They met in high school, freshman year. They had a lot of mutual friends and began their own friendship, which turned into dating their sophomore year. Life took them in separate ways for years and they say their first real date, now as adults, was their senior year of college. “He took me on our first date to Baroncini in downtown Iowa City. I remember feeling super loved be the amazing conversations we were having. I also remember really enjoying our time together,” Mikaela said.
It was before that date though when Mikaela knew he was the one. “It was before we had even started dating again. I remember coming to him needing comfort and someone to talk to and he was there. Not only was he there to comfort me, he was there to really listen to me as well. This made me realize he really cared for me and my well being and I knew I was falling in love with him all over again.”
In the time since that first date, they finished college and moved to Colorado and grew their little family with their dog, Abel, who joined us for some photos. They were back in Iowa City this past summer and went out to dinner at Baroncinis again, the spot of their first date. Sam had the entire thing planned out, even down to a private party after the proposal, but Mikaela was completely surprised by it all. “I literally had no idea,” she said. “We were home for the 4th of July and he wanted to go on a date night. So I got all dressed up and so did he, and we went back to our favorite restaurant (and where we had our first date) Baroncini in Iowa City. When we got there, I was confused because they had complimentary glasses of champaign for us at the table. Sam assured me that he had just told them that it was date night. At the end of dinner, I had to use the restroom and when I got back, Sam’s eyes were watering and I asked him what was wrong. He said nothing was wrong and took my hand. But then after taking my hand he got down on a knee and asked me to marry him!
“After everything we were supposed to go meet two friends at Vue, but it started pouring! We had to wait for an Uber and finally made it there. When we get to Vue, I went in looking for our two friends, but it turned out he had a private party planned with all of our friends and family there to celebrate! It was amazing!!”
Mikaela and Sam were back in town this past weekend again and we were able to do their engagement session bright and early on Saturday morning. I was extra impressed when I found out that Mikaela had driven over 11 hours the day before (with their dog Abel!) and had gotten into town at midnight. (Sam had flown in beforehand and was also leaving sooner to get back to work, while Mikaela is staying in town longer for some wedding planning. They were ships passing, which made it all the better that we got their session planned!) We had so much fun together and I’m just sooo excited for their wedding next summer! Mikaela said she’s most looking forward to wearing her wedding dress and Sam said he’s most looking forward to “everyone having a great time and seeing Mikaela in her dress.” I’m going to add myself to that list and say I’m alsoooo very excited to see Mikaela in her gown!!
Sam said one of the things he most admires about his fiancé is “how much she truly cares about the people close to her.” He described her as athletic, funny, and loving and I could see all of that in the short time I was with them. Mikaela said she admires his “honesty and his work ethic. He is the hardest worker I know and he doesn’t settle.”
I mean, Abel!!! You are such a doll!