Q&A: Sarah Elizabeth and Michael McCollum, Alive engagement contest winners

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

For Sarah Elizabeth and Michael McCollum, it wasn’t a question of if they were getting married, it was when. After an Easter grass incident at a bike polo match made for a shaky start, the couple soon learned that Michael’s stomach light needed Sarah’s stomach light.

I actually didn’t like[Michael]at first. The first time I ever met him we were playing bike polo and he decided to throw Easter grass all over the place. I was worried I’d have to clean it up! Then we got to know one another and he was suddenly driving up from Louisville all the time. He finally kissed me after a night out, and I was just like, “What are you doing?” Then, a couple weeks later we were a couple. It became pretty obvious we are soul mates. It sounds cheesy, but there are these weird synchronicities with us all the time. I can actually read his mind. Sometimes, he’ll think something and he may as well have said it aloud. —Sarah

We entered the contest 30 minutes before the deadline. [Michael] just recently moved to Columbus from Louisville, so we were supposed to be doing all these things around the house. Instead, we ended up going to Cornerstone Deli-Cafe. While we were there, we saw the ad and I said, “We should enter this!” We checked the deadline, and we only had half an hour. [Michael] sent the email from his phone and we just hoped for the best. Never in a million years did we think we’d win, but now it seems like we were always meant to. For example, I have really small fingers, and the ring was already the perfect fit, even though the jeweler was sure it’d have to be resized. —Sarah

I was at the house putting together a dresser when I found out we’d won. I just sat down on the floor and stared at the email, and then at the wall forever. It was like, “Wow, this is really happening.” It was hard to orchestrate the whole proposal thing without telling Sarah. The ring we got is absolutely beautiful, and I felt like it was burning a hole in my pocket. It was such a relief when I finally got to propose. It’s funny because I just moved to Columbus in January, and as soon as I get here 20,000 copies or so of my face are floating around. Welcome to Columbus, I guess! —Michael

The line I used to propose is from the movie “Goon,” which we watched on our first date. It’s a hockey movie that is pretty brutal, and it actually reminds us a lot of bike polo. That should give you an idea of the kind of relationship we have. —Michael

I wasn’t even the first to see the issue when it came out! I actually got a call from a friend who had seen it first. My mom thought it was great and wanted a ton of copies. Normally I am a really private person, but I was super excited and even told the guy at Colin’s Coffee I got engaged in Columbus Alive right after it happened. —Sarah

We plan on having a small, outdoor wedding. We are both really outdoorsy people, and even though we had a pretty public engagement, we are planning on a very small wedding and a huge party to follow. We are really optimistic. I think we’re going to be the ones who make it. —Sarah

Photos by Meghan Ralston

Ages: Sarah: 33; Michael: 27

Hometown Sarah: Portsmouth; Michael: Louisville, Kentucky.

Current neighborhood: Clintonville 

Day job: Sarah: Paradise Garage sales lead; Michael: mechanical engineer

Currently listening to: Sarah: The Cure; Michael: Silver Jews

Playing Favorites:

Restaurant: Both: Yellow Brick Pizza

Cocktail or beer: Sarah: margaritas at El Camino Michael: Seventh Son's Log Cabin

TV Show: Michael: "Freaks and Geeks"

Movie: Sarah: "180 Degrees South" Michael: "Slap Shot"

Favorite thing about Columbus: Sarah: "Riding my bike with my son on the Olentangy Trail" Michael: "Sarah."

Favorite bird: Sarah: "All the ones tattooed on my arms courtesy of ihearttattoo/Chris Carter and Andy Johnson of Long Street Collective." Michael: Harris' Hawk.