Nicolette Weeke & Matthew Bigham

photo by Jen & Dayton Photography

DATE: November 4, 2017

VENUE: Old Barn Inn at The Inns at St. Albans

ABOUT THE COUPLE: She’s an emergency department physician assistant at CEP America. He’s a corporate counsel at LS Power Development

HOW DID YOU MEET?  

Like all great romances of the 21st century, we met on Tinder.

photo by Jen & Dayton Photography

WAS IT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?  

Matthew: I remember seeing Nicolette’s profile and thinking that if I could just get the chance to meet her in person, then this girl could be the one for me. I realize basing that opinion on a few photographs sounds bizarre, but I distinctly remember thinking that. Of course, after I performed some exhaustive online reconnaissance, I learned that Nicolette and I had both grown up in southern Illinois and gone to the University of Illinois, and that she had an impressive job as a PA in the Emergency Department. I started thinking that maybe my initial gut feeling about this girl was right because she seemed perfect on paper.

Nicolette: I think I’m a little bit more cautious, but I knew instantly that I really liked Matthew after our first date. Not only was he handsome, but he was such a Southern gentleman. It didn’t take him long to sweep me off my feet. After a few dates, I think I knew he was the one.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST DATE.

Matthew: We went to 21st Street Brewers Bar. We found a spot on a leather couch and ordered some drinks and PW pizza. The conversation flowed extremely well, and before we knew it, four hours had passed. We tried to find another venue to continue our evening, but all of the places were closed. I drove Nicolette back to her apartment and dropped her off. After about four seconds of me sitting in my car wondering if I was about to get friend-zoned by this amazing girl for not making a move, I jumped out of my car and yelled out at her that she had left something in the car. I ran her down and when she asked me what she had left, I went in for our first kiss. I’m sure glad I had that moment of panic/courage.

photo by Jen & Dayton Photography

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO EACH OTHER?

Matthew: It’s rare that Nicolette and I aren’t thinking the same thing. I think that’s one of the reasons our relationship is so effortless. In addition to her obvious beauty, Nicolette is intelligent, thoughtful, selfless, ambitious and she makes me a better person. I think the best way to describe my love for Nicolette is that she makes me want to do things that I otherwise wouldn’t have any interest in doing—just because I know that doing those things are going to make her happy.

Nicolette: What initially attracted me to Matthew was his manners and charm. In a time where we often hear that chivalry is dead, Matthew proved that wasn’t always the case. The more I got to know Matthew, the more I was attracted to his easygoing nature. I have a somewhat anxious personality, but he always finds a way to keep me calm and sane. We have a lot of similarities, but it is our differences that perfectly balance us out as a couple.

TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL.

Nicolette: We went to the Lake of the Ozarks for a weekend with some of our friends in September 2016. On Friday night, we were sitting in the living room when Matthew asked me to accompany him to let our friends’ dog outside. Being the dog-lover that I am, I obliged. On the walk back inside, Matthew grabbed my hand and began a monologue that neither of us remember (but we assume was about his love for me, etc.). He then dropped down on one knee, pulled out a beautiful ring, and through some tears (on his end) asked me to marry him. Once we both got over the shock of what had just happened, we walked back into the house where our friends had prepared a Champagne toast in celebration. We spent Saturday boating and enjoying the uncrowded, post-Labor Day lake. When we got back home on Sunday, Matthew asked if I wanted to go to dinner. I hate picking where we go out to eat, so I told him to choose. We got in the car and ended up at the site of our first date: 21st Street Brewers Bar, where I was surprised by 50 of our closest family and friends! Matthew had secretly contacted everyone to help celebrate our new engagement.

photo by Jen & Dayton Photography

WHAT WAS MOST MEMORABLE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING?

The most memorable part of our wedding was that we got to share a full weekend with all of our friends and family in one place. We rented the Studio Inn and the Old Barn Inn for the whole weekend. We had an intimate rehearsal dinner, then went back to the Studio Inn for dessert and after-dinner drinks. The weather on our wedding day was perfect, allowing our guests to fully utilize the outdoor areas of the Old Barn Inn, which included multiple fireplaces, a cigar bar, s’mores bar and coffee bar. We finished the weekend with Sunday brunch, and enjoyed the beautiful views on an unseasonably warm (80 degrees) November morning.

photos by Jen & Dayton Photography