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It took a little friendly persuasion for bridal couple Phillip Chaz Rogers and Alezandra Blaise Winterburn to turn a longtime relationship into a budding romance. But with luck and a little persistence, love won out.
"Funny thing is, I was really close friends with Chaz throughout our school years and had no idea that I was looking at my future husband," bride-to-be Blaise explained. "We didn't have much of a story about first meeting or anything because Chaz and my brother were best friends growing up, so Chaz was literally like a brother to me for as long as I can remember and boy did I have a crush on him!
"With that being said, we got to skip the whole get-to-know-you phase because we practically knew it all already. We can honestly say we are marrying our best friend, but it did take some serious persuasion from his end for me to finally give in and agree to date."
The daughter of Bruce and Elizabeth Winterburn, Sandi Murrey and Ed Murrey, Blaise is a hometown girl who graduated from Giles County High School in 2011 and then from Martin Methodist College — where she played four years on the volleyball team — with a bachelor's degree in Business Management. She is currently employed at Owens Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Pulaski.
Groom-to-be Chaz, son of Lowell and Phyllis Glossup and Eric and Angie Rogers, is a 2007 graduate of Giles County High School and is currently working as a CNC machinist at Integrity Tool & Mold in Pulaski.
"He has a real passion for his work," Blaise said. In their spare time the couple enjoys spending time with family and friends and their two dogs Chaos and Ellie. "We are serious fur parents; we love our dogs," Blaise said.
When it came time for the proposal, Chaz had elaborate plans.
"Nothing about our relationship is average," Blaise said. "Our proposal was priceless. I was straight off a flight from Tampa, we were on a routine Saturday night stop at a gas station and Chaz had Joey Turner lined up to fake his arrest. I was livid, but when I turned around Chaz was on one knee proposing in the middle of the gas station parking lot. To say I was shocked would be an understatement."
"I guess if I had to sum up our relationship, it would be that I spent a while looking for something I had in front of me the whole time," related the bride-to-be.
The couple is planning an outdoor, autumnal wedding at the home of the bride's father.
"We want for everyone to feel as laid back as possible because the one thing we want is to be surrounded by people we love on our big day," Blaise said. "As far as the honeymoon is concerned, we aren't dead set on anything — we just want to put our toes in the sand."
As to their future... "We plan to stay in Pulaski and start our family; kids are in our future," Blaise said. "One of the things that excites me most about marrying Chaz is getting to see him become a father one day — he has a way with kids and it amazes me."
This is forever for a couple who have known each other for "forever," and on that subject Chaz had this to say,
"She has always been my best friend and always will. I think from the second we went public with our relationship everyone could see we found our forever."