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Erica & Matt

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Erica Kellenberger, 22, and Matthew Ladwig, 23, both grew up in Arvada, Colorado. Erica works as a process engineer, and Matthew serves as a firefighter with the Fairmount Fire Department.

Erica and Matthew met when they were in high school at Ralston Valley in Arvada. Both were in the marching band and spent quite a bit of time with each other during classes and after school practices. It has been love ever since!

Erica graduated from college on May 9, 2014; which was a busy time for both Matthew and Erica, with graduation parties, saying goodbyes, getting ready to leave for their trip to Europe, and, of course, celebrating Mother’s Day. And while they were both occupied with these events, Matthew was concealing a little surprise for Erica before they left for Paris.

On May 11, 2014, Matthew had planned a dinner with his mother and family to celebrate Mother’s Day. As he and Erica were traveling to the restaurant, Matthew took a quick detour. They pulled up to the Arbor House in Golden, and Erica became nervous, thinking, Could today be the day? As they walked into the clubhouse, she realized that Matthew had planned a surprise graduation party for her with her closest friends and family! She was overjoyed and was excited to share such a great accomplishment with her friends and family. As Erica was busy talking with her friends and family, Matthew sneaked out of the party to get ready for one last surprise for the day.

Half an hour later, Fairmount Fire Department pulled up to the building with their best fire truck and the Battalion Chief’s truck leading the way. They pulled everyone out of the building and asked for a Miss Erica Kellenberger. Erica came out, nervous and slightly scared, but had a feeling that something special was about to happen.

Matthew stepped out from behind the other four firefighters accompanying him, but it was hard for Erica to recognize him since he was wearing his bunker gear and helmet. As soon as he took off his helmet, he bent down on one knee and asked Erica if she would be his wife. Of course, she said “Yes!”

The rest of the evening was spent celebrating both Erica’s graduation and the future Mr. and Mrs. Ladwig!

Erica and Matthew have set their wedding date for July 18, 2015, at Arvada Covenant Church, Erica’s childhood church, with the reception to follow at the Westin Westminster Hotel. They plan a Paris-themed wedding to incorporate their recent trip to Europe, which was the beginning of their engagement, into their formal and elegant wedding celebration. The wedding colors represent the beautiful Parisian sunsets they saw at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and the flowers will be reminiscent of the lush and colorful Parisian gardens.

“We are excited to be married!” exclaims Erica. “Both of us have waited nearly seven years for this day and we know that all the details will fall into place as we continue to plan! I personally am most excited to say our vows and Matthew is most excited about the first time he will see me in my dress as I walk down the aisle. Then we will enjoy a grand party with lots of music, food, laughter, and, of course, dancing!”