Q&A: Engagement contest winner Samantha Kruger

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
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From the February 28, 2013 edition

For Alive’s Valentine’s Day issue, we held an engagement contest and awarded the winner a package including an engagement ring from Worthington Jewelers and other wedding-related prizes. The winner was Mark Seale, who proposed to Samantha Kruger that Valentine’s Day.

Samantha and Mark’s love story had a bit of a rocky beginning — including an unfortunate and unlikely car crash where Samantha ran head-on into Mark — but their bond was strong enough to survive anything.

We met when we worked at Hoggy’s in Delaware. He was the kitchen manager and I was a waitress, and we absolutely hated each other and were always mean to each other. Then someone told me that he thought I was so cute. I didn’t believe it. So I went up to him and started joking around with him: “We’re going to get married someday.”

Then we actually planned a date, and it was kind of a joke but we went for it. He stood me up. Then we planned another one, and I stood him up because I thought it would be funny. Finally, on our third one we actually got together, and it’s been love ever since.

The accident happened on my best friend’s birthday. She had to go out [to celebrate] so we went to a bar. Mark met us there and then we all left. He left a few minutes before me because I had to warm my car up. My friend and I were driving together, something happened and I started to swerve. She grabbed the wheel, and it was raining so I slid. I overcorrected, and we just went left of center and hit another car head-on. It turned out it was Mark’s car. Yeah, I hit my own boyfriend. It was pretty bad. I had to be cut out and [air-lifted to the hospital]. I had bones sticking out. Mark was pronounced dead at the scene, and they brought him back in the ambulance. We’ve gotten past it and now good things are coming.

Mark didn’t want to make it seem like he only proposed because he won the contest. So he took me to our first apartment [the morning the issue came out] and got down on one knee, said all these sweet things and proposed. Then he went and grabbed an issue and showed me. I was so excited.

I loved the proposal in the paper. I thought it was so cute. We’re going to frame it. We had to get a billion copies to give to all the family. We were the last story to get in. We applied together and I helped write [the contest application]. Mark thinks we won because of luck, but I don’t believe any of that. It’s a pretty good story.

I loved the ring; it was big. I’m a really simple girl, but I love it. It’s bigger than anything I ever thought of. Besides the ring, we won an engagement party at AOI Sushi Bar, a bridal shower at DeepWood. The rehearsal dinner is at Lindey’s in German Village. I’m getting the bridal hair and makeup at Charles Penzone’s — that’s exciting. There’s also a little getaway to a Gervasi Vineyard and bachelor and bachelorette parties down at Park Street Complex.

My favorite thing about Mark is that he treats me so well. When I was sick recently, it was one o’clock in the morning, and he asked me if I wanted some soup. I said sure, if we have some. He got dressed, went to Kroger, got me soup and then made it for me. He picked all the carrots because he knows I don’t like the carrots. The way he treats me is just amazing.