I am fairly for certain that there are no kinder people then both Laura and Jared, and combined they are the sweetest couple I have ever met. Like kindness oozing from every spoken word type of sweet. They are the type of people who will be concerned with everyone else’s comfort before they consider their own. This trait will make them incredible spouses to one another.
Another interesting fact about this couple is that Jared actually contacted me first. Rarely, do I have such an invested groom, it was obvious that both Laura and Jared were invested in every part of their wedding day.
Laura and Jared have a beautiful story filled with family connection. Jared shared his view of the story:
“I (Jared) get to tell this story, because I love sharing the way God worked in both of our lives to bring this relationship to be. Laura grew up in Sunset Hills, MO, and Jared grew up in Carlyle, IL (about an hour east of St. Louis. We went to different colleges, and our paths never crossed. Laura majored in Lutheran elementary education, and I studied nursing. After Laura graduated, she took a call to teach Kindergarten in Hoyleton, a small town in southern Illinois about 10 miles from Carlyle. This the same small town where the entirety of my mom’s side of the family lives. As Laura acclimated to life in a small town, she won over nearly everyone in that church, including my cousin Carly, who was in Laura’s first Kindergarten class. Meanwhile, I was in Wisconsin finishing up school, and eventually working as a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Though my extended family was falling in love with the sweet, tender, and committed Kindergarten teacher, neither of us had yet heard of or crossed paths with the other. In 2015, I took a job at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, as I was looking to be close to home again. In May, I moved to St. Louis and began attending church at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette. Not long after, Laura accepted a call to become the new preschool teacher for the school associated with Immanuel. I noticed Laura right away on her first Sunday at church, but being incredibly shy, I was too chicken to go up and talk to her. Thankfully, another member took it upon himself to introduce us. We quickly found out that we shared the Hoyleton connection, which helped to make each of us safe to one another. We are both shy, and having this immediate shared ground helped us to feel comfortable with a “familiar” stranger. Over the course of a year, a friendship developed, and eventually blossomed into a relationship. We are both firm believers that God works in all circumstances to bring His plans to fruition. As we have talked and grown as couple, and learned of our shared upbringings, trials, and flat out strange coincidences (same birthday, same first car, etc…) we have been further affirmed that God has been preparing each of us for this marriage.”
Laura shared their engagement story with me:
“I had an inkling something was coming, but he still took me by surprise. After finishing a movie at my apartment, he reached under the sofa and pulled out a homemade book titled “Jared and Laura’s Relationship.” It was filled with pictures and captions that described what made our relationship special. Then I reached a page that said, “Wait! What is that behind the bookshelf?” I walked over to the bookshelf and found a picture of Five Guys, which is an inside joke for “make a U-turn.” I wheeled around to find him bending down on one knee and pulling something from his pocket… I don’t remember a word of his little speech, but I heard “Laura Kalbfleisch, will you marry me?” And I said Yes!”
Beautiful stories like Laura and Jared inspire me and are an encouragement of love and beauty that will be shown in marriage.
Laura’s favorite thing about Jared: “I can’t pick just one thing! He is a man of strong faith, caring, gentle, and giving of himself. He makes me laugh and encourages me when I’m down. He is the puzzle piece that fits.”
Jared’s favorite thing about Laura: “From our shared values on faith and family, to the way we are able to laugh and be goofy with each other (we both work with kids) Laura encompasses everything I could possibly ask for in a wife and best friend. She is a strong woman of faith, who is selfless, funny, supportive, genuine and beautiful. Her humility astounds me.”