THE MODEL BRIDE PREPARES TO MARRY HER COWBOY

Lassoing Daryl Johnston was easier than planning the wedding.

THE BIG CHALLENGE FOR MOST women is meeting Mr. Right. Not so Diane Krebs, the local model who stole the heart of Cowboys running back Daryl Johnston.

The two met on location in December 1994. “We were shooting a Chevrolet commercial, ” says Krebs, who was booked for the job with Johnston. “I was the girl in the Camaro.”

It was the proverbial love at first sight, and the couple went on their first date Jan. 6 of last year.

“We talked so much, we missed our movie,” says Krebs. “It was the best first date either of us had ever had.”

The pairing seemed so perfect, the couple began contemplating marriage almost immediately. “We looked at rings together, which is good because he never would have picked out the emerald-cut I like,” says Krebs, the platinum-set stone twinkling on her finger. “Before this, the only diamonds he really knew were the marquis styles they have in the Super Bowl rings.”

Johnston worried the initial ring search would spoil the fun of the proposal. He wanted Krebs to be surprised.

“He’s not ’The Moose1 at home,” says his future wife. “He’s very sensitive and sweet. And romantic. He pages I love you’ to me all the time on my pager.

“And when he went to the Pro Bowl, he had a single rose with a card hand-signed ’I Love You’ delivered every day…and he was gone three weeks!” she adds. “He really wanted the proposal to be special.”

Johnston carried the ring around for two weeks while he planned the perfect evening. Floods it] California foiled the idea of a trip to Napa Valley, so he had to opt for the alternate play.

“One afternoon, he suggested we get dressed up and go out to dinner, ” says Krebs. “Right before we left, he got a call from our jeweler pretending there was someone he needed to meet that night. So we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, then for a drink at the Nana Grill, like we did on our first date. Then Daryl said we had to go to The Mansion to meet this person who had called. We got to the suite where we were supposed to have this meeting, but there was no one there.”

Instead, every room of the suite was filled with flowers. A bottle of champagne and a cake shaped like a flower basket graced the table. Johnston pulled the ring out of his pocket and asked Krebs to marry him-less than six months from the day they met.

Saying yes was easy. “It sounds so cliché, but I knew when I first kissed him that he was the one,” says Krebs of their whirlwind courtship. “I am marrying my best friend.”

Krebs, whose family lives in the Northeast, found planning the wedding more difficult than finding her perfect man. The first step was securing a location for the nuptials. Fortunately, Krebs had gambled and booked Perkins Chapel before she was officially engaged.

“We had talked about getting married and I know Perkins books up fast,” says Krebs. “I took a chance. I figured if something happened I could always cancel.”

Krebs advises organization from the start. “When we got engaged, I got a three-ring binder and sectioned it off with folders and paper for receipts and notes,” says the bride-to-be. “Then we tried to do one wedding thing a week to spread it out so we wouldn’t be overwhelmed.”

The dynamic duo scheduled their appointments on Johnston’s days off. “Daryl’s been very involved, which has made this a wonderful experience,” says Krebs. “He helped pick out everything except for my dress.”

While his bride helped him select his custom-made tux from Lombardo’s, Johnston was not allowed near the Bridal Boutique at Stanley Korshak during the dress search.

Not that Krebs needed an assistant. The 28-year-old Kim Dawson model counts several bridal designers among her clients.

“I can throw a train with the best of them,” she says. ” I know what styles look best on my frame. I also knew I wanted to be a more classic, sophisticated bride. I’m not into frills.”

Krebs desired a glamorous look in keeping with the elegant evening reception she and Johnston have planned for their 250 guests at the La Cima Club in Las Colinas. Johnston’s eight ushers will be suited up for the event. The bride’s seven attendants will be clad in sophisticated Waters & Waters sheaths sliced from dark blue crepe. jackets with frog closures top the empire-waist frocks.

“It’s going to be fun, not stuffy,” says Krebs of the affair. “Everyone else will be pretty and sexy, why not me?”

Krebs found the perfect confection with the help of Nina Austin’s team at Stanley Kor-shak. Her halter-top dress with its beaded bodice and float of a skirt is more sexy than sweet.

“I did order one garden party-type dress and then changed my mind,” says the bride. “Fortunately, they were able to send it back.

“I can change my mind about the dress, as long as I don’t change my mind about the guy, right?”

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