TRUE STORY: Tim & Danielle
After months upon months of planning, Tim decided it was officially time to take his girlfriend off the market. From the early stages of their six-year relationship, he had formed an idea of how he would ask her to marry him: knowing just how much Danielle loved old-time musicals, he knew it would be perfect to organize a flash mob that he would dance in.
Things began to fall into place when Dance Express (a local dance studio owned and operated by Jacque Mackay) dancer and choreographer Michele Mackay enrolled at UVM in Fall 2014 and grew to be one of Danielle’s closest friends. This made it easy for Tim to approach Michele with his idea, and she was thrilled to be one of the first to hear about the upcoming engagement, agreeing to play a crucial and secretive role in the proposal. Michele was also a teacher at the Urban Dance Complex in Burlington, and she told Danielle about a flash mob she was planning with her students on Church Street on November 9th. Danielle quickly made plans with Tim to watch the flash mob; unaware of the secret planning that had already occurred, but quickly putting Michele and other close friends to the test by discussing suspicions for a proposal that same Sunday, due to Tim making a lunch reservation on Church Street (which he never does!). After many weeks of Michele’s choreography, Tim decided to get even more creative, employing a local broadcasting company, the Northeast Sports Network, to film and broadcast their special day. Two days before the proposal, Tim rehearsed with Michele and the dancers of Dance Express before packing up the ring from Von Bargen’s and heading to Danielle’s for the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, Tim took Danielle out for their lunch reservation, where she secretly thought he might propose. Alas, lunch ended with no proposal, and they headed to Ben & Jerry’s, where the flash mob was going to be performed. Jacque and Michele kept Danielle preoccupied, and she never noticed her friends hiding in City Sports or their families hiding just a block down. When the music started, Tim kept his arm around Danielle casually, until all of a sudden he sprinted into the center of the flash mob! Danielle was shocked, but had no suspicions, instead pulling out her phone to videotape Tim’s moves. Finally, the music slowed down and the dancers knelt to the ground, with Tim standing. As Danielle realized what was happening, her eyes filled with tears and Tim made his way to her. He knelt on the ground and proposed, and of course she said yes! After he slid the ring onto her finger, he pointed behind her, where their families stood. The happy couple was surrounded by friends and family (as well as quite a few strangers!), and happy tears filled the eyes of many!
True Story: Cynthia & Frank
How much family love can you fit on one ring? Here’s the history…
The center stone was my great grandmother’s who passed it down to my grandfather. When he passed away, my mother (who was poor as a church mouse when she got married) got her first wedding ring at the age of 45. When my mom passed away, the ring came to me and sat in my jewelry box for a long time.
The stone on the right was won at a department store opening in 1970 by my late husband’s mother. When I got married in 1987, my “other mother” happily gave the diamond to us. I lost my husband to cancer a few years later.
After twenty years of windowhood, my fiance and the two rings found their way to Ali at Von Bargen’s who brought them to Todd. He found a way to weave all those who I loved or love into a heirloom for all time. Thank you both! I couldn’t be happier!”
True Story: Mark and Jennifer
Mark and Jennifer were busy with their careers and like many young professionals met online though EHarmony! One Sunday morning they met for the first time over coffee. Mark remembers, “I saw such a pretty smiling face looking back at me, that I had to turn quickly and look at the menu in order to get my bearings”. The conversation went so well Mark asked Jennifer to stay for lunch. This then led to drinks and finally after hours of conversation their first date came to a close. Mark’s friends advised him to wait to call Jennifer but he could not wait! Mark invited Jennifer to dinner a few days later and they have been together ever since! Jennifer was drawn to Mark’s personality, charm and sense of humor. Jennifer shares “He is the most genuine loving person I’ve ever met”. Mark appreciates Jennifer’s “kindness, spontaneity and genuine loving character”. Mark really values walking side by side with Jennifer during the journey of life. No matter how life forks they both have chosen to stay together.
Jennifer was totally surprised to arrive home one normal evening to find Mark dressed very suave with a rose in one hand and the ring in the other hand! Kneeling (and shaking) Mark proposed to Jennifer and of course she said yes! Mark shares his feelings of relief when Jennifer said yes. “Having a good idea of what the answer will be, however until that moment arises when you are standing there with the ring in hand, looking to ask this most important question, really it can be very scary. For me it was an amazing moment.” Jennifer recalls the special moment of receiving her ring. “When he put it on my finger, I saw it was the original ring I first fell in love with and that he remembered.”
Mark and Jennifer connected with Dawn at Von Bargens immediately. They are all originally from Delaware and were able to share memories from where they grew up, such as Philadelphia Cheese Steaks! Dawn and everyone at Von Bargens wish Mark and Jennifer the very best as they continue to walk side by side as husband and wife!
True Story: Tom and Bonnie
Tom and Bonnie met, as many modern couples do, on Match.com. From there sprouted a flourishing, genuine love built on common interest in adventure, travel, and positive energy! What began as a first date “ended up being a three plus hour conversation in a noisy and crowded restaurant in Essex,”says Tom, whose first impression of Bonnie was “interesting, caring, and worth the wait.” Bonnie’s first impression of Tom was equally optimistic; she was immediately drawn to “his smile, his positive outlook, and his sense of adventure and love of travel.”
Two and a half years later, the adventurous Tom and Bonnie have traveled to “lighthouses and dramatic high places all over the Atlantic and Caribbean.” The first vacation they took together as a couple was to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where they climbed to the top of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. As Tom recalls, “we were both a little nervous about going away together… The first morning of our vacation we found ourselves at the top of this lighthouse overlooking the Outer Banks, and I knew at that moment that this was not the only vacation and adventure we were going to share together.”
Tom and Bonnie have created a life based on their shared compassionate nature and positivity. Bonnie values Tom’s “depth of character” and “thoughtful, caring manner,” while Tom admires Bonnie’s “outlook on life” and her ability to make him feel “loved and cared for.” Waiting for true love was worth it for them both, as Tom muses, “at 50, I had finally found the person I want to share the rest of my life and family with.”
To keep in tune with their adventurous beginning, Tom decided to propose to Bonnie at the top of yet another high place: Saint David’s Lighthouse in Bermuda! Of course, there was no kneeling involved, but the enchanting Atlantic Ocean was enough to set the tone. Bonnie was extremely surprised and immediately excited to no longer refer to Tom as her boyfriend! Once back in Vermont, Tom recalled that Von Bargen’s was “Bonnie’s store,” and although he shopped around, Tom “kept coming back to Von Bargen’s…” He knew deep down that’s where Bonnie would have gone if she were doing the same!
On behalf of Von Bargen’s, we wish all the luck and happiness to Tom and Bonnie as they continue on with their venturesome story! Congrats!
True Story: Drew and Joanna
A friendship built on adventure, laughter, conversation and a common passion for music ignited into love for Drew and Joanna. After six years of dating these two were engaged at Shelburne Bay. Drew contemplated a few scenarios for the proposal and decided that best plan was no plan at all. He picked a time that was spontaneous and inspired. Joanna was completely surprised.
One of the most powerful aspects of jewelry is that it can be passed down from generation to generation. It brings joy to each new keeper, filled with sentiments of its past. Drew had his grandmother’s diamond and he and Joanna built a custom ring with us that suited Joanna’s personal taste while at the same time paying tribute to this diamonds rich history. Joanna described a sense of pride in her ring. A sentiment we are proud to deliver with each of the custom pieces we build.
Congratulations Drew and Joanna! May the adventures continue!
True Story: Tom and Jessica
Tom and Jessica met at a wedding in Maryland. With a smooth and flirty move, Tom slid in beside Jessica during the electric slide and said, “I don’t know this dance, maybe you can teach me?” They were inseparable for the rest of the evening. Jessica remembers it feeling, “like we were the only two people in the room.” They didn’t know it then that they would be inseparable for life.
Tom lived in Vermont, so that amazing moment between them only lasted that one evening. They enjoyed that short time together so much, that they kept in touch after the wedding via phone and e-mail. After a few short weeks of developing a friendship from afar, Jessica flew up to Vermont to visit; and just as she had fallen for Tom that night of the wedding, Jessica fell for Vermont! She said, “There is something truly magical about this place and I fell under her spell immediately.”
Jessica wasn’t looking for a relationship really. She was however, “always been a romantic looking for love.” It may be true what they say; love finds you at times when you aren’t looking for it. It was the friendship they nurtured over their year long, long distance relationship that helped develop a strong foundation for their future together.
Jessica moved to Vermont and Tom proposed to her on April Fool’s Day in their kitchen. It was a complete surprise and Jessica said it was perfect. She loved that he chose to do it there; in their home where they love cooking meals, gardening, hanging with friends by the fire pit, and sitting on their porch together on warm summer nights. She says that their love is, “Real love. Ridiculous, consuming, passionate, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
William Parrish wrote, “Love is passionate, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who’ll love you the same way back…To make the journey and not fall deeply in love well, you haven’t lived a life at all.” Tom and Jessica live this. Jessica has found, “the love of my life, my partner in crime, my very best friend, and the most extraordinary husband.”
Von Bargen’s Jewelry was excited to be a part of their special moment. We wish them many more years of love, happiness and passion to come!
True Story: Ric and Sienna
Ric proposed to Sienna kneeling in the wet grass, on a cold November day. He remembers feeling “the final missing piece in my life fell into place. It felt peaceful knowing we had found each other and would spend the rest of our lives together.”
Sienna was completely surprised! Sienna says “ he had me change in order to “take me out to dinner” from which emerged the treasure hunt of the proposal night.” Ric shared “ I wanted the proposal to be something Sienna would remember for the rest of her life, and to reflect both the good and hard times, in our lives together.” The treasure hunt took place throughout Chittenden County at places that were meaningful to both Ric and Sienna. It began with dinner at Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury, and ended in the Islands where Ric got down on one knee by the lake!
When asked to describe Ric in two words Sienna chose dedicated and driven. “I was drawn to Ric because he was somehow all the things I thought impossible to find in one person. I admire his extreme dedication to his work and all that is important to him.” Ric says “My heart still skips a beat and I feel fortunate to have found the love of my life.”
Ric and Sienna are both serving in our United State Military and were chosen to be the recipients of the 2014 “A Salute to our Soldiers” wedding, from Vermont Enchanted Events. We are grateful for their service and honored to be a part of their story.
True Story: Collin and Madaline
Collin and Madaline started dating when they were 14 and 15 years old. Ten and a half years later Collin asked Madaline to be his wife on top of Vail Mountain in Colorado.
They fell for one another on their bus route in high school. Madaline says ‘I remember being so happy when the bus entered his neighborhood… one day I asked him to sit with me and he did.’ Collin said ‘I remember being a little nervous at first while sitting on the bus with her.’ They shared their love for music and snowboarding and after going to a high school dance together Collin says he “built up the courage to ask her to be my girlfriend… over AOL Instant Messenger. I’m a classy guy.” For those of you unfamiliar with AOL Instant Messenger, it was what we all used before the days of Facebook.
Madaline says this about Collin ” I admire his patience, kindness and willingness to do anything for me. He has always been there for me when I needed him most, and I really value that. He makes me laugh all the time, even when I’m in a bad mood; that’s so important to me. He keeps me grounded and keeps it logical, and reassures me that everything will always turn out okay.” Collin says this about Madaline: “I love her energy. She always wants to have a good time and laugh with me. I also like that she is very independent and doesn’t care about what other people think; whether it be about her or us. She gets me to try new things, which makes life exciting. I love that she lets me eat whatever I want; I also have a pretty serious relationship with food.”
On a beautiful blue sky day at the top of Vail Mountain in Colorado, Collin got down on one knee, in the snow, and asked Madaline to marry him. “After the screaming and cursing subsided, I was relieved to finally hear her say “yes”. But, I was more excited to see her reaction” says Collin. Madaline says ‘I look at my ring every day and smile’. We wish Collin and Madeline blue bird skies, fresh powder, and cozy lift rides for many years to come!
True Story: Josh and Leah
Josh and Leah met while working together in the summer of 2008. What drew Josh to Leah was “her good looks of course! But it didn’t take long to realize there was much more that I loved about her”. The proposal took place in Massachusetts at a Falconry Lesson.
For those of you unfamiliar with Falconry, it is the use of trained birds to catch game. Think Harry Potter meets National Geographic. Josh attached a three stone ideal cut diamond ring in 18k yellow gold and platinum to the talons of a Falcon. Leah stretched out her arm and this handsome bird landed presenting her with not only with a stunning ring, but with a promise of forever. “At first she didn’t say yes! She was more surprised than anything and was concerned about the hawk… after the shock subsided, we tried it again… this time with a very ecstatic ‘yes!’”
“Leah and I are bird lovers and frequently go on walks and hikes to see what birds we can find. In fact, Leah gave me the brilliant idea of having one of her beloved birds of prey swoop into action. A few years back, she mentioned that her ornithology professor had an owl as a ring bearer at his wedding. She suggested we do that for ‘our wedding’ if the day were ever to come, I promptly rolled my eyes and thought ‘never, ever’. As the years passed and my appreciation for birds grew, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to bring her dream to reality. Instead of an owl, it was a Harris Hawk and she was completely caught off guard and incredibly happy. It could not have gone any better.”
All of us at Von Bargen’s Jewelry are thrilled to be a part of such momentous occasions. Wishing the very best to Leah and Josh.