When Jon McDaniel took his girlfriend Emily to Steinberg skating rink in February 2008, he was definitely thinking about ice, but not the frozen variety. Claiming he had to clean off his skate blade, he borrowed her glove as they sat on a bench, recalls Emily’s mom, Beryl Cohen. “She was a little bit annoyed, wondering why he was getting her glove all wet,” Cohen says. “And the next thing she knew, he was on one knee, with a diamond ring in his hand.” Cohen adds that since Valentine’s Day had just come and gone without a proposal, her daughter was very surprised, but managed to say ‘yes’ through happy tears.

“We were all was so excited!” Cohen says. “Jon and Emily met in college and had been dating for several years, so he was already part of our family. We couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding.”

About a month later, the excitement doubled—literally—when Emily’s sister Megan and her boyfriend Buddy Catanzaro came home from an evening at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar with sweet news—they were engaged, too! “Buddy and Megan had also been together for several years, so he was as much a part of our family as Jon,” Cohen says. “We were excited all over again, although the timing was a bit of a shock. But you know what? Everything came together beautifully.”

At first Cohen thought a double wedding might be a good idea, but the sisters opted for separate ceremonies, five months apart. “Our daughters are very close, but also very different. They each had their own ideas about what they wanted their wedding to be,” she explains. Cohen coordinated both big days without the assistance of a professional wedding planner. “It was hard sometimes, because there was so much to think about, but it was so much fun seeing the girls so excited!”

Amidst the flurry of planning, Cohen and her daughters enjoyed the cherished ritual of bridal gown shopping, she recalls. “Oh, the dresses! They both looked so beautiful trying on bridal gowns, and, of course, I cried. Emily found her dress online before she began visiting stores, and tried on a few others ‘just to be sure,’ but nothing else came close,” she says, adding that Emily ultimately purchased her first choice at Simply Elegant, and Megan found her gown at Maiden Voyage.

The brides chose different venues for their ceremonies and receptions, says Cohen. “Emily and Jon were married at the Doubletree St. Louis at Westport, and Megan and Buddy chose Marriot St. Louis West. One important consideration for them was access for their great-aunt Sylvia,” she explains. “She was 93 years old at the time and walked down the aisle at both weddings!”

Both girls chose Cravings Gourmet Desserts to design their wedding cake, reports their mom, but individual tastes still prevailed. “Emily wanted square, Megan wanted round, but they agreed on the buttercream frosting!”

One year later, we’re told Megan has a chance to experience ‘cravings’ once again as she and Buddy await the birth of their baby girl, due the day before her aunt Emily’s birthday.

Megan Cohen & Buddy Catanzaro

October 17, 2009

Ceremony/reception > Marriot St. Louis West

Rehearsal dinner > Favazza’s on the Hill 

Music > Galaxy Band

Flowers > Flower Depot

Cake > Cravings Gourmet Desserts

Bridal Gown > Maiden Voyage

Bridesmaids dresses > Maiden Voyage

Tuxes > Men’s Warehouse

Photographer > Liz Reiff Sloan of LPhotographie

Bride’s parents > Beryl & Terry Cohen

Groom’s parents > Leo & Debbie Catanzaro, and Karen Catanzaro

Emily Cohen & Jon McDaniel

May 9, 2009

Ceremony/reception > Doubletree St. Louis at Westport

Rehearsal dinner > Missouri History Museum

Music > RPM 

Flowers > Flower Depot

Cake > Cravings Gourmet Desserts

Bridal Gown > Simply Elegant

Bridesmaids dresses > J Crew

Tuxes > Savvy

Photographer > Liz Reiff Sloan of LPhotographie

Bride’s parents > Beryl & Terry Cohen

Groom’s parents > David & Ronna McDaniel