Cory’s not the kind of woman who settles down. A self-proclaimed “flyer,” she moved six times in the 10 years following the completion of her undergrad degree from Washington State University. She didn’t realize an Iowa boy with charm, wit and a healthy dose of nerd would turn a stop in the road into home.
But he did.
Meeting in Seattle, Matt and Cory bonded over dogs, banter packed conversations and a brief stint as thieves.
(During their first date, they miscommunicated about who was paying for the beer. It wasn’t until hours later they realized, no one had. Don’t worry. They went back and settled up.)
One day, between jokes about ‘Flight Risk Cory’ and trips to the dog park, she woke up with a life changing and location grounding realization. Cory told me over coffee:
I literally woke up one day and knew I loved him. And that was it. I was all in. Because this is home to me. This is more home to me than any place I’ve ever been. He’s home to me.
A Suitcase. A Box. A Ring.
“Cory knows about everything,” Matt said. In the years they dated, their lives became deeply interwoven. Keeping a secret from her was darn near impossible. Still, Matt was determined Cory wouldn’t know about the proposal.
His options were limited. He couldn’t talk to a friend. They might slip and say something. He couldn’t call or text a jeweler. They might call while Cory was around.
That’s why, for the months leading up to the big question, he spent his afternoons cycling to Magnolia. “I’d tell her I was going on all these big rides around the city. But really, I was just biking to the house of a diamond dealer we knew and designing the ring,” Matt said.
In high school, Matt took a jewelry class. It was his first stint flexing the fine motor skills he utilizes today at his West Seattle dental practice, Pavlovich Dental. Among the pieces he designed was a ring. It had a halo with an opal in the center. He gave it to his mom with the stipulation she hang on to it until he met ‘the one.’
He modeled the new ring after the original one – with some changes. The opal was traded for a diamond. The sterling silver was given a platinum upgrade.
To up the ‘surprise’ ante even more, Matt planned a weekend getaway – without telling Cory. He filled a suitcase. “I picked out eight of everything she could possibly want,” he told me. He booked airfare. He reserved a hotel room. He even called Cory’s boss and gave him a heads up. When Cory came home, he asked her to go to San Francisco for the weekend.
“I said, ‘What, are you crazy? You don’t even know what I’d pack,’” Cory recounted. Tearing through the miss-matched weekend wardrobe, she discovered a box.
“Will you go to San Francisco with me? And, will you spend the rest of your life with me?” Matt asked.
She said yes, on both accounts.
Far from your average couple, Cory and Matt didn’t want an average wedding. “I thought about being in a stuffy ballroom and I didn’t want that stark feel,” Cory explained.
They tossed around a variety of ideas. Woodinville wineries. Leavenworth on the river. Carillon Point.
And then Cory thought of Kenmore Air Harbor. With Munro family ties, she knew there’d been a wedding on the dock once before. Her cousin, Kenmore Air President Todd Banks, had said “I do,” there years earlier.
They looked at the space and were immediately sold. Matt said:
It had everything. It had a view. It was outdoorsy, but at the same time gave us an indoor space. The juxtaposition was perfect. We were able to get this perfect combination of an unassuming space that we dressed up with classy touches.
And so, on a sunny Saturday in October, Cory and her bridal party climbed into a de Havilland Otter. It was a quick, but thrilling, flight from Kirkland to Kenmore’s Lake Washington home, complete with a wing dip and a flyby.
In the moments before the sky turned pink, Cory and Matt stood at the end of the dock and said, “I Do.”
Molly Landreth Weddings, Photographer
To ensure the day was captured, Matt and Cory hired Seattle-based wedding photographer Molly Landreth. “The best thing about working with her was that she captured the moments without you even noticing. Plus, the pictures were fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for more,” Cory told me.
Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes, Caterer
As an exceptional cook and a huge foodie, the menu was incredibly important to Matt. Luckily, they found Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes. “They were amazing. They listened to every request we had, completely customizing the menu and decorations for us,” Matt said.
Flower Lab, West Seattle Florist
To ensure the edgy space was given a romantic touch, Cory and Matt worked with their local florist, Flower Lab. "They were hugely instrumental in making the venue look romantic and beautiful for our big day," said Cory.
John Freeman, Wedding Planner
“We hired a wedding planner and she was awful,” Cory said.
Luckily, their good friend John Freeman stepped up to the plate. “[The wedding] planner would do things and completely mess them up. Then Cory and John would go back and fix them. He was a lifesaver,” Matt explained.