Weddings & Celebrations: Co-workers connect behind the bar and the look of love speaks volumes

LOVE CITY, USA - "The heart wants what it wants", right? These two engagement stories bear out Emily Dickenson's immortal words. It must be true, if a Michigan fan can find love with an Ohio State fan and two coworkers can connect behind the bar.

Love, shaken & stirred

Newly Engaged: John Simon and Stephanie Zastawa
Wedding Date: March 8, 2014
Location of Wedding & Reception: Drees Pavilion, Cincinnati

Stephanie Zastawa, daughter of Mark and Rose Zastawa of Erie, Pa., is engaged to John Simon, son of Jim and Lisa Simon of Edgewood, Ky.

Ms. Zastawa, 27, is the director of operations for Cincy Chic. Mr. Simon, 26, works in e-commerce at Cengage Learning.

The couple met in 2010 while bartending together but were just friends until 2011. The two grew very close as they spent countless days talking and hanging out.

Ms. Zastawa says she felt the relationship evolving into love naturally; the more time the couple spent together the less time they wanted to spend apart. Mr. Simon, however, said he knew it was love the moment he saw his bride-to-be, and was soon overwhelmed by her spirit and a beauty that beamed from the inside out.

Last November, Ms. Zastawa came home, eager to try on a new dress. When she came out of her room to show Mr. Simon, he took an ornament from the Christmas tree that she had given him in memory of his late grandfather. He began to tell her how much the special gift meant to him and that he knew how much she truly loved him. He then told the bride-to-be that he had a special gift for her, dropped to one knee and asked for her hand in marriage.

The couple says that building from a foundation of friendship is what makes their love story so special. The groom-to-be said he is most drawn to Ms. Zastawa’s generosity, while she is in awe of his amazing heart.

  • Why it works: The pair says they take their commitment to each other seriously and look to their parents and grandparents as role models for how a marriage should be. They each see life as an adventure and look forward to sharing everything together, from travels out west to the biggest adventure of all: parenthood!

The couple plans to purchase a house in Northern Kentucky after their nuptials.

Rock Bottom Romance

Newly Engaged: Patrick Warnement and Elizabeth Quatman
Wedding Date: October 11, 2014
Location of Wedding: St. Pius X in Edgewood, Ky
Location of Reception: Marriott Rivercenter in Covington, KY

Elizabeth Quatman, daughter of Jon and Ellen Quatman of Edgewood,Ky., is engaged to Patrick Warnement, son of Paul and the late Peggy Warnement of Toledo.

Ms. Quatman, 32, is in sales. Mr. Warnement, 32, is a civil engineer. The couple made their love connection online.

One evening after attending a Saturday night Mass, the two went back to the bride-to-be’s place. By the time she reached her family room, Mr. Warnement was down on one knee, reciting words of endearment. Next came the proposal.

After announcing their engagement to their parents, the groom-to-be then whisked his love to Jeff Ruby’s for a romantic dinner, then to the Westin hotel for an overnight stay filled with champagne and rose petals, and finally for a surprise weekend to see the Bengals play in Baltimore.

After the game, the couple made a few stops to see family and ended the trip with one more special surprise. Back in Cincinnati, Mr. Warnement drove to Rock Bottom Brewery on Fountain Square; the location of the pair's very first date. There, he had arranged to have both his father and his bride-to-be’s parents waiting to celebrate the engagement.

The couple is planning a traditional Catholic Mass and a reception filled with breathtaking views and amazing music from The Company, all with the help of Cincinnati’s own bridal guru, Nidhi Bedi from A Bride's Mafia.

  • Why it works: The couple feels it is a genuine love and affection for one another as well as a shared respect for old-fashioned values that will allow their relationship to withstand the tests of time. The pair also loves sports: Patrick is Michigan fan and Elizabeth roots for Ohio State, so they enjoy a friendly and playful rivalry at game time.

 According to the bride-to-be, her cousin summed up best this love story best when she said, “I love to see how a man looks at his girlfriend when she is not looking. I knew Patrick was the one for you when I saw how he looked at you.”

The couple lives in Northern Kentucky but is hoping to expand their geographic horizons after they marry.

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