Laura Swick and Bart Tacke grew up just down Finley River from each other. They lived 3 miles apart for most of their lives, but somehow their paths never crossed. Then one afternoon, Bart was on Facebook when he noticed one of his “recommended friends.” It was Laura, and they had a mutual connection, so Bart had the friend set them up. A first date at Haruno led to a three-year courtship and dozens of Springfield traditions. Evenings were spent at Springfield Cardinals games, and the Dickerson Park Zoo’s annual charity event Ball of the Wild was a yearly highlight. Eventually Laura and Bart began talking about taking the next step forward and visited Maxon Fine Jewelry to look at rings. “It wasn’t until he was like, ‘Let’s go check out rings’ that I was like, ‘This is finally happening,’” Laura says. “I was so nervous talking about it, but seconds after talking to Jane (from Maxon Fine Jewelry), it was nothing. She was amazing.” Not long after ring shopping, the couple vacationed in Jamaica, where Laura suspected Bart might drop the big question. She spent all week ready and slightly on edge. On the last day of the trip, she was prepared to go home without a fiancé. Then Bart dropped to his knee and asked her to be by his side forever. Engaged for more than a year, Laura and Bart began planning their elegant celebration. Today the couple lives in Springfield where Laura is a fifth-grade teacher at Ozark Elementary School, and Bart handles property management at C. Arch Bay Company.