Kirstin Kloss and Justin Bentley weren’t thinking marriage in 1999 when they first held hands in the hallways of Mount Prospect’s Prospect High School. College and careers took them in different directions for more than seven years, but the timing was finally right for the duo in 2007: Bentley moved to Chicago from Champaign-Urbana to work at Madison Capital Funding, and found Kloss living in Mount Prospect and teaching fifth grade in Vernon Hills. The two reconnected to celebrate his birthday, and three years later, they were engaged.
For most couples, planning one day of wedding festivities is a handful. But for Sheba Khan and Sheraz Iftikhar, planning three was a welcome challenge. The pair’s traditional Pakistani affair kicked off April 6, when more than 300 guests showed up to the Red Lacquer Room at the Palmer House Hilton (17 E. Monroe) for Mehndi, a day of nonstop dancing, richly colored decor and henna applications. “You have to invite everyone you’ve ever met,” Khan jokes of the enormous guest list, which included family and friends from her southern Illinois stomping grounds, New York City, California and such far-flung locales as Ireland and Pakistan.
It took Doug Zweig 2 ½ years to catch Naomi Couillard’s attention. Both worked as consultants for Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America in Minneapolis in 2007, and Zweig says he noticed Couillard in the office almost immediately. Though at the time he claimed it was her “kind personality” that caught his eye, he now jokes that it was “a pair of pants that she looked really, really good in.” After several email flirtations went nowhere, Zweig finally decided to ask Couillard out in person. “Persistence really paid off,” he laughs. The duo hit it off immediately and decided to move to Chicago together for work in 2010. They got engaged two years later — he proposed while they were relaxing at home on a lazy Saturday morning.
You may know her as one half of WTMX-FM’s hit morning radio program, “The Eric and Kathy Show,” but Billy Baruth met Kathy Hart before her career took off. One Saturday night in 1995, Hart’s brother dragged her to a Crystal Lake bowling alley — and while she wasn’t thrilled about the scene at first, her attitude changed when she spotted Baruth working behind the bar. She describes it as a “whoa” moment, and though the two hit it off immediately, they remained just friends for nearly 15 years. But in 2010, with previous marriages behind them and four kids between them, their connection turned romantic, and within two years they were engaged. They decided to keep things intimate: They packed up and took their kids to Philitsburg, Montana, a town of 800 that they’d visited a few months prior. Former governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer, who’d hosted the couple during their trip, officiated the ceremony on Feb. 17 in a log cabin off the lake.