From Taylor:

Chris and I met like most couples these days, on a dating app one summer! We grew closer and closer throughout the fall and winter, and when we went to celebrate Mardi Gras in St. Louis, Chris finally told me he loved me, even though looking back we both knew we loved each other way sooner than that. Weeks later, COVID hit. The pandemic was when Chris and I really got close to each other. We binged corny TV shows and had dinner dates with take out sitting in bed. Even though the world was shut down, we were okay because we had each other and found ways to have fun no matter the circumstances.

We bought our first house together and shortly after rescued a little pitbull who we named Dottie. She quickly became our whole world and we became those annoying “dog parents” who treated our Dottie girl like our child. Dottie is a needy and high maintenance little girl, but quicky we fell in love with her. Our little family was perfect.

Chris and I went on a vacation with his family to the Smokey Mountains last summer. I was 99% positive he was going to propose there. During our stay, Chris’s niece Brenli looked at him and said “Uncle Chris, why haven’t you married Taylor yet, because I need to be a flower girl!” Which had us all laughing!

Vacation came and went, with no engagement.

One Wednesday in October, I had worked late in my classroom and had to stop at CVS on the way home. I came home tired, and frustrated at the expense of all the things we needed at the drugstore! Chris said “Hey go look at Dottie!”. I noticed she was locked in the bedroom behind the baby gate and got mad at Chris for locking her away!

He let her out and she ran around crazy jumping and kissing me!. He said “Look at her outfit!” I finally noticed she had on a bandana that said “Will you marry my dad?” I immediately said, “Are you being serious?” because I was not expecting it! Chris said “Yes, will you marry me?” and pulled out the most beautiful ring. Come to find out, Chris was planning on proposing in the Smokey Mountains, but took the wrong ring box and didn’t realize it until we got up in the mountains!

Chris and I knew we wanted a spring wedding, when it wasn’t too hot. Chris let me take the lead with decorations, as he knew I love DIY projects and decorating! My idea for the wedding was dark and moody, with some vintage vibes. The Armory was the perfect venue to bring my vision together.

I also am a huge reader and love books. So I wanted some subtle decorations and book themed items incorporated in the wedding. Our flower girl threw paper hearts cut from old books as she went down the aisle. Our ring bearer carried our rings inside a book.

We also wanted our dog to be incorporated, but knew she would be too nervous to be involved in the actual wedding. Instead, my aunt read a poem comparing falling in love to owning a dog at the ceremony. We had a dog treat bar for guests to fill a bag to take home to their dogs and also called the bar “Dottie’s Bar” with a signature drink called the “Pawgartia”.

We wanted our ceremony to be meaningful and unique. We did a handfasting ceremony in which we wrapped cords around our hands as the officiant read a poem about the importance of holding each other’s hands through the phases of life. We had a ring warming ceremony, during which our rings were passed through our wedding party and family as each person held them as a way to “bless” our rings with warm wishes.  All in all, the ceremony, reception, and entire day was perfect.

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