Stephanie Erin Caplin and Jonathan Kramer Zoller are proof that a simple connection can blossom into a full-blown romance to remember. What started with drinks at Sasha’s Wine Bar became adventurous trips and sugar-sweet moments, all leading to a happy ever after.

When their mutual friend suggested a blind date, Stephanie and Jonathan didn’t anticipate it would lead to lasting love. Their chemistry was undeniable, and they almost instantly formed a strong bond. “I remember sitting down at a table across from Stephanie for the first time on that [blind] date and thinking to myself, ‘I could marry her!’ I can’t remember what she said or did to trigger that thought, but I distinctly remember having it,” Jonathan says. Naturally at ease around one another, the two had to give credit to their matchmaking friend. They immediately found themselves wanting to spend more time together, having fun and trying new things.

“We went to Whistler, Canada, for our first trip together, and I [had never before] gone skiing,” Stephanie says. “Jonathan was so patient with me. He literally sat on the mountain, coaching and helping me to ski down the beginner’s slope. His patience and humor got me through it. I knew this was someone special.” After sharing more vacations together and growing closer with each new adventure, Jonathan knew it was time to deepen their connection.

First, Jonathan invited Stephanie’s family back to her hometown, along with his own parents. He then coaxed his love to swing by Forest Park for a study session near the Grand Basin. “We stopped to admire the beautiful fountains on that gorgeous fall day,” Stephanie recalls. “I hadn’t even realized he had dropped to one knee. When I finally did, he opened the ring box and [presented] a miniscule gag ring, which immediately made me laugh. He then said, ‘Let me try this again,’ and opened up another box with a beautiful engagement ring inside. Afterward, he took me to the Four Seasons where our parents and one of my brothers surprised me with bottles of Champagne. We capped off the night with a special dinner at Tony’s Restaurant.”

Stephanie, whose childhood nickname was “Candy Caplin,” always had a sweet tooth. So, when word reached her ears that a new venue was opening atop a chocolate factory, she knew she’d found a spot too good to resist for their big day. “We booked the venue sight unseen as it still was under construction. When we saw the sketches showing all of the beautiful hardwood, exposed wooden beams and stunning crystal chandeliers, we knew it would be perfect,” Stephanie says. “We also loved the chef and knew the food would be phenomenal!”

The couple’s leap of faith was well rewarded with a beautiful ceremony and reception held at The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s. Yet, Stephanie and Jonathan ran into one snafu with the space. They had scheduled a winter wedding on a rooftop venue, with plans to keep everyone warm under a clear-top tent. Just three days prior to their wedding, the tent company informed the bride and groom they couldn’t find a way to transport the tent all the way up to the roof. “We took a big risk by making the decision to have our ceremony outside on the rooftop in the middle of November, but it ended up being 70 degrees that day and absolutely beautiful,” Stephanie says. “I guess everything happens for a reason!”

Another challenge arose two days prior to the grand event when the groom tried on his tux, which he had owned for years, and found it no longer properly fit. Jonathan’s advice to future grooms? “Try your tuxedo on more than two days before the wedding! Luckily, I was able to have it tailored in time, but it was an unnecessary stress so close to the wedding day.”

When that day finally arrived, any previous stress evaporated into the warm night air. The couple said their ‘I dos’ atop Bissinger’s, where Jonathan gave his bride her mother’s wedding band. She wore her grandmother’s earrings and carried a piece of her mother’s wedding dress, which had been sewn to the inside of her own gown with a tiny blue bow. “It was a very surreal and special moment: Standing outside on the gorgeous rooftop, overlooking the river, with my soon-to-be husband in front of me, both sets of parents next to us and my first cousin officiating. Sitting around us was everyone important to us,” Stephanie shares.

As guests stepped through the ballroom doors, their faces lit up at the transformed space aglow with candelabras and towering floral centerpieces. The newlyweds paused to soak in the moment, from the rustic-meets-chic ambiance to the lively band who traveled from Memphis for the occasion. “I can’t remember another time when I have felt so much warmth in one room,” Jonathan says. “I felt overwhelmed by the support all our family and friends showed by making the effort to come to the wedding.”

The newlyweds celebrated their nuptials with a getaway to Nevis and St. Kitts in the West Indies, where they spent time in and on the water, as well as hiking. The couple resides in Kansas City with plans to return to St. Louis in July.

THE DETAILS

The Date

November 14, 2015

The Bride

Stephanie Erin Caplin

The Groom

Jonathan Kramer Zoller

The Bride’s Parents

Dr. and Mrs. David and Debbie Caplin of St. Louis

The Bride’s Grandparents

Ms. Arlene Gerber of St. Louis

The Groom’s Parents

Dr. and Mrs. Michael and Linda Zoller of Savannah, Georgia

The Groom’s Grandparents

Ms. Mildred Zoller of New Orleans

Maid of Honor

Jana Bassman

Best Man

Donald Mayer

Bridesmaids

Lydia Figueroa, Rachel Weiss, Sydney Eisenstein, Caroline Rau, Elizabeth Biondo, Taylor German, Rebecca Zoller Stone and Jordan Wyner

Groomsmen

Eric Stone, Jonathan Caplin, Bobby Caplin, Evan Hawkins, Andy Harbin, John Baber, Michael Kramer and Justin Huebener

The Invitations

William Arthur-Vellum

The Ceremony

The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s

The Reception

The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s

The Officiant

Rabbi David Gerber, first cousin of the bride

The Wedding Dress

Monique Lhuillier from Berrybridge Bridal

The Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Accessories

Adriana Papell from Bella Bridesmaid

The Tux

Hugo Boss

The Rings

Décor Jewelry

The Florist

Festive Couture

The Cake

The Cakery

The Band

The Memphis Soul Revue

The Photographer

L Photographie

The Wedding Planner

Simcha Lourie of Simcha’s Events