Young and in love: Catching up with couple who got engaged at Marco Marriott last year
He brought her to Marco Island, shared his family vacation spot of over 20 years, got down on one knee in front of the Marriott and asked her to spend the rest of their lives together. Over a year later, Alex Koepsel, 29, and Annie Siguenza, 26, tied the knot July 7 and look forward to a long life of love and happiness together.
Their engagement was covered by the Marco Eagle in July 2017, and recently the mother of the groom reached out to the newspaper with an important update.
The Engagement Story: Someplace special: Longtime Marco visitor proposes in front of Marriott
Dusty Blue And Navy
The wedding was a year in the making, and no one was disappointed with the turnout. Located in the bride's hometown, Sharpsville Pennsylvania, the wedding hosted over 200 guests — 60 of which were the Koepsel's friends and family from Florida — and was in a grand Catholic church fully stocked with an organist, trumpeter and singer.
"I didn’t have any question that they thought that was the most perfect wedding for them, and that made us happy," said Kim Koepsel, mother of the groom.
Bridesmaids wore a gentle shade of dusty blue, offset by a deep navy for the groomsmen. And of course Annie had a swoon-worthy bouquet.
"I'm obsessed with sunflowers," Siguenza said.
The reception was at a country club where there was a buffet-style dinner and plenty of dancing. The real heart-melter was their first dance to a country song by Dan + Shay called 'Speechless' — also the first concert they ever attended together when they were dating.
“It kind of came full circle,” Siguenza said gushingly.
After the wedding, the two jet-set off to Aruba for about a week for the first of many adventures together. Besides tanning to a golden crisp and drinking endless margaritas, the two went on a pirate ship snorkel booze cruise, gave parasailing a try and went on an ATV ride to a cave and outdoor natural swimming pool.
“We picked Aruba because we are very much ‘beach people," Koepsel said.
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The pair met on the popular online dating site, Bumble in 2015, shortly after Annie moved to Orlando. After their first date, they were inseparable. About six months in, Koepsel knew he wanted to pop the question.
"In our first year of dating we faced lot of tough challenges, like moving to a new city and finding new jobs," he said, "and I figured if we could get through those difficult things together, we could get through anything."
So he started brainstorming proposal ideas and it occurred to him that Marco Island was the perfect place to propose.
"I wanted to plan a special way to propose, and Marco Island is special to me, but more importantly, it's special to Annie because she loves the beach," he said.
She also loves mimosas, Koepsel said, which is why the day began with brunch at the Marriott. Then, under the guise of showing her around the hotel, he took her to the front entrance where he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.
She said yes.
“It was a really special day because I found out I was going to get to marry him, and then we got to go to all these places he went to growing up," she said. "So, it was a lot of fun, and I just feel really special that he opened all of that up to me.”
Where does the road to love lead?
When a reporter caught up with the couple, they were in the car, on the way to pick up the first addition to their new family — a golden retriever puppy named Griffin.
"Both of us grew up with dogs, and we’ve been talking about getting a dog for like two years now. Finally, the time is right," Koepsel said with Siguenza chuckling in the background. "We’re still kind of coming down from [the excitement of] the wedding, and now we’re ramping back up with the new dog –so we’re just keeping the good times coming.”
Siguenza is also making another big change: her name.
“It’s weird calling him my husband – that’s definitely different,” she said excitedly.
Both have jobs in Austin, Texas, Siguenza as a second-grade school teacher and Koepsel for an engineering firm. As content as they are with where they are living, the two might begin house hunting within the next year or two.
The Koepsels missed their annual trip to Marco Island for the first time in over 20 years because of the conflicting wedding date, but, the town has not finished it's role in their continuing romance.
“We got engaged in front of Marriott, so I have a feeling that anytime we go back, I’ll make it a specific point to go to that spot. We’ll probably take yearly pictures there or something,” Siguenza said.
“I don’t know whether we are going to alternate or create our own traditions on some other holiday or on Marco, we’ll see," Koepsel added. "But we definitely want to keep it a special part of our lives for forever."
Reporter Lisa Conley contributed to this story.