Why leave Fido at home, when there are so many fur-friendly hotels available that will welcome your four-legged friends. It pulls on the heartstrings of every pet owner, when the time comes to wave goodbye to your little fur baby, and go on vacation without them. No matter how nice their doggy retreat is, or […]
Imagine, waking up and opening your eyes that morning, on the most anticipated day you’ve had marked in your calendar since the engagement. Even though you weren’t able to sleep much through the excitement, you feel refreshed and ready. You lay on your side to see your second most prized companion (besides your almost-spouse) is […]
You are finally married and now it’s time for your long-awaited honeymoon. As you’re basking in the joys of planning your honeymoon, you may be asking yourself “What about our fur-baby?”. If you are like many of the couples that have included their pups in their picture-pawfect wedding, you may want to include your dog […]
Monika & Stephan tied the knot with their two beautiful pups, Anya & Bruce, at their side. The romantic and exquisite venue, The Addison, was the perfect location for their fairy-tale wedding. This couple is the perfect pair, as you will see as you continue reading. A magical wedding, for a wonderful couple.
Monika & Stephan met as most couples in the 21st century do, on a dating app, specifically, Plenty of Fish.
Stephan’s ‘bait’ to Monika was a simple and corny, yet effective, riddle. The curiosity is what reeled Monika in for the catch. After plenty more puns, conversation, and as interest bloomed, they went on their first date about two weeks later.
Their first date was in December 2016 in St. Augustine. A beautiful and romantic town. It was the perfect spot for the first spark of their furever love. They had dinner at Ned’s Southside Kitchen, followed by Gelato. After dinner and dessert, their curiosity for each other was still not quenched. They later picked up some coffee & hot chocolate and took a stroll in the park under the Christmas lights. How romantic!
Monika recalls, that her first thought was, that he dresses well and he looks just like his pictures on his dating profile. So far so good!”. While, she states there were no awkward moments during dinner, there were a few times she thought to herself, “Well, this is interesting…”.
For example, at the restaurant he asks me what I wanted and I told him I was trying to choose between two items. When the waiter came, he ordered my food for me.
Monika told us “Not ever in my life had a man done that. So, I was thoroughly confused, and slightly offended, because my first thought was “WTF, I’m grown I can order my own food”. Once the food came, I realized he ordered both meals I was thinking about so I could try them, and he would have whichever meal I liked least, or we could share if I so inclined to do so. Ironically, I like when he orders my food for me now. Most times, he already knows what I want before I do!”
Stephan said his first impression of Monika was, “She is just as pretty in real life. Good start so far”. We love when couples are on the same page like this. How funny, they were both thinking the same thing when they met! Stephan was absolutely sure about how much he loved talking to her and how he thoroughly enjoyed her company. Without a doubt, Stephan wanted to see her again. It’s now been over a few years, and as you can tell, the rare gem in the sea was reeled in for the catch.
Monika & Stephans love started with a spark and kindled into a passionate and furever lit fire.
Without a doubt, they knew each other was ‘the one’. It was countless things that they did for one another that solidified this. For example, when Monika started her Master’s program in Orlando, Stephan bought her groceries so she would have more time to study and settle in to her new apartment. In addition, Stephan kick started Monika’s sneaker collection. Monika states, “Now, I want to match sneakers with him all the time.”.
For Stephan, what gave him butterflies in his stomach was the unexpected, and uncommon, compliment. Stephan has green eyes and when he receives a compliment about his looks, it is usually about his eyes. One day, Monika told him she, as Stephan states, “she likes my face a lot.” When he asked her what he likes about it, she replied “Your freckles, eye lashes and grey hairs”. To Stephan, it was a “very sweet and intimate moment that I wasn’t expecting. It gave my butterflies in my stomach”.
The rest was history.
Monika & Stephans love for each other is obvious to anyone that has the pleasure of meeting them. They can be 100% themselves around each other and are just plain fun to be around. So naturally, we wanted to know what they love most about one another.
Monika responded, “I love how funny this guy is. In general, he is shy, so he comes off kind of quiet and a little off putting because he has such a serious looking face. But when we’re at home or we’re with people he’s comfortable around and he’s acting silly, I can’t with him lol. He cracks me up! My friends like him a lot and find him funny as hell. I could go on and on forever. Ultimately, I fell in love with his kind thoughtfulness.”
Stephan’s answered, “She is such a nice person. People always seem very comfortable around her and she is great at making people smile and laugh”.
Stephan proposed outside one of their favorite restaurants, The Strand, during a date night on June 26th, 2021. Their proposal story is so adorable, and we think you’ll agree.
Monika told us that they went to dinner, and afterward, he walked her to her car and opened the car door for her. Something he used to do before but then they both decided it wasn’t necessary to do all the time. It did catch her off guard. She thought to herself, “wow, what a weirdo.” At that exact moment, Stephan paused at the door and was going to say something but then went to the driver’s side. Monika was waiting for him to start the car. She looked at him, and he had this intense look.
Stephan immediately replies, ‘The look she is referring to was me being nervous because I was excited to ask her, but I didn’t know what to say. So I started with a quote we heard from the movie The Greenbook. To which Monika replies: “I remember how much she liked it when she heard it in the movie because she was swooning so hard, lol.” Right after, he pulls out the ring and starts saying a bunch of other stuff, but at this point, I’m stunned, and, to this day, I have no idea what else he said other than, “Will you be my wife?”. To which, of course, I said YES!”
Stephan doesn’t remember what he said after he pulled out the ring but he remember hearing her say YES! and being so relieved. He told us:
I knew she would say yes but it was still pretty nerve wracking.
Monika responded, “So I said YES! I put my hand out for him to put the ring on, but he was so nervous he just handed me the whole box- afraid he would drop the ring if he put it on. Fair enough. The ring was perfect!”
A fun fact was that he actually meant to get down on one knee and ask her for her hand but then realized that the ring was on the driver’s side, so he had to get it. To this day, Monika giggles every time she thinks of it and comments: “in hindsight, I literally watched his brain and face go ‘Oh crap’ when he realized he didn’t have the ring, but I had no clue what his deal was. It was so cute and precious.” Every time she thinks of that night, she can’t help but smile.
Monika and Stephan got engaged in the summer of 2021 and knew they wanted a fall wedding. The fall of 2022 was decided and stamped onto the invitations. When asked why they preferred a fall wedding, Monika said, “Our first conversation was in the fall, we’re both fall babies, and the weather in Florida is just nicer in the fall.”.
Like most couples, they found their venue through The Knot. They felt as though a hotel, or a large ballroom, felt too big for them. They began looking for a historical venue/manor that could seat 100-120 guests. Unable to find the perfect venue in their area, they opened their search to South Florida and found three venues they were interested in. Their first stop, The Addison in Boca Raton.
After they stepped foot in The Addison, the remaining two venues on their list were a distant thought. They immediately fell in love with the stunning courtyard, the Banyan trees and the ample shade they provided, and not to mention, the professionalism of the venue. The Addison gave Monika & Stephan the confidence they needed for handling their wedding with style and grace.
The Addison makes picking vendors easy because of their preferred vendor list. As Monika said, “99% of our vendors came from their list and all of them rocked.”.
Of course, they wanted their dogs at the wedding. If you love your dogs as much as Monika and Stephan, or like many of our couples, then you have to have them part of your most special day. Like most couples, they were concerned about the logistics. Who is going to watch their fur-babies on their big day? That’s when The Addison suggested the best wedding-dog-sitter there is, Furever Us. And, we’re happy they did because Bruce and Anya were two very special pups we will never forget.
According to Monika:
Once we spoke with Monika from Furever Us, we knew she was right for us, and she did not disappoint on our special day.
Monika adopted her beautiful black lab, Anya, when she was a puppy. Now, that is almost 9 years ago!
Anya was actually not the dog Monika had ‘originally’ purchased from the reputable breeder. Unfortunately, the puppy she purchased died only weeks after being born. The breeder then told her she would need to wait until the next litter, as all the ‘pups in that litter were accounted for. As fate had, Monika got a phone call days later with great news. A family had returned her sweet Anya after they realized they couldn’t take care of a puppy.
Monika decided she would go and take a look. Thats where, as Monika says, she met her ‘little fatty patty’. It was love at first sight. They have been together ever since.
Monika told us “With Anya, I was supposed to have a different puppy and she was supposed to have a different family, but fate decided we belonged together instead. Thankfully the breeder called me and asked if I’d be open to something different than what I wanted, and it turned out better than I could have imagined.”
When Monika brought Stephan into her life, Anya immediately approved. Good thing, because Anya and Monika were a package deal. The couple even describes Anya as a ‘daddy’s girl’. Monika believes it may be because of their similar quiet and calm energy.
He also shelters her from the shenanigans of Bruce so that probably helps too lol.
While Anya came with Monika, their Great Dane, Bruce, came into their lives about two years into their relationship. One day, Stephan receives a call from Monika asking if he would be okay if she brought a puppy home. Stephan told us, “Since we didn’t live together at the time, I didn’t feel right telling her no, so I agreed.”
Poor Bruce was essentially dumped into Monika’s car by the previous owner. They gave no leash, food, bed, treats, or anything of his own. Luckily, Bruce had now found a generous, loving, and patient mother that was going to take great care of him. His life would change for the better, forever.
On the way home she bought him everything, and more, that he needed. When they arrived it took her an hour to coax him out of her car because he was so scared. Stephan explains how Bruce is a ‘mama’s boy’ through & through. “Bruce may like me but he loves Monika”. What a pawfect balance, an adoring puppy for each of them.
Like most pup-tacular parents, they ‘didn’t really choose them’. When life hands you puppies, you say YES!
Exactly as their paw-rents described, Anya was an absolute sweetheart and Bruce was a little bit of a wild child. Bruce weighed in at around 130 lbs but was such a sweet and gentle boy. Although, he was extremely excited about the big day, maybe a touch nervous as well, he did great and definitely rocked his tuxedo. It was obvious how much they loved their paw-rents. Bruce never wanted to leave his mom’s side and was swimming in excitement to be included in the wedding. Everybody loved them, as they always do, and they were such a pleasure to meet.
“Who knows where poor Brucey would have ended up if Monika had said no to him. His previous owner didn’t care who he ended up with and that could have turned out pretty bad for him. He wasn’t the dog we were looking for, but he’s the dog who found us and we have loved him ever since.” Said Stephan.
We love and care for Anya and Bruce as much as we do our family and friends. We live our lives with them and partake in the little joys of life with them every day. Why not include them in the big joys as well? We always knew we wanted them to be part of the wedding festivities and it was so fun to have them with us through it all.
Monika and Stephan love to do an RV road trip with them and take them hiking or kayaking. Just something to get all of them out into nature to enjoy the big blue sky, the bright sun and some fresh air. Sounds like a great trip to us. For further inspiration check out our “Honeymoon with Your Dog ” blog. Maybe you will find your next destination.
We are so thankful to Monika and Stephan for letting us help them creature Furever memories with their precious Bruce and Anya. It was such a pleasure to be their wedding-dates. We cannot wait to see what new adventures they will go on.
Furever Us is a wedding pet care company that is here to help you with all your wedding dog’s needs. We are based in South Florida. If you would like to include your dog in your wedding-just like Monika and Stephan did with Bruce & Anya, then take a look at out what we can do for your best dog. We would love to be your wedding-dog-sitter and make sure your puppers have an amazing day.
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At Furever Us we provide a first-class concierge service for all your wedding pet needs in all of South Florida-Miami, Broward, West Palm, the Florida Keys, Jacksonville and St Augustine area.