Engaged: Christian Johansson and Lacey Morley
A nautical-inspired wedding on the Eastern Shore is just the ticket for this active, sea-loving couple
Christian Johansson & Lacey Morley (Baltimore Sun / June 18, 2012)
Her story: Lacey Morley, 32, grew up Fork, Md., and currently lives in Federal Hill. She is a member of the leasing team for St. John Properties. Her parents, Paul Morley and Barbara Morley are accountants and partners in Morley & Morley, Inc. in Fork.
His story: Christian Johansson, 40, grew up in Sweden and Omaha, Neb., and currently lives in Federal Hill. He is the Secretary of Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. His father, Sonny Johansson, is a pathology professor at University of Nebraska Medical Center. His mother, Fannie Gaston-Johansson, is a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. His stepmother, Marianne Johannson is a retired educator.
Their story: It was at the old annual summer fundraiser for the Maryland Zoo, "Zoomerang," in 2008.
"We had both come out of long relationships," Christian says. " I see this girl across the way who catches my eye and I feel like I have to go up and introduce myself to her. It was a bit awkward because she was surrounded by five girlfriends. I got her phone number and called her the next day. I don't like to call twice. She didn't call me back for a year and a month."
"It's kind of a miracle that I gave out my number." Says Lacey. "But, I went on an European vacation for a while. Then, I moved. And I was just kind of doing my thing for a while. [However] I saved his number in my phone as Christian Zoomerang, which is where he still is...I saw him at a couple of things here and there, but he was always on the other side of the room. [More than] a year later, July 22, 2009, my girlfriend called me and said, 'I had a client cancel. Do you want to come on this fishing trip with me?' I had never fished in my life. So, I thought it would be something different. I drove down to Solomon's Island, and went on the fishing boat. We caught a bunch of fish, so we took them to this restaurant where they'll cook the fish you caught. I'm sitting there with four guys — captains of the boat and a couple of my friend's clients — waiting for the food. And Christian walks in."
"She was always hard to approach because she was always surrounded by a group," says Christian.
But he did approach. "He said, 'There's a tiki bar around the corner. Let's meet up for a drink,'" remembers Lacey. "I did, and we talked for three hours. I went home, and when I woke up the next day, I looked in my phone and I realized I still had his number. So I texted him - 'It was really fun running into you. It was a great conversation. Perhaps I'll run into you sometime in the Seychelles.' I got a text message back pretty quickly that said, 'Let's not make it so serendipitous. How about we go out on a real date?' So we went out July 26, and I've pretty much seen him every day since then."
Christian took her to Sotto Sopra, where the chef at the time was a friend of his.
"I said, 'forget about the menus. Why don't you make us whatever you think would be good tonight?' And Lacey said, 'what if I don't like it?' So, I said, 'Why don't you tell him what you don't like, and he'll make sure not to include that,'" Christian says with a laugh.
"I don't remember what we had, but it was a very good meal," Lacey says.
Christian says she did seem a little tense, so he decided to do something to maybe get her to relax.
"Sinatra was playing in the background, so, I stood up and asked her dance," he says.
"I was kind of surprised," says Lacey. "I was thinking, why are we dancing when all these people are sitting down eating? But, I was definitely more relaxed when we sat down. I think it was more relief that we weren't dancing anymore."
"It was good music and when you're with someone you're fascinated with, you might be inspired to dance well," Christian says.
"I think after the first date, I was very intrigued by him," says Lacey. "He was different and very smart and very inspiring with what he was trying to do with his job. And I found him very good looking, which always helps. He just had that part of him that you could tell he was a lot of fun, very inspiring, incredibly smart."
"She has these green eyes that you just get lost in," Christian says. "It took me a while to focus on the conversation. But, I just really felt comfortable with her. It felt there was something more than just conversation. I hadn't felt that in a long time."
"I felt like I fell in love with Christian very early [on]," says Lacey. "The whole relationship was so easy. We were both on the same team, trying to better each other's lives and those of the people around us. I remember we were in London [in October 2009] and in a bar called Lab. We were laughing, and I thought, 'I just love this guy and I know I've loved him for a long time.'"
"I knew I was [definitely] in love with her then, too," says Christian. "I knew there was no going back when we were in Australia together [in December, 2010]. We were at the Great Barrier Reef, on this boat where we were learning how to dive. We're sitting on the top deck of the boat, watching the sunset. And I remember thinking, there's no way I cannot be without this woman ever again."