Ellie and Shaun have had the pleasure of knowing each other since 2007 through their dear friend, Carsen. They reconnected in 2015 over cocktails at Taste and have been enjoying palomas together ever since.
We began our relationship while Ellie was still in grad school pursuing her MSW and MPH and I was in Miami. Although we were long distance, we made a point to visit each other often. Ellie would soak up the sun with me on the beach when she visited and I would explore parts of St. Louis I never knew existed when I came to see her. We kept up this routine for a year before I decided to move home. In the next few years, we switched places with me starting grad school, pursuing my MBA, while Ellie worked full time. We moved in, volunteered, and traveled together. We renovated an apartment (OK, Ellie did more than I did), Ellie brought home a dog, (Bodhi).
Over Labor Day Weekend 2019, I proposed on the bridge at the Grand Basin in Forest Park. After surprising Ellie with a ring, we were able to celebrate our engagement with 100 of our closest friends and family. Shortly after our engagement, we decided to move to California for my dream job after graduation in May 2020. In November (2019), Ellie found the dress of her dreams on her birthday, when just randomly stopping into the Ultimate Bride with her mom. After the dress, planning picked up and we decided on the date: Oct 24 2020. We thought that this was far out enough we would have time to move and come home to get ready for a wedding, however moving never happened. We have both been lucky enough to work remotely for our employers since March 2020 from our home in Saint Louis. As you can imagine, wedding plans shifted many times due to COIVD. After having nearly all of the planning done by Feb 2020, by March it was clear that a large wedding was out of the picture for the foreseeable future. We both work in healthcare and had reasonable expectations about vaccine development, so early on we pivoted from a 250 person wedding in Forest Park to holding a small ceremony in Ellie’s childhood backyard. Leading up to the wedding we spent most weekends cleaning up the yard, making the aisle for the big day, and tacking other DIY projects.
In the end, all of our labor paid off for the wedding. It truly looked like a dream as we watched it all come together the day of. Ellie got to get ready in the home her father built and that she grew up in. Our family was able to attend our ceremony safely, with my sister serving as our officiant. We are so grateful for the crisp October day and we got to spend with family and close friends who helped our relationship grow to what it is today. After our little backyard reception, we snuck in our first dance at Forest Park and ended the night at dinner with friends.