The First Sight
Madelynn (M)– I first met Chris at a bonfire for a bible study group when I was just 17 years old. Once I met Chris, I couldn’t get him out of my head. For some reason this guy with the big dimples and contagious laugh made a big impact on my heart. So, I asked a mutual friend for his number the next day…..
Christopher (C) – You never what know what will happen or who’s going to show up at a bonfire when you all decide to throw it out there on Twitter that anyone is welcome to stop by. Without that tweet, that beautiful blonde girl who I hoped would sit next to me as soon as I saw her would have never shown up. I knew there was something special about her right off the bat. We talked all night, and I certainly didn’t expect her to make the first move, but my face lit up the next day when I got her text.
M- When did I know? I knew I loved this guy when he showed up on my parent’s front porch on my 18th birthday to surprise me. We were so, so young yet we knew in our hearts there was something special about our relationship. I remember telling friends and family right off the bat that this was the guy I wanted to marry. Everyone says you “just know” and that’s how it was for me with Chris. I just knew.
C- Less than two months after meeting Maddi, my family was celebrating my grandparents 50th anniversary. It was a BIG group of people. I was beaming the entire night as I introduced her to my entire extended family. I know normally you don’t bring a girlfriend of a few weeks to something like that, but like Maddi said already, there was something different about us. Somehow we both knew we were meant to be together, and as my dad drove me back to my apartment on the U of M campus that night, I told him, “I know this is crazy, but I think I’ve found my wife.” It was crazy, but wow, was it true!
M- We’ve really grown up together. The last 4+ years haven’t always been easy but to think about how far our relationship has come and how much we have both grown personally is a pretty amazing thing.
C- It has been an adventurous 4 years to say the least; good and bad. But what I’m most proud of is fighting hard every day for a love we believed in and having faith in God to help us persevere through whatever came our way. It’s a love I believed in on our first date and a love I still believed in this past July that ended up bringing me to look at diamonds….
M- Christopher James Koenig, the little stinker, planned the best proposal I could of ever dreamed of. Chris came up to my family’s cabin where I was spending the weekend with family and girlfriends. He planned it out with my friends and family so that I would be out of the cabin for a few hours. The girls convinced me it would be fun to go shopping, so we went into town for the day. When we got back to the cabin, I was shocked to hear “I want Crazy” by Hunter Hayes playing (this is definitely “our song”) and see the dock decorated with flowers and streamers. At this point, I knew what was happening. I started walking towards the dock and it was almost like an out of body experience. My cabin is on a big hill, so it’s a long walk down to the water, and each stair on the way down had a photo of our relationship from the very first date to our most recent one.
C- I always get a kick out of how Maddi tells her version of the proposal story. Normally there are details missed, but it makes me smile because I know she was so overcome with emotion that she can’t remember everything. My favorite part was sitting out in the middle of the lake on the boat watching her walk down the stairs. I could tell she was crying. She was visibly shaking even from the distance we were at. Once she sat down on the bench, we drove in to the dock where I could see she was a mess (the best kind of mess! The kind that says I did my job!) The same beaming smile I had when I introduced her to my family 4 years ago was back on my face. There was no doubt in my mind as I stepped off the boat that I was making the best decision of my life.
C- Oh and I should note, I left a bottle of wine with two glasses to enjoy while she waited, but forgot a corkscrew…So close to the perfect proposal…
M- I don’t remember what he said when he asked me the big question and I probably never will. I was so emotional I fell down to my knees when Chris got down on his. Of course this was all photographed so I will probably never live that one down!
C- If you listen to the video that Maddi’s mom took of the proposal from up in the cabin, you’ll hear “Oh my gosh, is she going to propose to him?!” as she basically fell down on a knee. Maddi couldn’t keep her composure and it was a good 2-3 minutes before I could ask the question I was dying to ask. Lucky for Maddi, I remember everything I said. And lucky for me I didn’t drop the ring in the lake. She was able to get out a yes in the midst of her tears. It was hard to believe that this moment we had been talking about for years had finally happened.
M- The second best part of the day, besides deciding to get married of course, was when Chris told me to turn around….I did to see our nearest and dearest friends and family (most of which drove 4+ hours to be there) standing on top of the hill to celebrate with us. It was so cool to be able to celebrate such an incredible moment with our parents and our best friends. It was so surreal. I had never felt more loved in my entire life.
C- My favorite picture of the entire proposal is the one where Maddi realizes our family and friends have been watching the entire thing. As they come out of the cabin cheering, we turn around (I’m smiling with a thumbs up, Maddi is still crying uncontrollably). Maddi’s little sister was the first one to come sprinting down the stairs to the dock, closely followed by my mom and then her parents and everyone else. I’m still kind of shocked that dock didn’t collapse with how many people we fit on it. I’ll echo Maddi on this one; I haven’t felt more loved and overwhelmed with joy than in that moment. I had great people around me, and I knew I got to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.
I think Chris knew the basic style of rings that I liked but we never went to look at rings or anything like that. Something kind of special is that it was custom designed by Chris and his mom from Apple Valley Diamonds. It’s an oval diamond in a 4 prong setting on a thin white gold and diamond detailed band. It’s perfect.
Our wedding is on September 22, 2018 at Villa Bellezza Winery & Vineyards in Pepin, WI. We chose Villa because it’s literally like being transported to Italy, the wine’s amazing, and my dad’s family is from Pepin, WI, so it is a really special area to me. My grandma’s house is actually 4 blocks away.
The most exciting part of planning our wedding is deciding on all the details that go into a day where ALL of our loved ones are together. My extended family is spread out across the US so it will be so special to have everyone here. We want to make our wedding a fun weekend for everyone so we’re putting a lot of planning into aspects like the rehearsal dinner and the entire experience for our bridal party and family. I’m having a blast deciding on the details of the day like floral, colors, cocktail hour games, music, and stationary. This is a small thing, but “proposing” to my bridesmaids was so much fun!
I think Chris’s favorite part of the planning process is choosing beer selections and planning the honeymoon. Chris and his dad brew beer, so they will be making a home-brew for the rehearsal dinner which will be pretty special. What we’ve enjoyed most is the overwhelming support we’ve gotten from our family and friends- especially both of our mom’s! Planning is so fun when you have such an awesome family and supportive friends helping you. My wedding planner has also been AMAZING and has offered so much advice, support, ideas, and answered so many of my questions along the way.
Photographer: Hayley Huotari Photography
Engagement ring Jeweler: Apple Valley Diamonds
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