How did you and your significant other meet?
We first became aware of each other in a Spanish class in college at UW-Madison, though due to significant overlap in our friend groups, we’d likely crossed paths several times before. After moving into the same apartment building following graduation and running into each other repeatedly, we finally decided to go out.
As a couple, what are your interests/hobbies?
We love cooking, hiking, and skiing. Whenever we have a chance, we love to travel to a new city or explore a new national park.
When did you know your partner was “the one” and you wanted to get married?
Natalie: It’s hard for me to pick out one exact moment that I knew Ford was my forever person, but one memory definitely sticks out… One morning early in our relationship, Ford offered to make me a BLT for brunch. I wasn’t expecting much, but he pulled out a loaf of artisan bread and made a homemade spicy aioli. As a food-obsessed person, I knew any man who made me a homemade aioli on a Sunday morning was something special :)
Ford: I'm not sure there was an individual event that marked a clear moment of "okay now I'm sure she's the one." Over the first year of our relationship, I grew to appreciate not just the clearly apparent things like Nat's kindness, or her competitiveness, or her stunning good looks. We bonded over mutual love of great sandwiches, traveled together, met each other's families, and found out both how compatible and similar we were in some ways, while at the same time complimenting each other with certain divergent traits. Ultimately, when she decided she could, in spite of her family's deep and longstanding association with and love for Chicago sports franchises, become a Green Bay Packers fan, I knew it was meant to be.
What is one of your favorite things about your partner?
Natalie: I love how Ford lives in the moment. He always helps me remember to slow down and not sweat the little stuff.
Ford: My favorite thing about Natalie is her empathetic and earnest disposition. There are many external and internal qualities about her I love, to be sure, but the empathy and earnestness provide a bedrock of safety, love, and understanding in our relationship.
What was your proposal like (was the ring a surprise or was it collaborative)?
If an impromptu trip to Arizona wasn’t enough to raise her suspicions of a proposal, the strange way he suggested they purchase a mini bottle of champagne for lunch on their hike cleared up any remaining doubt. Luckily, the stunning scenery of the Coconino National Forest distracted both Ford and Nat as they ascended Mt. Wilson. He finally popped the question and the mini bottle at the top while they marveled at the surrounding vista of red cliffs and pine trees. After hiking over to the other side of the plateau to see the city of Sedona from above, they descended back down to civilization to call and celebrate with family and friends.
The ring was a surprise for Natalie. It had been the ring that Ford’s grandfather had given to his grandmother, with a very special star sapphire.
Tell us about your wedding (if it has happened yet).
Our wedding was an absolute dream. We got married in a beautiful industrial-meets-secret garden venue that was full of flowers. It was a perfect Fall day in Wisconsin filled with family and friends.
Why did you decide to work with Balefire?
Having an heirloom ring, we were worried about finding the right jeweler. Many jewelers we spoke to told us it wasn’t possible to remove the wedding band and re-size the engagement ring without damaging the stone (which was a problem, because it was about 3 sizes too big!). We learned about Balefire through a family member with connections in the jewelry industry who recommended them highly. We feel very lucky to have found Balefire! They were able to separate the original band and size the engagement ring so that it fit perfectly.
We were so impressed with Balefire’s work on my engagement ring that we returned to them to create our custom wedding bands. Baleigh really listened to our ideas and came up with designs that matched our visions. They even used the platinum from the original band to create a unique design for Ford’s ring. We couldn’t have been happier with the service, professionalism, and craftsmanship that we experienced with Balefire.
Anything else you want to share?
We had an amazing experience working with you guys and would recommend you to anyone!