Oh MAN you guys, we never anticipated how awesome it would be to hear so many great stories deserving of winning free wedding photography, but simultaneously how darn hard it would be to narrow it down to the finalists! Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, and participated in this contest. We loved all of the entries, but our anonymous panel of judges agreed on these top three (below). This is not a popularity contest, and so as much as we love comments and for you to share away, there is no voting element to this contest. These 3 finalists will be interviewed next week, and the winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day! Click here to see the original contest rules and regulations.
OK! On to getting to know our AWESOME finalists (in no particular order).
Annie & Marc
“Call it fate. Call it destiny. This is our amazing story of how we took a chance on two simple words: ”What If?”
Annie’s Story: I joined eHarmony and while acquainting myself with the site and its offerings, found a section called What If. This section lists site participants, not personal matches, who are available to connect. What If profiles are not found in your suggested matches and you cannot search the site for users by name. The section is a gamble; passing on a profile sends it away. Once a profile in the What If section is gone, it disappears forever.
Feeling disappointed with my suggested matches, I scrolled through the What If section and was met with the extraordinarily handsome smile of a 30-year-old engineer named Marc. He was tall, educated, and playful. I had to know more! However, in an unfortunate twist, the computer powered off before I could send a message or make contact with my new interest. My curiosity was corrupted by an automatic update! My chance with 30-year-old Marc, the engineer with the extraordinarily handsome smile, was lost forever. (Or so I thought…)
Marc’s Story: After moving to Denver from Colorado Springs and starting a new job, I decided to explore the dating scene. Resistant to join the herds of other men searching for dates at the bar, I turned to eHarmony. After a few false-starts with my suggested matches, I turned to eHarmony’s What If section where I found a 29-year-old office coordinator named Annie. After seeing pictures of this beautiful woman and reading her profile, I had no idea why she wasn’t already taken, but I needed to meet her.
I initiated conversation with Annie right away. We talked for several weeks before meeting in person at The Hornet on an absurdly snowy and cold January 27, 2014. After waiting by myself for about 15 minutes I saw her walk through the front door. I was floored! She said she would be easy to spot since she’s nearly 6 feet tall, but failed to tell me I would fall in love with her the moment I set eyes on her.
Since that day, we have been inseparable.
The Proposal: Annie and Marc saw an advertisement for the exhibit Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum. Annie was eager and excited to attend, and Marc, who had been secretly brainstorming proposal ideas, realized it would be the perfect setting.
Marc toured the Cartier exhibit prior to the proposal day. He arranged clearance from security, obtained authorization for flash photography, and coordinated the plan with Annie’s friends who were in on the surprise. Their New Year’s Eve date turned engagement when inside the exhibit Marc proposed, “I want to start 2015 with the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. Will you marry me?” Annie said “yes” in front of their friends who were hiding behind the display cases.”
Meagan & Brad
“We are the official “PARKINSON’S ASSOCIATION COUPLE” – who knew anyone would have that title? My fiancé Brad Miller and I met at the PAR Gala (Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies) in 2012 – Brad, the only man under 60 at the event who immediately caught my eye, and me, the radio station sponsor MC for the night, just so happened to be sitting at the same table for the event.
This table seated his entire family, his mother who has Parkinson’s, father who was on the board of directors, his godmother, aunts, uncles and younger brother. The entire night I badgered him to talk to me telling him multiple times “I am single, don’t have any kids, and my escort is a gay man, so he isn’t interested in me – so I am definitely single…” the man never seemed to get the hint. I spent 3 hours, minimum, throwing my best lines at him, flirting like I have never flirted before and he continued to brush me off…until I started chatting with his brother, and the thought of losing my interest to his younger brother sparked his interest…finally!
As the night was ending, I mentioned one more time that I was single and he still wasn’t able to pick up the hint – so his own brother, Godmother AND mother cornered him and said ‘If you don’t ask for that girls number, I will.’ So Brad walks back to the table and says ‘So…do I have to call the radio station to get a hold of you again?’ To which my response…’OR you could just man up and ask for my number now.”
Luckily…two days later he called and we have been together ever since. I knew he was the one and even purchased my wedding gown a mere 6 months after we met. Thankfully, he proposed not long after and now it’s time for our wedding! The Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies still call us the “Parkinson’s Couple” – because without the gala – we may never have met! It’s a cause we fight for every year – for his mom, for our ‘group’ and for our future. We truly hope that you can capture our amazing journey together!”
Madeline & Colton
“February 26th, 2012: I met a tall and handsome college blonde today at a conference in Fort Collins. Although sweet on the eyes, I immediately questioned his sociability with women when our first conversation consisted of classes and chemistry. Little did I know that one day we would have a chemistry that made it beyond the bond of initial attraction and into the realm of friendship to the highest degree.
June 11th, 2012: I began my first day of work with Colten as a lifeguard at the YMCA in Granby, CO. We are both part of the Navigators Summer Training Program, where dating and relationships are “off-limits” for the summer. We both know why we are here though, so I will put my feelings aside for now and seek only friendship with this man.
June 21st, 2012: I am scared out of my mind. I feel crazed, or at least had something funny to eat. I cannot look at Colten the same anymore and I have this nagging and terrifying feeling that he is “The One”… a phrase I have always found ridiculous. I am only 19 and have years upon years of dreams to live before I can consider any of this.
August 25th, 2012: Colten took me up the Flatirons in Boulder, CO today and at the very peak, we found a tiny outcrop on a ledge overlooking the valley. He shared his heart and feelings for me, asking to pursue my heart and all that comes with it. In blissful excitement, I shared my similar heart with him.
August 30th, 2012: Colten and I are a package!
February 28th, 2014: I left for Peru today. Leaving Colten and my family for 5 months was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I feel like a semester abroad in Lima is where I am supposed to be for this season.
June 28th, 2014: Colten flew to Lima for the week to visit me! I was so excited to see him I could hardly sleep and was shaking all over. What if when we are in person, we’ll see that we have changed?
July 14th, 2014: Returning to Denver was one of the most mind boggling and comforting experiences. As I returned to my own culture and language, I returned to my most faithful friend. From this season apart, I’ve seen Colten’s faithfulness and love for me. But more importantly, this separation has given me confidence in my love for him. I choose life with him.
October 24th, 2014: Colten took me up the Flatirons today to our exact spot we visit every anniversary. This is where he first asked me to be his girlfriend. Except this time I found myself at the top, swimming in tears of joy as he got on one knee and shared for the very first time that he loves me. I told him I would be his bride and loving wife forever.
July 17th, 2015: Today, we become one! It can’t come soon enough!”
See?!?! How will the judges ever decide? Somehow they will though – stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2015!