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Stormy start leads to a ‘really fantastic’ wedding

The first impression Brian C. Stewart made on his future bride, Danielle M. LeGare, wasn’t exactly positive.

In the summer of 2010, Danielle had invited a dozen or so friends to a casual party in her tiny apartment on St. James Place in the Elmwood Village.

“A mutual friend of ours brought Brian over,” she said. “When he got to my house I was feeling, ‘The more the merrier, come on in, let me make you a drink,’ and then once he came in he told me I had the worst music taste that he’d ever heard, he didn’t like anything that I was playing, he didn’t like the drink I’d made, and I thought that he was so rude. I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ That night, obviously, it was not love at first sight!”

While it’s true that they have very different tastes in music, Brian admits that he was mostly trying to be funny. Luckily for them, their first meeting was not their last.

“We kept bumping into each other at social events, and the more I got to spend time with him, the more I realized he’s just so funny, and actually the nicest person I know,” said Danielle.

But her change of heart was gradual. “Even after the second or third time we saw each other, it still wasn’t magic,” she said. “But we kept ending up in the corner at a bar or at a party having great conversations, and it occurred to me that this is someone who is hilariously funny, and who is much more intelligent than he ever lets on. It was really one of those things where we became friends first, and after a little while it just dawned on me that I actually really like this guy.”

To shift from friends mode to more, Danielle took the time-honored route of cooking dinner. In August, she said, “I thought, ‘I am going to make him enchiladas and have this awesome Mexican feast, and win him over,’ and I was totally right. We’ve been inseparable ever since.”

Their engagement didn’t happen the way either of them thought it would, but it was perfect for them. Brian had bought the ring about a month earlier, and planned to propose on Sept. 28, 2013, on a trip to Zoar Valley, where they would be alone in majestic surroundings. Danielle had other plans for that day. “While he was at work, I bought tickets to go to Darien Lake to surprise him. I texted him a picture of the tickets and he did not sound impressed, because he had a whole other plan in mind, but as soon as he walked in the door from work, he ended up getting down on one knee and saying, “I have something that could make your outfit for Darien Lake even better today.’ ” That something was, Danielle said, “a gorgeous ring.”

The wedding went “awesome, very well,” Brian said, although some of the arrangements were in doubt as late as Thursday. “We weren’t supposed to get the flowers in time, but we did. We weren’t supposed to get all the food, but that worked out. Almost all of our guests could make it, except for a couple of aunts and uncles, cousins and friends who were stuck in the snow in the Southtowns, which was unfortunate having them be so close and not be able to make it. The majority of people coming from out of town made it. ... It was really fantastic.”

At the ceremony, the couple’s friend, Zachary Lis of Amherst, heard their vows. The bride, daughter of Diane A. LeGare of Amherst and the late Norman P. LeGare, earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in higher education administration, both from the University at Buffalo. She works as a multimedia services coordinator/communications assistant at the Research Institute on Addictions.

The bridegroom, son of Cynthia B. Stewart of Syracuse, and Bruce J. Stewart of Oneida, earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University at Buffalo and is a store manager at Fleet Feet Sports.

The couple, who live in Elmwood Village, plan a trip to Costa Rica.

– Anne Neville