Sam and Aaron

Defiance, Missouri



Photographer | Robyn Osten Photography | @robyn_osten_photography

Venue | Chandler Hill Vineyards | @chandlerhillvineyards596

Sam and Aaron were high school sweethearts who finally got engaged after almost a decade together. One of their passions together is wine, so their entire wedding was planned with a ‘wine’ theme. So what better location for an engagement shoot than a winery! 🙂 Hard to believe this winery is in the middle of Missouri! The views were stunning and the couple was playful, affectionate and fun!! It was a perfect session!


Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

Aaron and I met sophomore year of high school when we were 15 and 16 years old. We were in the same group of friends and went to one high school dance together, but remained just friends through high school. We ended up becoming more than friends the summer after we graduated high school, in 2010, and began dating that August. We went off to college, myself to the University of Kentucky and him to Purdue University, and things were not easy having a long distance relationship with one another, but our relationship and love for each other only grew stronger. We ended up both transferring to Mizzou our sophomore year of college to be together… and we’ve been together ever since!


What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. What makes your relationship unique?

One thing I believe makes our relationship special is how long we have been together and how many stages of our lives we experienced as a couple. We started dating at the age of 18 and now are 26 and 27. We experienced so much together- graduating high school, going off to two different colleges, trying to figure out a long distance relationship, strongly disliking being so far from each other and our families freshman year of college, becoming “adults”, transferring to the same college, turning 21, graduating college with our Bachelor degrees, having another long distance relationship while he began working and I started graduate school, me graduating with my Masters degree, us finally living in the same city, buying a house together, him proposing and finally getting married. I also think our relationship is special because we share many of the same interests, some of those being big fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. We’re always watching or attending the games together.


How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

I knew my partner was the one during our freshman year of college when we were trying out a long distance relationship. My love for him continued to grow each and every day while we were apart. I always wanted to talk to him and always wanted to see him. I met plenty of new people while at the University of Kentucky, but he was the only person that put a smile on my face. Whenever I was going to visit him at Purdue University or we were both going home for the weekend to see each other, I would start packing a week in advance because I was so excited. He made me feel safe and comfortable when I was with him and I knew I didn’t want anything else in the world but to be with him.

Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

He proposed on May 6th, which was the day after my 25th birthday. We went to the St. Louis Blues game the night of my birthday and he told me let’s not stay out too late because I have plans all day for us tomorrow to celebrate your birthday. He very rarely plans anything, so I was pretty sure that was what was coming. We first went to the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown St. Louis and had lunch and drinks at Cielo, the rooftop bar and restaurant. We had eaten there many times and always loved the view of the arch from that hotel. I thought he was definitely going to propose there, especially when we went outside to take a picture of the two of us with the arch in the background, though he didn’t. As we were leaving the Four Seasons Hotel, he said there was this beautiful park right across the river into Illinois that he wanted to take me to. As we were driving to the park, I started to get a little concerned. One, because we were going into East St. Louis, and two, because we were driving down a gravel road that had a sign saying “Road Closed.” Ending up, we drove down the gravel road and this amazing park named Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park came out of nowhere. He took me up to the top of this elevated viewing point overlooking downtown St. Louis, he got down on one knee and proposed to me with this poem he had written. His mom’s family friends were actually standing right there taking pictures during the proposal, but I didn’t recognize them; they took pictures after as well. He told me he had one last surprise for me and he drove us to the Ritz Carlton in Clayton, where after we had dinner with our families at Cafe Napoli, we celebrated with our friends and family and stayed the night. He did such an amazing job; I would love to relive that day over and over again.


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!

My ring in GORGEOUS! We actually picked out the band and diamond together about 6/7 months before he proposed. I wanted a plain band with a round diamond in the middle. We agreed that something simple would look timeless and be a ring I would love forever. We ended up going to Distinctive Diamonds and found a simple silver band, in platinum, that has three small diamonds underneath the large center diamond on each side. We decided together that we would rather spend the money on a diamond that was of better quality than a bigger diamond; a 1.5 karat diamond also looked too big on my finger since I have small hands. We were able to find a VERY nice diamond, just over 1 karat that sparkled every way it turned. One of the salesmen took me out of the room so the other salesman could discuss everything with Aaron. To my knowledge, Aaron did not purchase the ring that day, until he told me after he proposed that as we were leaving the store, he nodded to the salesman saying he wanted that band and diamond. I’m so glad he got it because I absolutely love it all!


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

My wedding has already come and gone…it was Friday, September 28th, 2018. Our wedding was at The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s Chocolate Factory in Downtown St. Louis. I wanted my ceremony outside and the ceremony and reception to all be in one venue. The Caramel Room is also very updated, with hardwood floors and gorgeous chandeliers, and has a view of the Arch, all of which were must haves for my wedding day. The theme of our wedding day was wine, as we made many decorations out of wine corks, wine bottles, wine barrel staves, etc. I would relive my wedding day over again as well! The day flew by so quickly, but was amazing and everything I wanted.