Man Crush Monday | Jared & Tabatha Vander Weel

Tabatha's everyday #ManCrush is her husband, Jared Vanderweel.

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Tell us the story of how you met...

We met in May of 2013 through Jared's sister Brigitte. I had just moved to Rochester from Chattanooga, TN, started working with her and we became instant friends. She invited me to her house for a cookout which Jared was also invited to. We both liked each other but wouldn't admit it for months until he asked to take me out for my birthday to Tapas 177.

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What makes him crush worthy?

His confidence when he walks into a room, his heart of gold, and his trusting eyes. 

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What's your favorite story about the two of you?

Getting caught in a storm in the Caribbean Sea. We were on our honeymoon island hopping on a personal catamaran for a week (a wedding present from my in-laws.) Jared was the captain and I was the skipper. Just the two of us on this boat without a care in the world, and we see the storm up ahead. But like most tropical storms, you are in it for a few minutes and just a few miles ahead it is nothing but sunshine. The rain was coming down but we still had our reggae music playing and drinks in hand laughing because nothing could bring us down. It was a perfect imperfect day.

When did you know you wanted to spend the rest of your life with this man?

The first Christmas we had together. Jared went out of his way to make everyone happy including me. I realized then that he was the most selfless person I had ever met.

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What are you looking forward to most in your future together?

Retiring in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands

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Tell us about the proposal...

December 8th, 2015 we were at Disney World in front of Cinderella's Castle watching the frozen show with my sister, brother-in-law and niece. Jared was standing behind me and when the show ended - I turned around and he was gone. I looked back to my sister and said "I don't know where Jared went," she looked past me and said "he is right behind you." When I turned around he was in a Prince Charming costume, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I of course said yes!

Tell us about your wedding day!

April 5th, 2017 we got married at the Sand Dollar Estate in St. Thomas USVI. I couldn't picture a more perfect day than what we had. Surrounded by friends and family we said "I DO" on the deck of the Little Sand Dollar overlooking the bluest water you have ever seen without a cloud in the sky.

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Anything else you'd like to share?

I am the blessed one that gets to call him "mine". 

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Man Crush Monday | Nick Guadagnino

"Nick and I met in high school after I had transferred schools in sophomore year. We didn’t start dating right away, but there was something about him that always made me laugh and smile and occasionally wonder “what if we did start dating?”  Apparently everyone else wondered the same thing, even our teachers at the time would ask us “are you two an item yet?” We truly became best friends and were inseparable. We walked to every class together, ate lunch together, and maybe even took over the school and morning announcements  dressed as the “Spartan Cheerleaders” from Saturday Night Live and did surprise cheers in teacher’s doorways. We had so much fun together, we were the dynamic duo!

Finally one day toward the end of senior year, Nick happened to “miss the bus” and needed a ride home.  Me having a car at school and him being my best friend, I of course offered him a ride home! We got into my car and just as we were about to leave, Nick turns to me and says “sooooo….. I got the question again…..you know, if we’re dating yet?” I kind of giggled and told him that someone had asked me the same thing.  A little hesitant, he asked me if I would want to give it a try and maybe go to dinner.  Well, we went to that dinner and I guess you could say the rest is history! We’ve been an “item” ever since!

That dinner was about 7 ½ years ago.  I’m so unbelievably happy that I’ve gotten to share all this time and grow-up with my best friend.  We graduated high school together, made it through college, got real adult jobs, did real adult things like buy a house and get a little furry family member.  I can’t imagine going through all of this without you Nicholas, I would not change a single thing! Though it started 7 ½ years ago, this is just the beginning of our adventure.  I can’t wait to marry you Nicholas, you are my best friend.  I love you with all of my heart!" - Sam Cala

Man Crush Monday | Andrew Lee

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"Andrew and I met in college, the moment I met him I thought he was attractive. He was also the only chivalrous guy I had ever met. He opened doors for me, walked me to class, helped me carry heavy things and would skip nights out with his friends to stay home with me. A few months in I knew he was the only one for me.

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Recently, Andrew graduated medical school and is officially a doctor.  The first 2 years of medical school were tough because we were doing long distance. Many times I thought he would be too busy to do things or just wanted to focus on school. Instead, he surprised me and made time for us. I'm so proud of him for achieving his dream. Those late night study sessions, getting up those early mornings and missing fun events were so worth it. It still hasn't hit me that I am going to marry a doctor, mostly because I just see him for the person he is. This person is kind, generous, open-minded and strong.

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I feel so fortunate to have found this man. It was literally luck that we found each other.  He is the only one that can put up with my crap, understand me, and cuddle me just right. In reference to "Grey's Anatomy" he is my person."

Andrew, I can't wait to marry you!  -- Tiffany

Man Crush Monday | Alex Peterson

Keisha & Alex are one of those couples that might as well have cartoon hearts for eyes when they're looking at each other. In all my years photographing couples I have literally never seen a man so attentive or dedicated to keeping his woman happy and comfortable. They take care of each other, it's a beautiful thing. When I asked Keisha to write a little something about Alex, she jumped at opportunity to shine the spotlight on her man.

I knew I wanted to marry Alex during a really tough time in my life. I was at the lowest point in my relationship with someone very close to me, and he dropped everything he was doing at 11pm at night in the middle of his college studies at RIT to come and get me, and just be there for me.

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One of my favorite memories from our wedding day is how we sung the lyrics to each other from our wedding song during our first dance. Alex is super shy, but he sung those lyrics like no one else was in the room. Also the fact that he was so proud to have married me, I'm sure a lot of men and women are happy on their wedding day, but that man was PROUD! 

 VENUE: IRONDEQUOIT COUNTRY CLUB ROCHESTER, NY.

VENUE: IRONDEQUOIT COUNTRY CLUB ROCHESTER, NY.

When I was leaving to go do a Disney internship, I really didn't want to leave Alex, I knew I was going to miss him so much. I burst out crying in the car when we were driving home together the night before I had to leave. He pulled over on the side of the road in the middle of traffic, held my face and kissed each individual tear as they fell, reassuring me that everything would be okay. And there were a lot of tears, so just picture that!

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Alex is my Man Crush because he makes it a point everyday multiple times a day to tell me I'm beautiful, he puts my happiness before his own everyday, and always makes sure that I'm taken care of whether I ask for it or not. No matter how many times I tell him he's a great provider, he always wants to do more; he sets the bar so high I can't even see it! He loves me for who I am, including ALL of my flaws, and we always encourage and accept each others honesty and truths without judgement. I know no matter what that at the end of day, even if he is upset with me, I can call on him and he will open up his arms and take me in anytime, day or night. I love how hard working he is, I love that my smile can melt him to pieces, and I love his persistence and passion. He is a one-of-kind, once-in-a-lifetime type of man, and I know I am a lucky girl! - Mrs. Keisha Peterson.

Man Crush Monday | Doug Gaudieri

Having the opportunity to feature Doug Gaudieri in our Man Crush Monday post is an incredible treat. Doug is the kind of man #mcm was invented for. A dedicated husband, loving father, and compassionate business man (owner of Rapid Print & Marketing), Doug puts his all into everything he does. I'm honored to be the preserver of some of his cherished memories. When I was picking out photos for this post, I was moved by how many shoots he and his family have done with me over the years. I am lucky to be his photographer, and also to call him my friend. But enough from me... let's hear the real story from his incredible wife - Danell...

"Doug and I met as young college students at Geneseo and were instantly smitten. The timing wasn’t right for a relationship and though I had a care-free and adventuresome spirit while Doug was focused and ready to take on the world with his fierce entrepreneur drive - there was no denying our strong connection. His clever wit and handsome smile won me over. Not long after graduating, Doug moved to Alabama while I lived in Syracuse. Our friendship continued to grow but I knew the only way to know for sure if this was THE guy was to make a move.

My defining moment - an offer from Doug to visit him in Alabama and road trip to New Orleans to see Pearl Jam in concert. After that trip, I packed up my car and moved down to be with him. There were so many unknowns at the time but somehow we always found each other. Proof of that – I was separated from Doug at the Pearl Jam concert and found myself on the ground in the mosh pit surrounded by crazed fans. Out of nowhere I felt a hand reach down and pull me up. That seems to be a theme in our marriage of 18 years. When one is down the other pulls ‘em up. It’s a balance we have that carries us through the daily challenges of juggling three kids, jobs, and everything in between.

Doug has many endearing qualities. He's always lending an ear to a friend or family member going through a difficult time. He’s encouraging and advises without judgement. He’s kind, patient, empathetic, and has such a generous heart. He continues to have a positive attitude even in the most challenging of times - and there are plenty with teenagers! He’s my soft-spot to land after a difficult day -my calming force.

I am grateful for the example he sets to our children through his dedication to work, family, and his faith. He continuously puts others first and encourages everyone to reach their best potential. I’m one of the lucky ones as he makes me want to do better and be better each day. Married for 18 years and together for 20 is no easy feat. The best life lesson that has kept our bond strong is to simply accept the other’s flaws and love that person for who they are. Doug loves unconditionally and is always there to lift me up when I'm down.

Our college days are a lifetime away, but that adventuresome spark hasn’t left either of us. Doug continues to inspire me to seek out adventures despite our hectic family schedule. Always reminding me of the importance to take time for myself and each other. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an evening walk together, Doug makes me a priority. I feel just as adored today as the day we married.

His wit still has me laughing like a young school girl and his curiosity to always be learning something new inspires me. And though we’ve both grown and evolved, we have grown closer and are excited about our future. Doug is my best friend and my love. I love the life we have and continue to build together. Our journey of many more adventures awaits! Pearl Jam said it best…can’t find a betterman!"- Danell Gaudieri

Man Crush Monday | Bobby Pritchard

Today's Man Crush Monday is brought to you by Kristy Pritchard:)

"Bobby is one of a kind, he is my prince charming, my rock and my best friend. It is so hard to put eight years of friendship and love into words (especially because Bobby has a way with words more than I - But here it goes...).   Bobby and I met freshman year of college, outside of our advisers office. It was nothing out of the ordinary, but I remember going back to my dorm room to tell my friends that I met this really "weird" kid because I didn't know how else to describe it. Little did I know that chance meeting would be the start of something special and they all knew long before I did that he was the one.

Bobby can talk to anyone, make them laugh and feel special within minutes of meeting them.  His humorous personality is one of my favorite traits. Our wedding day was the best day of my life and it was all because of him. There are so many wonderful memories, but one of my favorites was our first look before the wedding.  Being able to have that special moment with no one watching meant the world. It's a moment that I will never forget. I also remember walking down the aisle to him, feeling overwhelmed with so many happy feelings, seeing all of our loved ones in one place and knowing that he was at the end waiting for me.  We were so wrapped up in emotions that when I reached him, we both leaned in to kiss and then realized it wasn't time yet. The day couldn't have been more perfect and filled with love! 

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Right now we are still enjoying being young and are getting the travel bug out of our system before we start our family.  We just got back from Ireland and are now planning a trip to Greece! I honestly believe that I am one of the luckiest people in the world; the adventures that we have had and the adventures that are yet to come wouldn't be the same without Bobby by my side! I will always be thankful that I am the one he chose to spend forever with." 

-Mrs. Kristy Pritchard

Jaron Wilson | Man Crush Monday

Carly & Jaron Wilson's love story as written by Carly Wilson herself...

"Stubborn, free-spirited New York woman meets selfless and patient Indiana man. I first fell in love with Jaron through music. I always accredit music when asked what brought us together. It was the first thing that bound us; the instrument that emboldened us and freed us of the everyday monotony. It is something we share exclusively. Jaron is my calming force; he is a soft voice when mine is too loud. He is the kindest man I know, continually showering me with words of encouragement. He is my greatest advocate. He is intelligent, always surprising me with his exceptional mind. I love him for his humility, his sense of humor, his open-mindedness, his loyalty to those he loves, his drive to push himself in all things, and his uncanny knack for making me the happiest, most fulfilled woman on the planet. I married him because he is exactly the person I want to be around every day of my life. He shows me a gentle and understanding love that I did not know existed." And if you haven't melted into a puddle yet.... "In the future I see us somewhere out west, with a lake, a grand backyard, and many little ones occupying that space. The greatest thing I could have done with my life is share it with this man, and the only thing that could top marrying him would be building a family together. I see us maintaining our individual pursuits while also growing from shared experiences. I have learned that everything seems a little brighter, a little better, with the support of someone you love. Jaron makes all things possible in love and in life."