Stefanie LaMay and Dustin Springer have a love story that is brought full circle by the shared love of a special place.
Their journey through life began innocently on the campus of Samford University, where Stefanie was a student. Dustin came to visit a mutual friend one weekend and they were introduced. Stefanie recalls her initial impression was, "he was one of the kindest people I have ever met." A perfect beginning to a love story built on a four year friendship.
Reflecting on the evolution of their relationship and the moment that she knew he was "the one", Stefanie reports, " I don't think there was a specific moment that I knew. Our whole relationship was just so easy and fun. I was dating my best friend and knew that I always wanted to be that happy".
Like most relationships, Stefanie and Dustin faced challenges early on. Following college, Stefanie returned home to South Florida. For the first nine months of their relationship, they were only able to see one another once a month. "We were together for a month before we got to have our first date." "It was tough", Stefanie recalls. However, it was a factor that brought them closer. "I came to Birmingham and almost as soon as we saw each other in person, he told me he loved me."
Sharing a love of college football and trips to the local dog park, Stefanie and Dustin also have a fondness for the Vulcan. Their first date and first picture as a couple was at the Vulcan. Surprisingly enough, it was later learned that Dustin's parents also shared their first date at the Vulcan and they have been joined in marriage for almost 40 years.
Stefanie had an idea the proposal was coming, due to using the diamond from her grandmother's wedding ring, but she did not any notions of when or where. However, Dustin was planning to make Stefanie his wife and that plan began as Dustin and Stefanie set out to attend her office holiday party this past December. Dustin told Stefanie that traffic was bad and they needed to take an alternate route. As he was driving through Homewood, Dustin hands her a blindfold and instructed her to put it on.
Suspecting something now, Stefanie reports, "I immediately started crying because I realized what was about to happen. He walked me to the Vulcan, took my blindfold off and proposed." With the city lights twinkling in the background, Stefanie said "yes". She would soon discovered that Dustin had informed all of her friends at work what was happening and they were able to celebrate with friends at her work party as well as an arranged night of fun and drinks with friends at the Wine Loft. Way to go Dustin!
On February 10, 2018, Dustin and Stefanie will wed at the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama surrounded by family and friends. Their reception will be held at The Florentine. Stefanie's dream for the wedding day is for "it to be romantic and fun-just like our relationship." As much as she is looking forward to being Dustin's wife, Stefanie is also looking forward to sharing the city she loves with her two half siblings who have never visited Alabama and their amazing honeymoon to Sonoma as man and wife.
*Photographs provided by Stefanie courtesy of Alyssa Rose Photography