Dueling pianos set the stage for love duet and a beach photo shoot turns into, 'Will you marry me?'

Love by piano bar and a muddy proposal

Newly Engaged: Jabel Parayil and Annie Donelan
Wedding Date: June 13, 2014
Location of Wedding: Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, Hyde Park
Location of Reception: The Elements Conference and Event Centre, Cincinnati

Annie Donelan, daughter of Tom and Mary Beth Donelan of Pleasant Ridge, is engaged to Jabel Parayil, son of Joseph and Joyce Parayil of West Chester

Ms. Donelan, 25, is a kindergarten teacher. Mr. Parayil, 26, is market research analyst.

The couple got acquainted in 2011 at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. While the pair had met before through mutual friends, it was not until an evening out at a dueling piano bar that the two finally engaged in one-on-one conversation.

They found that once they began talking, they had so much in common that the conversation seemed endless. After three months, the groom-to-be finally worked up the nerve to ask Ms. Donelan on a date. From then on, the two were inseparable. They realized they loved each other when their relationship grew from mere romance into a respectful and trusting connection. 

In October 2013, Mr. Parayil came to Cincinnati and braved the rain to run a half-marathon with his bride-to-be. The two had dinner plans with family afterward, but instead the groom-to-be created a diversion. After some careful staging, the two found themselves driving to a park. They got out of the car and Mr. Parayil dropped to one knee, directly into the mud. Then, as the sun was just beginning to set, he asked Ms. Donelan to marry him. Soon after, two cars pulled into the park carrying both sets of parents to celebrate the joyous occasion with the couple.

  • Why it works: The pair says it is their strong communication that makes their relationship work. Even though they have lived separately throughout the years, they have never felt as though they were truly apart. They look to both their grandparents and parents as marriage role models and use their experiences as working material for making a marriage last.

While the bride-to-be currently lives in Cincinnati, her groom-to-be resides in Chicago. She plans to move to Chicago to be with him after their nuptials.

How to share your happy story with us:

Email your engagement, wedding and commitment ceremony news to holly.edgell@wcpo.com. Be sure to include:

  • Name of the couple
  • Date of the engagement or ceremony
  • Telephone numbers email addresses for both parties
  • A few lines about how you met

We'll be in touch for more details! 

Set-up by besties leads to love

Newly Engaged: Ryan Wiesner and Jillian Johnson
Wedding Date: November 8, 2014
Location of Wedding: St. Gabriel Church, Glendale, Oh
Location of Reception: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Jillian Johnson, daughter of Ron and Gloria Johnson of Liberty Township, Ohio, is engaged to Ryan Wiesner, son of Diana and Jerry Wiesner of Deer Park, Ohio.

Ms. Johnson, 26, is a catering sales manager at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. Mr. Wiesner, 30, is an assistant restaurant manager LaRosa’s.

The couple met through a set-up by mutual friends. The bride-to-be’s best friend was dating the groom-to-be’s best friend, and thought the two would make a perfect match. The pair hit it off from the get go, and soon made a B-line for couplehood. Even though it took a few weeks for Ms. Johnson to recognize it was love, Mr. Wiesner said he knew from the moment that they met.

In July 2013, a group of more than 40 of the couple’s closest family and friends headed to Tybee Island, S.C. for a beach vacation. While there, the groom-to-be arranged for everyone to participate in a group photo on the beach. After the photo shoot, the group backed up to reveal a heart sand sculpture surrounded by rose petals and framed photos of the couple. It was then that Mr. Wiesner dropped to one knee and asked for Ms. Johnson’s hand in marriage. 

The couple says their relationship is unique in that it takes virtually no effort. Both say they are the best of friends and take great pleasure in their relationship.

  • Why it works: Both are extremely competitive and thrive off of each other’s need to always succeed. They look to their parents as the example of what a marriage should be, and hope to love one another in the same selfless manner in which they grew up viewing love to be.

The couple are currently renting in the Hyde Park area, but look forward to purchasing a home and raising a family together somewhere in the Cincinnati area.

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