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our story

'My sister told me I can't propose until the third date'

- Roman, three days after our first date

December 22nd 2019 

told by Meli

Why would Tinder match up two people who live a four-hour drive apart? Our first date was in Richmond Virginia, to see the Nutcracker, a one-hour drive for me and three for Roman. I chose to meet in the lobby bar at Quirk Hotel, a safe public space.  I got there first and ordered a glass of red wine and a small charcuterie board.  Roman was late, but we caught eyes when he was halfway through the room, both grinning from ear to ear. It was a little awkward at first, as he ordered orange juice, but all that melted away by the laughter brought on by the marvelous cast of the Nutcracker production. Afterwards, we went and had dinner at a seafood restaurant.  At the end of dinner, I said, 'I know the chef at another hotel, let's see if we can get some dessert.' We went to the Jefferson Hotel and Chef Austin didn't just give us dessert; he gave us a plate of fried oysters, braised lamb shank, a dessert platter, and this is all after we just ate. You think on a first date maybe I will eat something light, maybe no garlic, maybe there will be a first kiss, etc.   So, what did we do? We ate almost all of it, devouring the delicious food over negronis and conversation. We still talk about those oysters. Two weeks later, I met Roman's mom, stepdad, and sister.  

March 14th 2020 

told by Roman

After two months of dating from DC to Williamsburg, a road trip to Savannah, a plane ride to California, we decided to move cross country together.  I got a job lined up in Silicon Valley, so we packed only my Subaru worth of things, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, not knowing what 2020 was going to bring.  We made it to Sante Fe in three days, and I got the call, on my birthday, that they could not hire me due to the pandemic.  There were tears, slight panic, and more unknowns.  Our silver lining was actually a bright orange one; My stepdads' friends, Yuri and Natasha, offered their home in Boulder, Colorado.  We drove north and lived in an orange house.  Our days were filled with hesitation about the months to come, job searches, bread baking, fishing, searching for an open Starbucks and exploring empty Colorado towns. 

June 1 2020 

told by Meli

I took a job at the Gateway Canyons Resort, and we moved to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, and a completely different state.  No city and cafes, and hence no espresso, for 100 miles around. Roman started experimenting with the AeroPress.  I would come home from work and get to taste "espressos", discuss the product name, new design proposals, and financial projections. We started a company, JOEPRESSO, we got funded on Kickstarter, started selling on Amazon and our website, and we still don't know how we managed to do this in the pandemic.  We learned that coffee people are intense, and that we used to drink really really terrible tasting coffee.  We filled our days with JOE and exploring the west slope.  We fell in love with the nature and surroundings.  We also, got a puppy, during the pandemic.  We named her Baci, which is Italian for kisses.  I won't forget Chef Claudia told me 'it was the BEST time to get a puppy'.  Baci kept us busy and gave us comfort as we moved to yet another home and kept growing our relationship.  Raising a puppy together was wonderful, but we never did teach her to not bite Roman. 

December 18 2022 

told by Roman

During the time we've been together we took long road trips. First to New Hampshire; I got to meet Melis' mom, stepdad, brother, sister-in-law, and niece.  Then, one month later, to Virginia; Meli got to meet my daughters; Rada and Mira.  

I proposed on December 18, 2022. I chose the nicest restaurant I could find, knowing Meli's high standards. I made a brunch reservation but made it look like we were just driving past it as we pulled in. Then, I placed the ring on the dessert and said, 'Will you cook me breakfast for the rest of my life?'. Maybe I should have thought harder about that line, what will I do for lunch and dinner. 


We've spent the year planning our wedding, tasting cakes, trying on dresses and suits, going to weddings, meeting more family, and of course cooking breakfast.

Both our lives are filled with more stories, past and present.  You have all been part of that.  We can't wait to celebrate our marriage with you and have you be part of this story because you were, and are so much a part of ours. 


told by us

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