Jacob Thomas and Natalie Kleopfer met in the summer of 2013 at Nash Vegas in downtown Columbia. As country music filled the room, the two connected over shared backgrounds. Natalie, a Columbia native, was living in New York City at the time, and Jacob was from Newburgh, New York. He too had lived in New York City for a few years, but relocated to Columbia after swimming for MU.

“He had moved back to Columbia because he just loved this city, and I eventually moved back here for the same reason,” Natalie says.

Jacob proposed over Memorial Day weekend in the new house they purchased together. Jacob walked Natalie through an aisle of rose petals leading underneath a chandelier; the room was decorated with candles and photos of the two. Then Jacob got down on one knee and proposed.

“As soon as I said yes, about 20 of my friends and family all came out of the back rooms of the house and surprised me,” Natalie says of her “perfect proposal.”

Jacob is a sales representative at Machens Hyundai and Natalie is the director of advancement for MU’s Trulaske College of Business. Together, they love playing with their miniature goldendoodle, Winnie, visiting other countries, and rooting for the Tigers and the Royals.

“Jacob and I are both very social people — we love spending time with our friends and family,” Natalie says.

They are planning a destination wedding in Las Vegas about a year from now.

Recent News

Maximizing the Impact

Local nonprofit directors dedicate their lives to the common good. photos by Keith Borgmeyer Cheryl Howard, Nora Stewart Early Learning Center As a former graduate...

Home Away From Home

Local entrepreneurs create spaces where they love to work. photos by Keith Borgmeyer Aubrey Rowden and Jessica White, Love Tree Studios Aubrey Rowden and...

The Buzz on Family Biz

The pros and cons of working with loved ones. Melissa Murphy, Johnston Paint and Decorating In 1996, then MU student Melissa Murphy started working a...

Living Heart Healthy

Edie Diel, Jennica Gomez, Jill Stedem, and Michele Cropp are living red these days. Photos by Anthony Jinson According to the American Heart Association,...

More Maximizing the Impact

Local nonprofit directors dedicate their lives to the common good. photos by Keith Borgmeyer Barbie Banks, Citizen Jane Film Festival This October 26 to...