Day of Wedding Decorator: Ingrid Jacobs, Indiana- Flowers by: Margarita Solomon, Tampa FL. Catering: Papa Joe’s Restaurant. Cake: Betty’s Cakes, Dade City. Invitations by: www.minted.com. My wedding theme was classic romance. My now husband and I did most of the work ourselves.Our family and friends did everything else.
How We Met!
Kari: I had gone on a few dates with guys I had met on Adventist Singles Connection but had not found anyone I thought would be a good match for me. I was starting to feel like online dating sites were not the place for me when I got this…. Hi Kari…nice to meet you! I am writing to you because you definitely caught my interest! Aside from being very photogenic (and obviously very cute)….you come off as a very genuine and sincere person and would love to have the opportunity to get to know you! Hope to hear from you soon Thanks, Edwin. Because I had just ended things with someone else and had not been online for a few days, I didn’t even see the email until many (four) days later. When I did finally see it, I was thinking of not responding and giving up with the whole online dating thing altogether. Thanks to Amy Jacobs (and her wise words of wisdom telling me to just get back on the proverbial horse and try again) I emailed him back. I can’t imagine life without Edwin Aguayo!!! I thank God daily for the way he has led Eddie and myself to this special place and I can’t wait to see where we will go from here!!!
Eddie: Yup! That is the same exact picture I had up on the online dating site. Not sure what it was, but apparently it was enough to solicit a email response from Kari. Okay, so maybe I am leaving out a few facts. It was June 1, 2012 when I…yes, I…first made contact with the beautiful Kari. I sent the first email. Now, you might be asking yourself, did she respond instantaneously? If you said yes, you are dead wrong! She made me (can you believe it?!) wait a total of 4 days until I finally got a response. Little did I know, that her roommate Amy Jacobs (I am giving her a shout out) was the catalyst that prompted Kari to respond back (thank you Amy!!). From that point on, the rest is pretty much history! So the moral of the story is that online dating does actually work! So for all my online dating peeps out there, don’t lose hope! Pray, pray and pray some more and with a little bit of help from a roommate, your dreams can come true!
Kari: To explain how much of a planner Eddie is, I must start by telling you that two months before April 19th, 2013, Eddie had asked me if I wanted to go to a Jazz concert that was being hosted at Siesta Keys beach. I knew that Eddie really enjoyed listening to jazz music and thought it would be a great date night. The day of the concert came around and to my surprise Eddie seemed to be operating without a plan! If you know this man at all, that is really unlike him. I was almost a little frustrated with him as whenever I asked about something he didn’t seem to have even thought about it. One of the things I had asked him was where we were going for dinner before the concert. He had said that he wasn’t sure but would find a place. True to his word he found a place…Yoder’s!!! The food was good but not at all a place one would think of going before popping the question. As a woman I have to be honest and say that it had crossed my mind that this could be the night, but when he took me to Yoder’s, I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen. After dinner Eddie didn’t seem all that rushed to get over to the beach so we walked around the Yoder’s food stand. It didn’t take us long and soon we were on our way to the beach. The day was hot and I wasn’t that excited about the concert but I knew Eddie was. When we pulled into the parking lot at the beach Eddie told me his stomach wasn’t feeling well and he thought some Seltzer water would help. I felt really bad that he was sick after we had come all this way. I think I even made the suggestion that we could go home if he wanted. He said “No, I think I’ll be fine if I can just get some water.” After about an hour we were back at the beach. Once again it seemed like Eddie hadn’t planned at all! He hadn’t even thought to bring a towel for us to sit on! As we walked along the beach I remember thinking “I hope this isn’t too long because it is so hot outside.” When we got to the beach I didn’t see anything that looked like a concert, but we kept walking. Soon we came to a group of people standing around. As we got closer I heard music start and thought “This must be it!” As we walked up, one of Eddie’s coworkers came over. Eddie had told me Cal was going to be there and we said hi. As we were talking I noticed a giant sand castle. It was amazing and I thought it must be part of the concert. Somehow Eddie took me around to the front of the castle and there I saw the words “Kari, will you marry me? -Eddie”. When I looked back Eddie was pulling something out of his pocket and getting down on one knee. Of course I said YES! All the people standing around were clapping and taking pictures. I felt like a very blessed woman!
Eddie: I told Kari about two months before the proposal that I wanted to go to a jazz concert with her that was going to be held at Siesta Key Beach on April 19, 2013. Unbeknownst to her, there was no such concert scheduled…at least not yet. In order to pull this off, I had to create the event. So I contacted a very talented musician (his name is Trevor Earl Stanislaus, for those who were wondering) who plays at the Tommy Bahama restaurant in Naples, FL. I contracted him to give a concert on the beach which would be my decoy on the day of. I also gave him instructions to play a specific song when it would be time to pop the question. The “concert” was scheduled to start at 5pm. In addition to the musician, I also hired a professional sand sculpting team to create a large sand castle with a message in the front to read “Kari, will you marry me? Eddie”. It would take them 7 hours to build the sand sculpture. A photography team was also hired to capture the moment. The plan was conceptionally simple yet more complex in application since timing was everything. Prior to arriving at the beach, we stopped to grab a bite to eat. Now most men would normally take their girlfriend to a super fancy five star restaurant when they are planning to pop the question. The problem with that, is that women all have a 6th sense and are all able to smell a proposal a mile away. So unless you want to give away the surprise, take her to a fancy restaurant! With that thought in mind, I decided to take her to a restaurant that was anything but fancy. Where did i take her?
I proposed after eating at an Amish restaurant and listening to Lionel Ritchie’s “Truly”
I took her to Yoder’s of course. The famous Amish restaurant, which is nothing more than a family style diner. Nothing glamorous by any means. In fact, our meal consisted of a grilled cheese, potato pancakes, corn cakes, apple butter and a salad. I’m sure you get the picture. By the time we finished eating it was 4pm. Still too early to head over to the beach. The sand sculpture wasn’t finished yet. So i needed to stall. What were my options? We started off by taking a brisk walk through the Amish market. However, that was over in 10 minutes. I needed to kill more time. To make matters worse, Kari began insisting that we head over to the beach to find parking. This wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but I had to agree. I needed to come up with a stalling plan quickly – I was running out of time! I have to be honest, I was stressing out! I didn’t want my plan to be foiled. I was so nervous that my stomach literally got upset from the stress. And then it hit me – an epiphany!! Why don’t i fly with this?! I am not feeling well. Of course being the wonderful girlfriend and nurse that she is, she insisted that we find a CVS to purchase a seltzer water and to rest for a bit in the car. I happily agreed with the idea. After about 45 mins of resting, we proceeded to the beach parking lot. After parking, we entered the white sandy beach of Siesta and began looking for the concert. It was about 5:15pm and there was no sign of anything. I recommended that we head east and try our luck on that side of the beach (of course, i knew where everyone would be).
As we walked in that direction holding hands, a faint sound of music being played broke the silence of air. Kari knew that this was the correct direction. As we approached, a large group of beach-goers were clapping, dancing, pretty much all having a good time while the musician played. There must have been 60-70 people surrounding the musician. Not exactly what i was hoping for! I thought maybe 10 people tops would still be at the beach at this time. I was greatly mistaken (I found out later that the photographer that I hired was advertising the event…way to go Cal). I told Kari this was the musician we came to see. As we stood and watched the musician play and sing, the musician changed up the song selection and began playing a love ballad (this was the song I told the musician to play). It was “Truly” by Lionel Richie (which is the song that is playing for you right now on this webpage). I had 3 minutes and 30 seconds to do my thing. While the musician sang, I grabbed Kari by the hand and told her that we should move to the other side of the crowd to get a better view. To walk to the new spot, we had to walk by the large sand castle (the back side of the castle was facing us).
As we approached the front of the sand castle, I stopped, faced Kari and pointed to the message that was engraved into the sand castle. At that very moment, I began declaring my love for her (and for all the women reading this, I know you are all wondering…yes…I got my knee very sandy)…pulled out the ring and asked Kari to marry me! The pictures taken by the photographer captured the moment perfectly. Her eyes and smile were full of pure joy! It was SO worth all the effort and planning to put this all together just to see that one incredible moment (her beautiful face and response) that I shall remember for the rest of my life! I am such a blessed man to have such a gorgeous and amazing woman