Featured Couple: Kristen & AJ
Their Love Story…
“We found love in a hopeless place … and, yes, that was the song that we walked into as we were introduced,” says Kristen. “That has been our ‘theme song’ since we started dating. We used to work together at a bank … dating someone you were working with was frowned upon! So needless to say we kept it a secret for a long time … to the point when people ask us how long we have been together we really don’t have a solid answer.” Hiding their relationship was no easy feat because even out in public, Kristen was afraid someone from work would see them.
“AJ eventually switched locations and we were no longer at the same branch … so one night when we were out, we texted our boss and came clean! Felt so much better!” Soon after they came clean to their boss, AJ surprised Kristen with Broadway tickets to see Mary Poppins, which was Kristen’s favorite movie as a kid. “That’s when he made it official that we were dating, so if we need a date that we started dating we use January 28, 2012! We were honestly friends first … and the rest is history! We wouldn’t change a thing!”
“His proposal was perfect!” says Kristen. “It was our official 3-year dating anniversary. AJ got up in the morning before me and had breakfast on the table with flowers by the time I got up. We ate breakfast, got ready and both headed to work. It was a normal day.” The day progressed as usual — a trip home during lunch to grab her food and walk their dog, Tex. Toward the end of the day, AJ started texting Kristen wanting to know when she was coming home. She texted him and when she got home and was in for quite a surprise.
“I opened the screen door to the house to a Post-It above the lock, with the following: ‘Hey, baby! Welcome home … may want to have your camera out … card first … Tex is fine (upstairs) … Happy Anniversary!!!’ ” When Kristen opened the door, she found flowers on the table, presents next to the flowers, rose petals and candles everywhere, and ‘We Found Love’ playing in the background.”
“There were more instructions in the card in regards to the presents. I decided to skip the presents and go find him. … Our bedroom door was closed with rose petals leading to it, the word ‘Love’ spelled out on the door, and I finally picked up on what was happening!” says Kristen. “I opened our bedroom door to more candles and petals, and there he was. He started to talk to me. … I started to cry but held it together! He got down on one knee, opened the box, I lost my breath, and he said those four words every girl wants to hear. And bam, we were engaged.”
“Our theme was all about us!” says Kristen. “I love the bling, but it was a simple, elegant bling. Everything that we had that night in the Grandview had a meaning behind it!” For example, each table centerpiece had three vases on them which has significant meaning. “The most important part of that is that there were three on every table, three for love! It was always something my grandparents and parents always said to each other and to us, and it was something we wanted to incorporate into our special day.”
Why the Hudson Valley?
Kristen says “Hudson Valley is home … and we simply fell in love with the Grandview. Couples panic about their venue; I panicked because we only looked at one! They had and offered everything we wanted — perfect venue, Shadows next door for the after party, hotel rooms for all of our 246 guests with transportation … it was honestly perfect for us!”
Most Memorable Moment…
“Honestly, if you asked us separately, at different times, we would both say the same thing: the first time we saw each other!” says Kristen. “He (AJ) was up at the altar, and I was walking down the aisle with my parents. … I swore I wouldn’t cry, and I didn’t, I was just smiling from ear to ear. My smile couldn’t get any bigger when I looked at him, and then I saw his lip quiver. I looked away from him for a second to kind of regroup and the next person I made eye contact with was my Aunt Pat, who by the way was hysterically crying! I remember laughing in my head! Everyone tells me that they were all looking at AJ when I walked down the isle and that makes me happy because his reaction was by far the best ever. I’m proud of him for not crying but he will always tell me ‘You cut me deep, babe!'”
Hudson Valley Vendors…
Venue – The Grandview (Poughkeepsie)
Photographer – Majestic Studios (Hopewell Junction)
Florist – Annex Florist (Pawling)
DJ – Jimmy Dee Music Productions (Briarcliff Manor)
Photo credit to all: Majestic Studios (click photo for larger view)