Saturday, April 25, 2009

with Vivien and Todd….


Vivien Kloppel and Todd Harkrader

Date Engaged:

April 12, 2008

Where did you meet?

We met at a military ball in Germany. My now bridesmaid, LeAnne invited me along with her, Kerri (maid of honor) and Crystan.

At the same time, Todd was trying to skip the ball to go to Prague, but luckily his boss asked him to “kindly” be there. When LeAnne and I arrived, we were invited to lunch and go swimming with Mihai and his 'friend'. At that moment, LeAnne turned to me to whisper, "He's ‘kinda’ cute. And he's tall," as if she were already predicting a match. Immediately, I could tell Todd was fun loving and free spirited. I'm sure you're wondering if I agreed with LeAnne. The answer is yes, he was very charming and cute.

From then on we just clicked. We had a great time dancing and getting to know one another that evening. However, I figured I'd only see him every now and then since I lived in Mannheim and he in Schweinfurt, a 2 1/2 hour drive. I was wrong; he came to see me every weekend and soon we were traveling all over Europe's greatest cities together.

How did he propose? (From Todd)

Vivien flew to Arizona to see me during her Spring Break from school in Germany. We heard about a great steakhouse called Donovan’s in Tempe, so I set up reservations for that Saturday night and let them know that I was planning on popping the question. Things got off to a bad start though because our reservation got messed up and we did not get seated for 45 minutes. We enjoyed a great meal but as I got ready to propose, I realized that the restaurant was almost empty. On top of that, all of the staff was just watching me waiting to see me propose. The moment just didn’t feel right so I decided to wait until we got back to the hotel. I definitely went through a “walk of shame” though, as I imagine most of the workers figured I had gotten cold feet.

After some confusion describing the name of our hotel to the Maitre D (great story but has to be told in person), Vivien and I got a cab back to the hotel. Vivien’s flight was in about nine hours so she was already starting to fall asleep on the way home, while I had an engagement ring burning a hole in my pocket. When we got back to the room, there was a very nice setup with champagne and two flutes. See, I had planned on having that in the room to celebrate the engagement, but now it was just kind of sitting there so I had to think fast.

While Vivien went to the restroom, I took the champagne on the porch of our hotel room, which by the way, was surrounded by a beautiful mountain and waterfall. I waited for her to come outside and join me. Fortunately I had a backup plan from when I first bought the ring. When Vivien came outside, I had the champagne waiting but I had also put a fortune cookie into the champagne cooler. At first Vivien wanted me to open it, but I insisted that she open it. Her fortune said, “Will you marry me?” and as she read it, I went to a knee, apparently blacked out for about a minute while saying some very romantic stuff, and came to when she happily said, “Yes!!!”

When is your wedding date?

August 15, 2009

Why did you pick the area you are getting married in?

We absolutely fell in love with Wesley Monumental, their minister, and the beauty of the city!

Where do you reside now?


Anything interesting or out of the ordinary you are including in your wedding day?

We will be having a military wedding to include some traditions from our families.


Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your planning process and BIG DAY! You are so adorably cute together and we couldn't be more thrilled to share in such a special occasion in your lives. Here’s to a fabulous affair! We love our military couples!