Danielle Getsee & David Willey

photo by Photo Elegance

DATE: October 28, 2017

VENUE: St. Francis Borgia Jesuit Hall in Washington, Missouri

ABOUT THE COUPLE: She’s a physician assistant with vascular surgery at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. He’s a civil/structural engineer at Manley Brothers.

photo by Photo Elegance

HOW DID YOU MEET?

David: We met in 2012, in Rolla, Missouri, where I went to school. The ratio of men to women while I was at Missouri S&T was four to one. So when a woman from Mizzou came to visit, she captured all of the guys’ attention. When Danielle came to town to visit her best friend, Ashley, whom I was also good friends with, I got to be their “sober” driver for her first night in town. I remember trying to act cool…but I don’t think Danielle took notice. The next night, we were at the same bar. I was playing pool, and she was at a table surrounded by eight to 10 guys. I got sick of waiting to talk with her, so I walked over, pushed my way through, and asked her to come play pool with me. She said yes, we hit it off, and the rest is history!

photo by Photo Elegance

HOW DID HE PROPOSE?

Danielle: David proposed on the weekend of his birthday—that’s how selfless he is. I think he was expecting me to be totally surprised, but I actually had a feeling the proposal was coming soon, so I had prepared (nails done, new dress, etc.), just in case. He told me we were going to dinner at a nice restaurant close to my hometown for his birthday, but he took a detour and took me to a nearby lake that we often go to. He told me he had something special planned. We had a picnic and wine under the gazebo by the lake. He had made a photo book of our whole relationship, including pictures of us growing up and of friends we made during our time together. At the end of the book, he had a beautiful and very personal handwritten letter, and when I looked up from reading it, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. I started crying and, of course, said yes. Then, his sister and brother-in-law come out from hiding where they were taking pictures. I thought that was the end of the surprise, but he took me back to my house where there was a huge party with all the people we love. He even surprised me by inviting my friends from different states, who drove hours just to help us celebrate. He truly nailed the proposal and made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

photo by Photo Elegance

TELL US ABOUT THE WEDDING DRESS.

Danielle: I wanted my dress to be feminine, classic and to have a vintage feel, but I also wanted it to be very romantic and accentuate my curves. I almost didn’t end up with the dress I wore because when I first tried it on, I didn’t like the neckline. It was a Queen Anne/Elizabethan collar, and just looked too matronly. It did nothing for my shoulders, but thankfully, my family and bridesmaids helped me see what it looked like when we changed it to off the shoulder, and I instantly fell in love!

WHAT WAS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING?

David: Danielle’s favorite holiday is Halloween, so when we realized how close the wedding was to Halloween, we decided to use incorporate some of the holiday into the reception. We had bride and groom skeleton statues with ‘Til Death Do Us Part” engraving in our decorations, and we gave out masquerade masks halfway through the reception. We also incorporated some of our favorite foods. Danielle is a donut fanatic, so we had mini long johns from her favorite bakery, Schulte’s.

Danielle: David grew up eating hotdogs, so we had a gourmet hotdog vendor for a late-night snack at the reception.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING-DAY MOMENT.

David: If I had to choose, it would be the walk down the aisle after the wedding ceremony. The sense of pride and joy I felt in that moment is a feeling I will never forget.

Danielle: My favorite part was our first dance. We were able to take in the scene around us, and realize how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends and family to support our love. It was nice to have a moment to focus on each other and hold each other close on our special day.

photo by Photo Elegance

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THIS PERSON WAS THE ONE?  

David: Danielle went to graduate school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. While she was there, I made the seven-hour drive to visit her every other weekend. It was during that time that I realized that I would do anything for this woman, and I would continue to do anything for her for no other reason than I loved her—and that’s when I realized she was the girl that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Danielle: My realization that David was the one for me was one that evolved over time. We had been dating four years before we got engaged, and during that time, I feel like we truly got to know the parts of each other that no one else had seen. I knew that I was very serious about David and vice-versa when I was living in Indiana. He still took the time to make me a priority and visit me almost every other weekend—sometimes, just to watch me study. When I started to envision my life after graduation, I just could not picture it without David. His support, friendship, understanding and love got me through so many difficult times and made the good times that much better, so I eventually just came to know that he had to be my partner for life.

photos by Photo Elegance