This love story started unexpectedly, four years ago. Lindsay and Joe were set up on a blind date. Lindsay’s best friend, Crista, was convinced Lindsay should meet someone new. Crista went to a reliable source, her husband’s aunt Debbie, who knew Joe from his alma mater. Joe visited Debbie in her office a few times a year to catch up on life. He was a little surprised when Debbie asked if he was interested in going on a blind date. After an email introduction, Joe and Lindsay decided to meet, and many dates soon followed. Lindsay refers to these first few months of dating as them being “just friends.” Determined to find a little more clarity, Joe off-handedly proposed a weekend road trip to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. He was surprised when Lindsay casually agreed to the idea. Spending hours in the car together, navigating directions, back roads, and hiking trails proved to be a great test – they loved adventuring together. But it wasn’t until months later, a last minute detour for Joe to Wisconsin during Lindsay’s family reunion did the family get introduced to the new couple. The first one to hear “boyfriend” was Lindsay’s grandma, even before Joe, and the news quickly spread around the family like cheese curds. The next few years flew by with regular life, and more adventures and travels, some including Paris, Belize, the South Pacific, and Eastern Europe, and a move from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. For Joe it only made sense to ask the big question in a big way. The two had been planning a late summer trip for months, and Joe knew of Lindsay’s longtime dream to see Venice, Italy. Carrying a single backpack apiece, they crisscrossed their way across the Atlantic before arriving in the Floating City. Joe reserved a hotel on a small island a short boat ride outside the city. Before dinner, Joe found a young gondolier and asked, discreetly, if he could help with a proposal plan. Let’s just say the first attempt did not go as planned; the gondolier was rude and would not help with said plan. Joe, already a nervous wreck, went back to Lindsay and reported that they were going to get a gondola elsewhere. A magical gondola ride did happen, but the proposal did not. Joe had a backup plan. On the way to dinner with a hangry fiancé-to-be, Joe popped the question on a secluded bridge away from the crowded main walkways. After many tears, laugh-cries, and pictures they enjoyed a dreamy dinner at a small restaurant along the Grand Canal to close out the eventful day.