LOVE CITY, USA - This week we meet two couples who make family ties and common values the foundation for lifetime commitment.
Common values, uncommon love
While the bride-to-be fought her feelings for a while due to an initial fear of commitment, for the groom-to-be, it was love at first sight. The couple became engaged in a traditional Indian ceremony, surrounded by close family (including the bride-to-be’s aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins).
Mr. Keiser then got down on one knee and delivered his heartfelt proposal. Then came a beautiful outdoor engagement party at the home of Ms. Shah's parents.
While Mr. Keiser and Ms.Shah come from very different backgrounds, they share common goals, morals, and a love and respect for family and tradition. Ms. Shah says she adores the fact that Mr. Keiser is "just at heart." For his part, the groom-to-be said that he loves his fiancée's drive to always improve and make everything in their lives a little bit better.
- Why it works: The pair says that while they are completely different people, no matter what life brings their way they can turn to their shared values and the comfort of their love. The couple look to Mr. Keiser’s grandparents for marital inspiration. After his grandmother was diagnosed with dementia his grandfather cared for her and despite personal ailments. He remained by her side until she died, passing himself just two weeks later. It is that kind of commitment that reminds the couple that marriage truly is a "forever kind of dedication."
The two say that they are excited to experience their three-day long traditional Indian wedding, as well as a life time of memories together. They will remain in the Oakley area of Cincinnati after their nuptials.
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- Date of the engagement or ceremony
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A last-minute Match.com
Newly engaged: Jonathan L. Ballard and Nikole A. Cunningham
Wedding Date: July 26, 2014
Location of Wedding & Reception: Elements Conference and Event Centre, Sharonville
Nikole Cunningham, daughter of Timothy and Theresa Cunningham of Loveland, is engaged to Jonathan Ballard, son of Rosemary Lawrence-Brooks of Louisville, Ky.
Ms. Cunningham, 27, is an orthopedic technologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Mr. Ballard, 29, works in quality assurance at a local law firm.
The couple met on Match.com in February 2012. The bride-to-be was just about to delete her profile and wave goodbye to the possibility of an online romance when she received a message from Mr. Ballard. While she admits to initial hesitation about responding, she was sold after one look at her groom-to-be’s photo. Several messages and a couple of weeks later, the pair had their first date.
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Although Ms. Cunningham was quite smitten from the very beginning, she said it was the way that her daughter responded to Mr. Ballard that truly sealed the deal.
“The way she acted with him was like they knew each other since she was born,” she said. “She would instantly reach for him, laugh with him, snuggle with him. I knew seeing them together was right, and that I could marry this man.”
About a year and a half later, after the bride-to-be had finished a long day at work, she came home to find Mr. Ballard and her daughter waiting for her at the door. The three went to Red Robin for dinner, and after much persistence on Mr. Ballard’s part, took Ms. Cunningham’s daughter to Landen-Deerfield Park to play.
Once they reached the bridge at the park, Ms. Cunningham saw her groom-to-be kneeling down to place a necklace on her daughter’s neck. He followed the gift by telling her daughter how much he loved her, and that he wanted to marry her mommy. It was then that Mr. Ballard turned to his bride-to-be, counting the exact seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years they had been together, and officially asked her to spend the rest of her life with him.
The bride-to-be said it is her Mr. Ballard's honesty and her personal drive combine to make their love special. She said the relationship
between her fiancé and her daughter is a constant reminder that this is the man she is supposed to spend her life with. Mr. Ballard plans to adopt Ms. Cunningham’s daughter after they are married, and the couple look forward to eventually having another baby together.
- Why it works: The couple truly enjoys the time they spend together--including Sunday viewings of AMC’s "The Walking Dead." They look to the bride-to-be’s parents for inspiration and as role models; they havbeen married for 27 years.
The pair just closed on a house in Loveland and plan to live there as they begin the next chapter of their lives together, as a family.