From Arielle’s experience, not all first jobs are terrible. Hers led her to Eric.
Arielle and Eric met at Panera Bread in Monroe, MI in 2008. Arielle was 18 and had applied to work there for her first high school job. Eric was a year older and already the shift supervisor. He will never forget the day Arielle walked through the door. She was, and still is, the most beautiful person he had ever seen in his life. She was his dream girl.
Eric’s charm and ability to make Arielle laugh won her over almost instantly. It was not long before they started having clementine dates after work. Arielle thought she had to lure Eric in with food and he did not mind pretending that it worked. They didn’t actually see each other outside of work until the summer of 2009 when Eric finally mustered up enough courage to invite her over to a bonfire at his house with all his friends. That night started a summer full of laughs, dates and inevitably becoming attached to each other.
That fall they became official and Arielle went away to Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. They made the long distance work for 4 years until Arielle moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern University for grad school. Eric’s love of Michigan kept him rooted so they decided to do their own adventuring for awhile and broke things off.
Three years later Eric was traveling through Chicago for work and couldn’t resist the urge to text Arielle and ask her if she’d like to meet him for a drink. He didn’t really know if she would say yes. At this point he assumed she wanted nothing to do with him. But to Eric’s delight Arielle did answer AND she said yes! After meeting for a drink, they both quickly realized their feelings for one another never diminished. The following year they took turns making the 4 hour trek to Michigan or Chicago to spend as many weekends together as possible. It wasn’t too long before they were planning Arielle’s move back to Michigan to be with Eric.
Eric proposed on November 26th, 2016 at Lumberman’s Monument on the Au Sable River in Oscoda, MI., a spot he had taken Arielle to 6 years prior. It was one of the most emotional days of his life and one Arielle remembers as her dream come true.
Eric describes Arielle as the most amazing, passionate, loving person he’s ever met and after almost 10 years of knowing him, Arielle still gets butterflies when they are together. She describes Eric as her best friend, the love of her life, her smile on a bad day, and best road trip partner…which happens to be one of their favorite pastimes.
Arielle and Eric secured their future of adventures together on September 29th, 2017 in Cadillac, MI. It was a gorgeous, fun-filled day of celebration at Caberfae Peaks Resort and the beginning of a new chapter in Arielle and Eric’s love story, Becoming the Belangers.
Many thanks to Arielle and Eric for sharing their wedding day with us and cheers to their Happily Ever After!