In an age of Tinder and Bumble, it’s always refreshing to hear a love story that blossomed away from the confines of a phone screen. But, in love, you have to be in the right place at the right time. City-centered romantic movies like Sleepless in Seattle, Manhattan, and Roman Holiday have proven that location—and timing—is key. So where should Dallas’ lovelorn go? From a department store to an Uptown bar, four couples share their real-life “meet cutes.”
At First Sight: Jennifer and Michael Kolodziejski
As Jennifer descended the escalator at Saks Fifth Avenue, she noticed a tall man wearing a blue blazer with gold buttons and slacks at the fragrance counter.
She was immediately intrigued.
Jennifer worked for Chanel. Michael, the man at the counter, was a national sales manager for a cosmetics distribution company in Dallas on business. Michael initiated the first conversation with Jennifer at the Chanel counter, which lasted an hour and a half before he suggested they meet up after work.
Jennifer accepted the invitation, an act that was out of character for her. From their opening introductions, the pair felt that they were a natural fit.
“We went out in Uptown and literally sat at a table and talked for hours,” Jennifer says. “It was an amazing night. I will always say it felt like time stood still, and we were the only ones there.”
Michael knew from the start that he wanted Jennifer in his life. “My first impression was [that] I would like to ask her out on a date,” he says. “She was — and still is — gorgeous. It stood out that she was working for Chanel, so she probably was great at what she did.”
Eventually, he moved from California to Dallas to be with Jennifer, and in April of 2016, the couple married the Dallas Arboretum, six years after their first meeting.
A Cut Above: Michelle & Rob Joyner
Michelle credits hair care for her fateful introduction to her husband, Rob. After years of appointments and hours of conversation, hairstylist Shiva Mazloom had scouted out the perfect guy for Michelle, another client named Rob.
Shiva excitedly hugged Michelle at her next appointment. While she’s always friendly, it was clear Shiva had an announcement to make.
She immediately pulled out her phone and opened her Facebook app, saying “Michelle, I have found the perfect man for you. You have to meet him.”
Michelle had never been on a blind date, but after seeing Rob’s picture and learning a little more about him, she was interested.
“Shiva has a gift for truly listening to her customers’ needs, whether it be about their hair or love life,” Michelle says.
Initially, Rob was hesitant to go on a blind date.
On a whim, while waiting for Shiva to talk with Rob, Michelle made a Match.com profile. Her very first match? Rob Joyner.
One text to Shiva, a friend request, and a coy Facebook message later, Rob and Michelle finally went on a first date.
The Joyners, who are still clients at Shiva Mazloom Salon in Plano, were married in April at the Dallas Museum of Art, where they led a standing ovation for their hair and matchmaking guru.
(Fun Fact: Shiva has reportedly set up three more successful couples.)
Raising the Bar: Lauren & Zach McKinnon
Lauren McKinnon stands on the “yes” side of the age-old question of “Can you meet a great guy in a bar?”
It was a normal night out with friends in Uptown when she locked eyes with Zach from across the room at The Quarter Bar.
“I thought he was the only attractive guy there that night,” Lauren says. “I even told the friend I was with that.”
After a few hours of traded glances, Zach introduced himself with the classic line of, “Hi, I’m Zach.”
Or rather, he met Lauren’s bar persona, Vera.
“[It had] always been my ‘bar name,’” Lauren says. “I never thought I would meet my husband in a bar, so I didn’t see a reason to use my real name.”
Weeks later, she let Zach know her real name. Now, they’ve been happily married for four years.
As for the choice of name, she says she’s always been interested in “V” names. “Our first born daughter is named Vivienne,” she says.
Lauren is happy with their “eyes-met-across-a-crowded-room” love story. It gets a laugh, and she says, “it also suited where we were in life. Just out having fun, not expecting to meet our soul mate in a bar.”
Hannah Claire Brimelow is a D Magazine intern.