Her Runway Strut Caught His Eye. But She Made the First Move.


Veronica Mae McCracken and Mitchell Henry Karr first met in May 2014 on her first day at the Minneapolis architecture and design firm MSR Design, where she works as an interior designer and he as an architect. The two were dating other people at the time.

It wasn’t until the annual Fusion Fashion Show hosted by the Northland chapter of the International Interior Design Association on Nov. 13, 2015, that sparks began to fly. By then, each was single.

Ms. McCracken, 33, had volunteered to walk the runway and caught Mr. Karr’s attention wearing silver metallic lipstick, tin foil eyebrows, six-inch platform heels, and an outfit made of metal flashing, drapery fabric, and window film.

“Think a Project Runway-type challenge with wallcoverings, drapery, or rugs as your medium,” Ms. McCracken said.

At the after-party, Ms. McCracken said, “We were dancing pretty close. I want to say I made the first move.”

“Yeah, you did,” Mr. Karr, 37, said. “By grabbing my face and kissing it.”

The next day, she texted him a photo of the chrome-lipped character from the film “Mad Max” with a note that read, “I hope you didn’t end up looking like this.” Mr. Karr texted back, “Not this time, but maybe next time.”

Not knowing that the other was doing the same, they both went to the office that Sunday to work. When Mr. Karr saw her, he invited her to lunch at a nearby cafe.

“My heart rate increased as he walked up, and I was just so giddy to spend some one-on-one time with him,” said Ms. McCracken, who surprised Mr. Karr by offering to split the bill after what they described as a “great” first date.

“I would have been very happy to pick up our lunch,” Mr. Karr said, “but I’d be lying if the offer didn’t feel like icing on the cake.”

A week later, on Nov. 22, 2015, Ms. McCracken asked Mr. Karr to join her to visit Riley, a six-year-old Dutch Shepherd she planned to adopt about an hour away in North Branch, Minn.

It was love at first sight — for all of them. Three days later, the adoption was official.

A few days after, Mr. Karr told Ms. McCracken that he was leaving on Dec. 2 for a wedding in St. Lucia. She asked if he needed a plus one. He didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“We just kind of leaned into the idea of how fast it was,” Mr. Karr said of their relationship. “It was kind of funny.”

However, it would take more than five years before they decided to move in together. “Having separate living situations as long as we did was exactly the balance of time together and apart we needed,” Ms. McCracken said.

On May 17, 2021, Ms. McCracken moved out of her house in Richfield, Minn., and moved into his in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis, where they now live.

In the summer of 2022, Riley was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. “We made her a summer bucket list,” Ms. McCracken said, noting that it had included activities like paddle boarding and car rides with Riley’s head out the window. “We still have it on our fridge.” Riley died on Sept. 1, 2022.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

Every year, Ms. McCracken’s family heads to their lake home in Cumberland, Wis., for a family vacation. During the 2023 trip, Mr. Karr proposed. “It’s really picturesque there,” Mr. Karr said. “And I knew she’d want to celebrate with her family.”

On the morning of Aug. 10, 2023, the two went paddle boarding. “I brought silicon rings, and we paddled out. I didn’t have much prepared to say.”

“You said, ‘So what do you think?’ and I said, ‘About what?’” Ms. McCracken said. In reply, Mr. Karr asked, “Should we get married?” Ms. McCracken said yes.

Ms. McCracken is the interior design discipline lead at MSR Design. She grew up in Eden Prairie, Minn., and has a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Mr. Karr, an architect at MSR Design, has both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in architecture from Kansas State University. He grew up in Newton, Kan.

On May 10, the couple were married during an intimate ceremony in their backyard. James McCracken, the bride’s father and an ordained nondenominational Christian minister, officiated. Both sets of parents were in attendance — and so was the Aurora Borealis.

Mr. Karr said the colorful lights felt “like an endorsement from the cosmos.”

“They were really active,” Ms. McCracken said. “Beautiful streaks of teal and fuchsia dancing above us.”

After the ceremony, the small group went to dinner at Butcher and the Boar, a Minneapolis beer garden and restaurant.

On June 1, a celebratory ceremony with 80 guests will be held at Puerto Raiz, a farm-to-table restaurant and events space in San José del Cabo, Mexico, followed by a reception at the Drift Hotel.

Ms. McCracken called the hotel an ideal spot for an architect and an interior designer, “The simple, vernacular architecture is the perfect backdrop,” she said.



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