Lauren + Andy

Lauren + Andy

St Louis Engagement Photos by Oldani Photography

Lafayette Park / St. Louis

What was your first date?  Our first date was in Quincy, Illinois, at a restaurant called The Abbey. It was on a Sunday afternoon and I (Andy) made the two hour drive from Columbia, Missouri, to Quincy. I picked up Lauren from her apartment and it was the first time we had seen each other in person, even though we had communicated for weeks over the phone and the OK Cupid dating application. We had a great meal and talked about our personal backgrounds and families for over an hour. Afterwards, we made the short drive back to Lauren's apartment. She invited me in to watch some TV before I made the two hour trek back to Columbia. It was over four hours of traveling on a Sunday afternoon/night but I knew it was all worth it once I got a text from Lauren on the way back saying she really had a great time and that she really liked me. I knew we had something special immediately.

Tell us the story of the proposal?  I (Andy) took Lauren to Betz Jewelers a few weeks prior to the engagement so she could pick out three options for the engagement ring. After that, I began planning my proposal for her. I purchased the final engagement ring from Betz, then knew I was going to make the actual proposal on that Saturday (December 19). I had the ring and its box hidden under our bed the night before I was going to propose. Needless to say, I got little to no sleep as I was nervous beyond belief. The next morning, I woke up and was eager to get the festivities going. However, since I'm the most nontraditional person in the world, I took Lauren aside around 9 a.m. that morning and told her, "I'm going to propose to you today". Yes, you read that right. I already told my future fiance that I'd be getting on one knee and asking to marry her that day BEFORE I ACTUALLY DID IT. She was giddy like no other, as she knew what was coming but didn't know when and where. I first took her to Ernie's Cafe for a delicious breakfast. Next, we walked down to our favorite hiking spot downtown (MKT Trail). About a mile in, once I made sure no one was around, I got on my right knee and took out the ring box. Of course, in another total "Andy move", when I took out the box and opened it to Lauren, it turned out to be upside down and a complete smaller box inside that actually held the ring. After she said yes, we then made our way to the quad at the University of Missouri where I had a professional photographer waiting to take pictures of us. To conclude the day, we made calls to inform our families and then got a nice dinner later that evening.

What is the mixtape of your relationship?

"Anyone Else But You" - The Moldy Peaches

"Earned It" - The Weeknd

"Little Talks" - Of Monsters and Men

What is your date style?  Trendy restaraunt

Andy, What do you claim as your hometown?  St. Louis, Missouri

Lauren, What do you claim as your hometown?  Camp Point, Illinois

Do either of you have a hobby? If so, what is it?  Andy: I have been a huge sports fanatic my whole life. Sports are my life. That has led to my professional work life, as I'm entering my fourth year with Mizzou Athletics. The hobby that most people don't know about me is that I've collected baseball cards since I was in elementary school. Lauren: I enjoying listening to podcasts, reading blogs, trying out new things, or "experiments" as Andy likes to call them, cooking different recipes, traveling, and going to the gym with Andy.

Nichole is married to TJ Oldani. Together they are Oldani Photography.