How did you and your significant other meet?
We met in the summer of 2014 at a fitness group in Washington, DC called November Project. It's a free workout group that meets up each Wednesday at 6:30am at the Lincoln Memorial. It was Steph's first time ever attending and Grant was pretty new himself. After the workout, Steph and Grant coincidentally biked home in the same direction. We chatted as we biked until we went our separate ways. We didn't really talk again until almost a year later, when Steph started organizing weekend bike rides to local taco joints. We then became good friends first, and almost roommates!, before Grant eventually confessed he'd developed feelings in November of 2016. We started dating a month or so later and never looked back!
As a couple, what are your interests/hobbies?
Our friendship and relationship started at a running group. Over the years, as friends and as partners, we also bonded over biking, racing (triathlons and running races), traveling, hiking, and playing board games.
When did you know your partner was “the one” and you wanted to get married?
I think it was a bunch of different moments and seeing how we grew together through all the big milestones and tough times we've experienced over the last few years (moving in together, a pandemic, one of us losing a job, illness, moving to a new city etc). Being able to go through something together and come out the other side feeling stronger and on the same page was really telling of the partnership we had built.
What is one of your favorite things about your partner?
One thing I love about Grant is his excitement and creativity when it comes to solving problems. He will just take random things we have around the house and fix something that was otherwise annoying. For example, our dryer door would always try to close when doing laundry and I kept hitting my head on it. Grant took a magnet, a paper clip, and a ribbon and put it together in a way that whenever I opened the dryer door, it would stick to the magnet and stay open. It was just such a thoughtful and practical way to approach a problem, which I feel like is how he approaches bigger issues in life. My favorite thing about Steph is that she never really "grew up", by which I mean she still has a youthful energy and approach to life. She is so nice and considerate of others that at times she'll go so far out of her way to help or convenience others that it's to her own detriment. Sometimes I catch myself about to discourage the behavior, but then I remember it's one of Steph's nicest qualities. She's just the best person I know, and instead of saying that it's crazy, I try to remind myself to be more like Steph. The world would be a better place if everyone had a little of Steph's child-like enthusiasm and kindness.
What was your proposal like (was the ring a surprise or was it collaborative)?
I (Steph) knew I did not want to be proposed to. I wanted that next chapter of our life to be a fully joint decision and one we transitioned into together on a timeline we both chose. We decided we'd do that by first starting couples counseling to help strengthen our foundation and make sure there weren't major issues. Then we moved on to writing letters to each other's parents to tell them our intentions and include them in the planning of an eventual marriage celebration. Finally we worked together to design rings we could exchange. For my ring, I wanted something sapphire (Grant's birthstone), hexagon, low profile, and sleek. Balefire was able to bring this to life perfectly! For Grant's ring, I had always envisioned giving my partner a Tungsten Ring. This is because the element Tungsten has a periodic symbol of W for its alternate name, Wolfram, which also happens to be my last name. For each of our design appointments and pick ups, we ended up biking to Balefire (7 miles from our house). It made the whole process even more special.
Tell us about your wedding (if it has happened yet).
We wanted to do something simple and meaningful that would be just the two of us (and our dog). We ended up biking to the courthouse to pick up our marriage license, which we then took with us a few weeks later on a hike up Mayflower Gulch. There we exchanged vows at sunrise on July 19th. We chose that date because we met on a random Wednesday in July at sunrise 9 years ago, so it felt fitting to get married on a random Wednesday in July at sunrise. It was beautiful and perfect, just for us. We then spent the next few days exploring some of the Colorado's beautiful mountain towns, including Leadville, Buena Vista, and Salida. We hiked our first 14er, stayed at a hot spring, had milkshakes for dinner, and just enjoyed our time together.
Why did you decide to work with Balefire?
We wanted to work with a local company that could help us bring to life something that was less traditional. Balefire was amazing at talking us through designs and guiding us towards a shared vision. The rings themselves ended up being better than we could have imagined.
What advice would you give to other couples shopping for wedding or engagement rings?
Don't worry so much about what other people will think, or what you think you should do for a ring design. It is so fun to see something that feels true to yourself come to life!