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We have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding to September 3, 2022. Everything else, except the date, will remain the same. Please review our website for more information.
We have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding to September 3, 2022. Everything else, except the date, will remain the same. Please review our website for more information.
September 3, 2022
Pinhao, Portugal
#IDOuro

Ellen & Matt

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Matt McLaughlin

and

Ellen Brudi

#IDOuro

September 3, 2022

Pinhao, Portugal

How We Met

March 2, 2018

Ellen messaged Matt on the Hinge dating app in response to Matt's selection of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin being his go to karaoke song. Her love of The Little Mermaid song and her general desire to be a Disney Princess forged the beginning of a life-long relationship. Despite Ellen's occasional inconsistency in responding to Matt's messages, which at one point Matt took as non-interest, a date was set to meet for appetizers and drinks. The dinner conversation was flowing and Ellen even accepted Matt's suggestion of Brussels sprouts without making a face or pleading for a potato-based dish. After having been in each other's company for hours and, at least in Matt's opinion, it had been going swimmingly, Ellen vocalized what Matt understood as a coup de grâce in what was an incredibly long half-second when Ellen said "I hate to do this to you, but..." a litany of excuses as to why this relationship would not work filled Matt's head before she had a chance to finish her thought with "...would you like to grab FroYo with me?" Matt happily accepted, looking past an unfortunately worded and timed sentence, and walked a block together to get frozen yogurt and once again found that each party had much to share with the other, soon realizing we were the last couple in the establishment and had stayed past closing. The conversation did not skip a beat in the parking lot as we both accepted the end of the night was drawing near - it had already been 4 hours in each other's company. Matt thought he pulled an uncharacteristically smooth line by interrupting a story Ellen began to launch into by saying "How about you tell me this story on our next date?" While Matt thought he was suggesting there'd be another date at which he'd love to hear the story, Ellen took that as a possible dismissal of her story. As it turns out there was a second date, and the rest is history...

Our Summer in Portugal

Summer 2019

Portugal holds a very special place in our hearts. In the spring of 2019, Matt's company wanted to expand its operations to Portugal and enlisted Matt to live in Lisbon to bring the office to life. Matt and Ellen had only been dating for a year at that point, so it was a potentially tricky situation, not only being long distance but also an 8 hour time zone away. Luckily, Ellen was going to take the summer off as she prepared to start her Genetic Counseling Masters in late August, and was able to join Matt in Portugal at the beginning of June. Despite Matt's incredibly busy and stressful work schedule spanning most weekdays from 9am to 8pm, Matt and Ellen found time to experience Portugal's beauty on the weekends. While it would be impossible to capture all of the adventures they took, a few of the highlights include: - Zipping around Belem's 25 de Abril Bridge on scooters - A surprise sunset cruise on a private boat in the Azores on Tercera Island for Matt's 30th birthday - A "running with the bulls" in the streets of the Azores, in which Matt and Ellen both participated (safely) - A trip to Lagos with much time spent on one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Dona Ana beach - A day trip to the walled town of Obidos, where Matt and Ellen ate lunch in a castle - A wonderful visit from Matt's siblings in which they explored the beauty and the delicious food and wine in Lisbon and Porto (Graham's port wine tasting being a highlight) - With a day to spare in Porto before Matt's sister, Megan, had to depart resulted in what was the most fun and gorgeous day trip to Douro Valley. Matt and Ellen traipsed through vineyards, sampled the local wine while devouring cheese and port on a boat cruising the Douro River overlooking miles upon miles of terraced vineyards. The stunning countryside was too beautiful to forget, and that, in combination with the incredible hospitality and rich history of Portugal, led to a decision to be married in the unparalleled Douro Valley.

The Proposal

April 25, 2020

Just as I had always planned, we were socially isolating due to a global pandemic and I was at Ellen's parent's house in Kelso, Washington... I had already purchased the ring and was just trying to figure out an appropriate time to pop the question. With no end in sight with the quarantine, and quite limited locations that could support a proposal that allowed her family to be nearby, Matt settled on a backyard proposal, timed with a weekend that would support sunshine. This was better than it sounds due to the beautiful view from her backyard of the city, surrounded by lovely evergreen trees. Ellen had been stressed at school so Matt offered to set up a date night on Saturday in which he'd take care of everything. Having known that Ellen wanted to be dressed up when she was proposed to, Erin, Ellen's sister, helped convince her to dress up rather than stay in her 'cozy clothes.' With chairs set up and enjoying wine and a cheese plate, Matt coerced Ellen into standing up and closing her eyes for an "Instagram trend" which Matt had fabricated. Once she closed her eyes, Matt went down on a knee and told her to open her eyes and then recited a few special words to her (and unknowingly holding the ring box upside down) and once it registered that this was not a fake Instagram proposal just trying to get a reaction (which would be really cruel), she began to tear up and answered "Yes!" to "Will you marry me, Ellen Christine Brudi"? Her family had been hovering nearby and jumped out of their hiding spots and began to cheer. Champagne toasts followed and the celebration began.

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