Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Enjoy these tales from the winners of our “Southmoreland Sweetheart Story Contest”. Thank you to everyone who submitted their tales of love, romance and memorable life moments in which Southmoreland on the Plaza played a part.
Vicki W. – Kansas City, MO
Two years ago this month, my youngest daughter Emily and her love Richard were in an awkward situation. You see Emily had been diagnosed with Leukemia and I had just been laid off from the job that provided insurance for her. Knowing they were going to be married anyway, Emily and Richard decided to get engaged and marry to provide her with the coverage for her life saving cancer treatment.
Richard came to our home and humbly and very sweetly asked for our daughter's hand in marriage and showed us her ring. Such a special time for us as parents. We had to move quickly to ensure Emily was able to have the day of her dreams and get her medical insurance coverage. It certainly was not the normal circumstance for a regular wedding, but these two were in love.
First the dress, flowers, cake....then we had to decide on the place. Emily researched different bed and breakfast venues and found Southmoreland Inn. We scheduled a visit with the innkeepers for that next Sunday. When we walked in Emily instantly knew this was the place for her to share her vows with her love. She wanted a warm, comfortable, intimate setting and private. We discussed a sit down meal for the family to share together after the wedding ceremony. Richard being the foodie he is, we asked him to pick the menu and he was excited!
March 20th was the wedding day and we were surprised when we woke to a blanket of beautiful white snow! It was the most beautiful setting at Southmoreland with the snow all around. From the moment I walked my baby girl down the aisle to the toast at dinner, our day was so special and we know it was because of the Innkeepers and Staff at Southmoreland Inn. We cannot thank you enough for making this day so special for our children.
Lesa W. – Peculiar, MO
The Southmoreland Inn will always be special to me because it played a part in one of the most precious days of my life. I was a single mom with an amazing son in 2006 when we met the beautiful person who would be with us forever. I met my husband in Seattle, Washington after a “set up” by my friend who was trying to arrange this for many years. My son and I both loved him right away.
We met him in 2006 (at the time he had a girlfriend – no my friend was not very good at the match-making thing at first J). A year later, we were back in Seattle and my friend arranged another meeting. “Why” I asked. This time, at the end of the meal, I smiled as I told him that I thought he was a jerk because I had emailed him the year before with a standard “nice to meet you” email that went unreturned. He laughed and loved that I called him a jerk. In fact, when he came to visit me the first time, he wore a T-shirt that read “jerk” on the front so I would recognize him. J It was love from the word “jerk” on. We dated across the miles and were planning a wedding within a month of our first emails to each other once I returned home. We knew it was meant to be and we were excited to just do this. J
Once we shared with my son that we were going to be married, he was happy and asked a question that still brings tears to my eyes “Can I sit at the big table with you guys at the reception?” What?! Then it happened. We devised a special secret. My husband and I met in Las Vegas with my best friend and his sister a few months later and eloped without telling anyone – all the while planning this “big” wedding which would follow months later. We eloped in Vegas, honeymooned in Mexico and then both went back to our individual home states. No one was the wiser. A few months later (in August), we celebrated a beautiful wedding day in Parkville, Missouri. Family and friends came from all over (Alaska to Ohio to California). At our reception, we announced that what everyone was actually gathered for was not a wedding. It was the announcement of the formal adoption of my son by my husband – making us an official family on that day……much more than a wedding day.
We had spent the summer formalizing the adoption so we could surprise everyone that day. Our pastor (who was in on the deal) told the guests that our video would share some details with them that we had held as a surprise all summer – then the video of our Vegas wedding started up with Faith Hill’s “Hey Baby Let’s Go To Vegas” – lots of laughing and smiling – it was awesome! We spent the evening as an official family with all of our extended family celebrating the adoption with us. Then my husband and I (along with our co-conspirators: his sister and my best friend and their spouses) all snuck away to celebrate at Southmoreland Inn. It was a nice place to relax and celebrate what we had all pulled off. It was the most beautiful day and this Inn will always be part of it for us. We spent the night in the carriage house and I will never forget it. Thanks for making the day end as beautifully as it began. ****I have attached a picture from the reception when people were watching the video of our Vegas wedding. My son is sitting beside me as we celebrate that he has a Dad now.
Stephanie and Brian M. – Bellevue, NEMy husband and I got married on September 11, 1999. This day was the most amazing day of my life, because I was able to marry my best freind and soul mate. Two years later, the day that marked our anniversary, was now a day that would forever be a scar on our hearts and memories.
So many people lost their loved ones, or knew someone who was touched by 9/11, that it seemed like a sin to celebrate our special day on that particular date. Although my husband and I were not touched directly by the tragedy, we had strong feelings about about what had happened. It took eight years before we felt we could celebrate our anniversary and not feel guilty about it.
So, in September 2009, we decided to travel to Kansas City and treat ourselves to an anniversary weekend that we had never indulged in before. We did our research, and everything we found seemed to point us to Southmoreland on the Plaza. We decided to book the William Rockhill Nelson room because the style symbolized my husband's Scottish herritage. The four-poster bed was draped in the most beautiful lace canopy, which made us feel as if we were ensconced in a historical dream. The brick fireplace gave the room a cozy ambience; and the original wood floors transported us to a different era.
After our afternoon arrival, we enjoyed crackers and the most delectable baked brie topped with a fruit chutney. I have yet to find a baked brie and chutney that could compare. That evening, we enjoyed a Brazillian feast at Fogo de Chao, we walked back through the plaza to the inn and were treated to warm chocolate chip cookies and hot tea before bed. Although these delicious treats were tasty and made us feel more than welcome, nothing could compare to the breakfast we were served in the morning; grilled french toast croissants, warm syrup, smoked ham, and fresh fruit, all on the outdoor deck.
Our desire to renew our anniversary and celebrate our union led us to the most amazing bed and breakfast. We have learned that although bad things happen in our lives, we still need to remember and celebrate what brings us together and makes us happy... for me, Southmoreland on the Plaza made our celebration better than we could have hoped for.
Ron and Jackie C. – Overland Park, KSWhen all the wishes in your mind, all the dreams you’ve had, and all the things you’ve ever hoped for, soared into the sky and were reflected in someone’s eyes, then you have found your destiny. The night we came to the Southmoreland, we found our destiny.
For both of us, being married 25 plus years, and divorced, we knew we did not want to spend the rest of our lives alone. We both had dreams about the future, and took the leap to find love with online dating. Being very careful due to our jobs, one being a teacher and one an FBI agent, we were blessed and found each other. After spending time to get to know each other, our first overnight date was spend at the Southmoreland. There, our story began.
What an amazing place, and what an amazing time we had!! Our love truly began there, Sunday, February 18th, 2007 in the William Rockhill room. We loved the place so much that for Christmas, 2007; we celebrated by staying in the carriage house. Memories were made there. After that, our love for bed and breakfasts began, and so did our journey into our future.
Since that date, we married, brought together two families who blended very well together, traveled to other bed and breakfasts and found true love. The thought of the Southmoreland only brings smiles to our faces. We look back and remember the lovely wine and cheese during the late afternoon, the warm and tasty chocolate chip cookies before bed, and the wonderful breakfast. Coffee mugs were purchased and are used daily, as the fond memories of the time spent there come back.
With both of us being from Kansas City, and spending time growing up on the Plaza, what better way to start our new lives together, with the story to start at the Southmoreland, a place we can’t wait to return to. Mark and Nancy, thank you for the memories.
With sincere appreciation,
Ashley Byrd P. – Hot Springs, AR
Our Southmoreland Sweetheart Story
In July 2009, my boyfriend Zach Pharr and I planned a trip to KC after having been apart for five weeks while we were studying abroad separately. We had been dating since September 19, 2008, when we met, and we had already been to KC together twice and both loved the city. That summer, we weren’t in grad school, so we decided to plan a cheap trip, staying with some friends to save money.
On July 19, 2009, we planned to hang with our friends before going to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory on the Country Club Plaza. (We have a Cheesecake Factory tradition—we always visit there, even if it’s just for a slice of cheesecake to split.) We went with our friends to a few places before they had to go home to meet with their landlord, which would take a few hours. (I thought it was odd it would take so long.) However, they planned to come back and join us later for dinner.
Our friends did meet us back on the Plaza but decided not to join us for dinner, so we went alone. After dinner, Zach and I had planned to walk around the Plaza before it got too dark, but then he stopped me and said he had a surprise: we were going on a carriage ride! Zach has always planned uniquely romantic surprises for me since we started dating, and I thought this was so sweet. As the sun was setting, we rode around the Plaza and took in the sights.
When the carriage ride was over, I thought we were going back to our friends’ as we started to drive away from the Plaza. However, Zach said he had one more surprise around the corner: we pulled up to Southmoreland on the Plaza! I asked him what we were doing here, and he said that we would be staying there. I was so excited! But being ever practical, I asked what we were going to do without our luggage. Surprise, surprise! Our friends had brought it over when they left us, he said. They were in on the surprise! (I just didn’t know how big of a surprise it would be.)
We went inside and were told all about the charming inn and its lovely amenities. Then we were led upstairs to the Mary Atkins suite, and I was handed the key. I think my body realized what was happening before my mind did because I honestly didn’t pay much attention to what we were told about the highlights of our stay. But I knew you guys treated your guests well and knew to expect something dazzling.
I put the key in the lock, turned the knob, and walked inside. Immediately, I saw two things: a bucket of champagne with a “Drink Me” sign and a box of chocolate-covered strawberries with an “Eat Me” sign. My thoughts? How nice of Southmoreland to provide this for us! (I initially gave you guys all the credit for my surprises from Zach because I was so impressed with your B&B.) Then I turned to the left and noticed an “Open Me” sign on a tiny door and was confused regarding what could be behind that door. Then I realized Zach had yet another surprise for me. (However, I think I still thought the champagne and strawberries came from you! I didn’t recognize the champagne bucket as my own and didn’t pick up on the Alice in Wonderland connection with the signs.)
Zach told me I should open it. I found a “Love Me” sign atop a shadow box filled with photos and little keepsakes from our time together. I picked up the sign and the shadow box and saw something else behind it. After some time, I set down the shadow box and looked at the “Marry Me” sign that had been hiding behind the shadow box. Finally, my future husband blurted out, “Please say yes!” which I did a thousand times over!
At this point, I had been treated to so many surprises on what was supposed to be a thrifty trip. But Zach told me to pick up the sign for the last surprise, a diamond solitaire ring that shines like a snowflake, which he put on my ring finger. After rejoicing with more squeals and hugs and kisses, we spent the rest of the night discussing how he had pulled off the proposal (with our friends’ and your help!), drinking champagne on the balcony, calling family and friends, and planning our wedding for September 19, 2009—exactly two months after his proposal and one year after we met.
We had a Wonderland-themed engagement, and we had a Wonderland-themed wedding in the library of the town where we attended school together. On the night we met, we had immediately connected over our shared love for similar music, movies, and books, including the Victorian fairy tale by Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. So my husband had planned the absolute perfect way to propose to me—a way that embodied so many things that make us, us. The Mary Atkins suite has a collection of teakettles, which I collect and is part of the reason why Zach chose this room. (For Christmas that year, Zach gave me an Alice teapot, and I gave him a gift certificate for high tea at a hotel on our second trip to KC.) On July 19, we did not look our best after gallivanting all over town in the summer heat—poor Zach had been sweating bullets!—so the following day we took our engagement photos in our room, even using the small space where the shadow box and ring were hidden!
The 19th has always been a very special day for us: we celebrated our first Christmas together on December 19, 2008; we got our marriage license on August 19, 2009; we signed the lease for our first off-campus apartment on November 19, 2010.
What I mean by all of this is that Southmoreland on the Plaza provided perfect means in the perfect place at the perfect time for my husband and I to decide to spend the rest of our lives together. He would have not been able to carry this off without you guys (and our friends—thanks for letting them in)! We have now been married for over two years, and we have been through many ups and downs, highs and lows, laughter and tears since we have been together. But every day I am thankful he asked me to be his wife because every day with him is magical and full of wonder. Even more than our wedding day, the day Zach asked me to marry him with a sign and a shadow box at Southmoreland is the most wonderful day of my life.
Thank you for making our engagement so special and for letting us share our story.
P.S. I really loved your chocolate pillow mints. A wrapper from one is now pinned in our shadow box to remember that special day!
Mark Reichle and Nancy Miller Southmoreland on the Plaza