Jennifer Valades felt like someone was watching her when she was at a birthday dinner at Café Martorano, a restaurant in Oakland Park, Fla., In October 2013.
“I looked up and stared a stranger in my direction,” Ms. Vallades said. “I asked my friend Lauren to verify because it was too dark. He confirmed. As we were wrapping up, a server placed a shot and a business card in front of me and said, ‘This belongs to my manager.’
Brian Skogen, then the restaurant manager, noticed that Ms. Welds entered the venue.
“When Jane caught my eye, I started plotting how I could get her number,” he said. “I sent a server with my card and drink. But after a while, I couldn’t stand it anymore and introduced myself. “
After exchanging pleasures, 35-year-old Ms. Valades gave her business card to 39-year-old Mr. Skogen. After two days she called and asked Ms. Valades for a date next Tuesday. They met for cocktails, then shared a bottle of wine and sushi rolls on Katsuya South Beach at the South Beach Hotel. Neither wanted to end the evening, so they went to Hyde beach after dinner.
“Later that night, I knew there was something different about Brian,” said Ms. Valades, who graduated from Cornell and received a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida. “I looked forward to seeing him again and getting to know him better.”
The couple started dating regularly. They took several trips together and eventually went to the Pacific Northwest to meet Mr. Skogen’s family.
“I immediately loved them,” Ms. Valdes said. “They were very warm, welcoming and, well, normal.”
“Brian and I shared a soft spot for hospitality so that we quickly connected with our professional experiences and interests, but our personal backgrounds and personalities may not differ any more,” said Ms. Waldes, now at RBB Communications Is a senior account director. In Coral Gables, Fla. “His co-workers and friends would agree that Brian’s most commonly used phrase is’ everything will be alright.” On the other hand, I usually require plans A, B and C for any situation. “
Ms. Valades, who grew up in Miami, and Mr. Skogen, who grew up in Woodinville, Wash., And graduated from Eastern Washington University, said they had become a strong team during the epidemic. Brian taught me how important it is to be more patient and take time to appreciate the little things. I feel very lucky to have him by my side. “
In 2020, the couple decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day a day before and to celebrate their first date again. On 13 February, they had dinner at Katsua, after dinner on Hyde beach. It didn’t feel like when they first met, they ended the night after a drink. As they were leaving, but still standing at the edge of the pool on Hyde Beach, Mr. Skogen suddenly turned to Ms. Valades and said, “Stuck with me.” Then he placed a ring on his finger. She was in shock, but happy.
Future uncertain Epidemic causes, They decided to go ahead with wedding planning in early 2021.
“We were ready,” Ms. Valades said.
And they were busy. In May 2020, Mr. Skogen also opened a new restaurant, MKT Kitchen in Coral Gables. He is a co-owner.
He was married in the Church of Little Flower of Coral Gables on March 20 at the Coral Gables to the Rev. Omar Ayubi, a Roman Catholic pastor who led the ceremony before 65 guests. (Guests were required to wear masks, and the reception had indoor and outdoor seating options.) Friends and family who could not participate in the tune via the livestream on YouTube.
“I was the first girl Bryan ever brought home and introduced to his family,” Ms. Vallades said. “At the wedding, they shared how they know I was’ one.” And my father now expressed his joy of having a son.
“The wedding was amazing,” the bride said. “I couldn’t ask for day and night more accurately.”