduced us and we hit it off right away. After the game we even went to eat and he walked me back to my car. All I kept thinking was what a complete gentlemen he was! He asked for my phone number and it was history since. We now go back to that game once a year to celebrate where we met. We also recently took pictures so we can share our where we met moment on our website we are in the process of creating. We both are truly blessed to have met one another! It would be such a blessing to win this contest!
Leah & Skyler
Skyler and I grew up in two small neighboring cities our whole lives, not knowing the person we were going to spend the rest our lives with was just around the corner. At 13, the two of us first met at Ralston Middle School in Belmont, CA, when I was introduced to Skyler through a mutual friend. Luckily, a year later, both of our middle schools filtered into Carlmont High School, where our groups of friends immediately gravitated toward one another. Having so much in common, it didn’t take long for us to become close friends. At 15, Skyler made it apparent that he had feelings for me beyond our friendship, but at that time, I was scared to risk our strong relationship. Ironically a year later, while gossiping with girlfriends about who we wanted to go to our winter formal dance with, I realized I had feelings for him. As a few months went by, my feelings for Skyler grew stronger. However, at the time, he didn’t feel the same and ended up asking another girl to the dance. I was crushed. As the school year went on, our friendship continued to remain close and when junior prom came around, I knew I couldn’t miss out a second time. As it turned out, a close friend of mine at the time, asked me to prom instead. However, after hearing rumors that Skyler was going to ask me as well, I politely declined and hoped for the best. Fortunately, the next night, Skyler FINALLY asked me! Our first date was prom and that was the first of many.
After high school, we both ended up moving to Santa Barbara for school. During our time in southern California, we were fortunate enough to experience life as adults together and grow with one another, which has been a key aspect to our strong relationship. Our last year in Santa Barbara, Skyler and I decided to move in together. Although we went through the initial rollercoaster of adjustments that most couples do when they move in with one another, we knew it was one of the best decisions we had made. Moving in together just felt right. We realized that the best and most important part about our years together up until then, was that we were also able to develop ourselves individually. This was and still is extremely important to us. In addition, Skyler and I have really been lucky to have maintained solid relationships with our childhood friends and our families, who have constantly showed us support as a couple. During the summer of 2008, our time in so cal was coming to an end and we decided to move back home to the Bay Area, where we’ve lived together ever since. Now, close to 10 years later, we currently reside where it all started in Belmont, CA. We are both working full time and are enjoying life to the fullest. During our free time, we’re really just your average townies :). We are very social and active people, always make time for our friends and families, and make sure to make time for each other. If I could pick one word to describe our relationship, I’d choose effortless. I love that we can still be ourselves together, whether it’s us goofing around at home playing Wii or out at a Giants game. We’re excited to start the next chapter of our lives and continue our journey.
Our engagement: June 3rd, 2011
The night before my birthday last year, we went to a joint birthday/goodbye party for me and two of our friends who were moving. It was a Thursday and we knew we had the next day off for my birthday, so naturally, I thought our group would all want to go out for cocktails following dinner. But for some reason, no one seemed eager to keep the night going (well, at least some of the guys – who I found out later already knew). So, we went home and I was left with no suspicions, knowing we had to take off early in the morning. Skyler had been planning to take me to Santa Inez for my birthday the next day and in addition, told me he would take care of all our day’s events. During the car ride south, he told me I could open my gift. Of course, I took advantage of not having to wait and opened up a new camera! Since the camera was a great gift in itself, I didn’t think there was much more to come. However, all day long Skyler had planned to go wine tasting at different vineyards together. After a wonderful day out, we ended up at my favorite winery in Santa Inez, Gainey Vineyards. The weather was beautiful and so after getting a couple tastings poured, Skyler suggested we bring our wine and walk in the vineyards. At first, I was apprehensive to climb the small wall that accessed the vineyards because there was a sign that said we were not allowed and I’m the square who wanted to follow those rules. However, Skyler had other plans and wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, we climbed and walked and it was gorgeous. After a little while Skyler got down on one knee and proposed in the middle of the vineyard and I couldn’t have been more shocked! In fact, I even asked him what he was doing when he started to go down on one knee…of course I’d ask, right? Without any hesitation, I screamed YES! It was the best birthday present ever!
Why we deserve to win:
Skyler and I really pride ourselves in our ability to maintain a strong, healthy and fun relationship with each other. Although nothing is perfect in life, we feel that we’ve figured out happiness together. We love each other more now than ever and it’s a pretty cool feeling to be in love with your best friend. That’s the best part…aside from being happy and in love, we’re friends and I think that’s why we work so well.
Now, enough with our corny love story. Here’s the main reason why we would love to win this contest…Just recently, in March 2011, Skyler and I were given the incredible opportunity of purchasing a house at a reasonable price. Although we definitely weren’t prepared at the time to make such a purchase, the price was right and we knew we’d regret it if we didn’t buy it. So, we did! However, at 26 years old, our financial situation isn’t the slightest bit close to ideal for being homeowners. Our house is definitely a “fixer-upper” and in addition, buying a house in general usually means you’ve just signed up for never ending (and a lot of the time unexpected) bills. That said, instead of hiring a team of contractors to help us put our home together, little by little the two of us have worked to make our house a home. We’ve spent hours, days, weeks and months doing what we can step-by-step. In the midst of this, we got engaged and now have a wedding to plan and pay for during this process. When a close friend of ours (one of our groomsmen) heard about this contest, he immediately told us to enter our story. As I’m sure you all know, weddings can end up being pretty costly, so the plans we’ve made for our house have been put on hold until we are married and no longer need to save for our wedding. As of now, we are living in what we call our “construction site,” which makes for several sacrifices. Although we can’t complain, it would be so nice to start back up again and continue fixing it up. In addition, both Skyler and I are up to our necks with student loans, credit card debt and everyday living expenses. If we are given the opportunity and are chosen as winners for this contest, we would be saving a lot of money on a photographer, which would be plenty to continue work and put right back into our home and debt. Please pick us! We’d love the opportunity to become a finalist and share our story.
Amy & Eric
OUR STORY: Eric and I met for the first time in the summer of 1998! There is a bit of an age difference between us, and although for the next 8 years we remained friends, I always knew I would marry “someone like Eric”. From the day I met him, I could tell what kind of man he is. Eric is kind, giving, compassionate, handsome, and has a great sense of humor! After about 6 years of dating and more and more talk about our future…our day came! I had a very busy work-weekend, with several holiday parties mixed in. To conclude the weekend, Sunday night was my family’s annual Christmas party where over 30 of my aunts, uncles, cousins and cousin’s kids get together to eat great food, and spend some holiday time together. About an hour into the party, Eric grabbed my brother-in-law, Tim, (dressed in an “ugly” Christmas sweater and festive Christmas high-top Converse) and told him he needed his help. Tim, running after his two kids, thought to himself “What the heck do you need my help for?” Eric saw the puzzled look in his face, so he pulled out the ring box from his pocket. Tim exclaimed, “HERE?! You’re doing this TONIGHT?! In front of EVERYONE?!” With that, Tim gathered everyone in the front room and began a touching toast to the family. When Tim was done, Eric began his own toast! Keep in mind neither of them are the outgoing type! Eric thanked my aunt and uncle for hosting the gathering, thanked my entire family for always making him feel welcome, and turned his focus towards me. Eric said so many kind and amazing words about me and our relationship, but three points that stuck out the most in his proposal –
1) I am very supportive of his “hobbies” which include lots of golf, fishing, and softball!
2) Some of his favorite times are at home together, cooking dinner and watching “Modern Family”!
3) He’s tired of people singing Beyonce’s song to him, “Put a Ring on It”…he then proceeded to say he likes it (me) and wants to put a ring on it!
With that, he got down on one knee, and asked me to make him the happiest man and marry him. I immediately said YES and the family erupted in cheers and tears!
We got engaged on December 18th. On January 18th, our offer on a home in Redwood City was accepted. And, we plan to move into the house on February 18th where we will start our lives together, as a married couple, and plan to start a family in the near future. Sometimes it’s surreal to think back to the days I first met Eric and thought to myself I wanted to marry someone like him…and look at where we are!