Jun 152012
 

Lots of people get nervous before they propose, but Joel thought he might literally pass out. He and Lauren had just hiked Pikes Peak in Colorado and he could feel the altitude sickness kicking in. “We just kept walking around until I built up the courage to ask her,” Joel said.

Lauren, 23, is getting a graduate degree in speech pathology, and Joel, 24, is in nursing school. They live in St. Louis, but Joel knew how much she loved the mountains, so he insisted on a trip to Colorado. That was when Lauren suspected he might be proposing. “I told him I didn’t want to travel because I was broke, but he kept insisting!”

They met in November 2009 when a mutual friend introduced them. Lauren was not one for being set up, but when she heard he looked like actor Gerard Butler, she bent her rule. Joel had seen her photo on Facebook and asked to be introduced, but when they first met, he was hesitant. “I thought she was cute, but she was with another friend who looked so young, so I first wanted to find out her age,” he confessed.

The first meeting wasn’t smooth for Lauren, either. “He was a little rough around the edges. But he was cute … I wasn’t sure about it!” After a few more times hanging out with their mutual friend, Lauren and Joel gave each other a chance for a second impression, and got together to watch “American Horror,” which turned out to be a terrible movie. They made up for it by following it up with “Blow,” with Johnny Depp.

Clearly they hit it off, and they’ve been together for two and a half years now. “He’s my best friend,” Lauren said. They got engaged on May 21 and will marry on October 26, 2013.

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