It’s the plot to many a rom-com blockbuster: Guy meets girl. Girl likes guy. Guy is blithely unaware. Many hijinks ensue. Except in the case of Kristen and Cole Cragin, it’s no movie — it’s real life.
Kristen and Cole became friends after meeting through a group at church. What Cole failed to realize, however, is that Kristen felt more than friendly towards him. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she began booking classes at the spin class Cole teaches at RIDE in downtown Austin.
“I spent a lot of time and money trying to date him,” she jokes. “I booked the front row bike in the hopes that he would invite me to grab drinks or dinner after class.” After a year of spin classes, going out in groups, and wine nights, they decided to “try it” and began dating.
Shortly after they became a couple, and encouraged by a couple of drinks, Cole confessed to his closest friend that he wanted to marry Kristen. His bride-to-be, meanwhile, had also pinpointed that early on.
“Oh, I probably knew I wanted Cole to be in my future within the first few months of dating him," Kristen says. "I remember thinking, ‘My life is just so much better with him.’”
On March 10, 2017, as a surprise to everyone but their immediate families, Cole proposed in Park City, Utah. “We were on vacation and had split off from the bigger group to grab a drink at the St. Regis," Kristen says of the proposal. "As soon as we got in the gondola, Cole went completely mute. He was acting so weird I thought he was going to break up with me!”
Upon arriving at the St. Regis, they ordered cocktails and settled down by the fire. Summoning his courage, Cole kneeled down and popped the question. “I went down on one knee, ready to propose, and had a hard time finding my words. I was so nervous,” he admits.
She said yes, of course, and the couple celebrated with other hotel and bar patrons, some of whom snapped candids of the proposal, before continuing with family and friends late into the night.
The wedding was a sweet and traditional ceremony. Cole’s uncle married them on September 3, 2017, at the Hotel Ella, a boutique hotel near the University of Texas at Austin campus.
“It was just a perfect venue. A beautiful lawn, old oak trees, and picturesque veranda," Kristen recalls. "The first time Cole saw me that day was when I was walking down the aisle."
Cole and his friend — who occasionally DJ’s at RIDE — put together the music for the evening. “We were dancing so much that Kristen’s dress ripped,” Cole says.
"My bridesmaid sewed me back in," Kristen counters. "I only missed one song.”
Shortly after the wedding, they spirited off to Maui to stay at the beautiful Waldorf-Astoria where they spent days relaxing in newly wedded bliss.
Florist: Sweet Magnolia Flowers & Mercantile (McCall Lewis)
DJ: Anant Patel
String Quartet: Terra Vista Strings (Anthony Chen)
Photographer: Madison Richards
Day of Coordinator: Jillian Rogers
Pedicab Service: Austin Pedicab Company (Matt Maschek)
Venue: Hotel Ella
Makeup: Maris Malone Calderon with Pearl Hair & Makeup
Dress: Leanne Marshall
Boutique: Blue Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses: Revelry
Rehearsal Dinner: Mal Verde in La Condesa