Jazz at Green Lady Lounge, a flaming orange cocktail called The Old Square at Bluestem and gobs of gab — that’s how the whirlwind romance sparked between Matt Blashaw, host of “Yard Crashers,” and Kansas City’s Lindsay Archer.
“I thought we could have a nice dinner and chat,” Blashaw said of their first date. “I didn’t know this would bloom into what it is now.”
Now, the two are engaged to be married in September on a beach in Dana Point, Calif. They met in November, when Blashaw visited Kansas City for two episodes of “Yard Crashers,” which airs on HGTV and DIY Network.
Archer, owner of AvantGarden Potscapes, had been summoned to bring the plants for a plant wall. Blashaw noticed Archer, in a hat and overalls, as soon as she jumped out of her truck. “Who’s the plant lady?” he recalled asking his producer.
He got her phone number from project contractor Drew Thomson, owner of Maverick Outdoors of Kansas City, who had hired Archer for the work that day.
When he texted her to ask her out, Archer said, she already had other plans. But not knowing how long he would be in town, she postponed them and made reservations for two at Osteria Il Centro, which is co-owned by one of her friends.
In a recent conference call, Blashaw said he was “so nervous.”
“And I never get nervous. I’ve been on TV for 10 years, I’ve been on the ‘Today’ show,” he said. “I only saw her with a hat on before, so when she turned around from the bar when I walked in, my heart just sprang up. We got a drink, and we started talking like we’ve known each other since we were kids.”
Their conversation flowed.
“We closed the place down, we got kicked out,” he said. They moved to Green Lady Lounge in the Crossroads Arts District so they could talk more.
They both have a dry sense of humor, Blashaw said, adding that he’d never been with a woman who made him laugh so hard.
Archer thought it was the perfect first date but worried that maybe he was just really good at first dates.
“Perhaps he did this in every town he stopped in for ‘Yard Crashers,’ ” she said. “But I also thought Kansas City can feel very small sometimes, and dating can be a little grim. So I thought, if I go out with Matt, I may never see him again, but it might up my dating game, when people see me out with this handsome guy.”
“Ah, yeah, you see she … um … used me,” he joked.
Because of the hectic pace of taping “Yard Crashers,” where the crew overhauls a yard in two days, Blashaw usually heads straight to his hotel to eat and sleep at the end of the day. Not after he met Archer.
Despite a full day of work after the late night at Green Lady Lounge, he could barely wait until the following morning to ask for another date.
“I was running on love,” the 41-year-old said.
As for Archer, 36, she gushed about him to her girlfriends and told them they’d made plans for a second date at Port Fonda.
They were sitting at the Westport gourmet cantina when Archer’s friend Emily walked in with her three kids to pick up a carryout order. The kids immediately ran to Archer.
“They were loving on her, and the way they responded to her was amazing,” Blashaw said.
He was particularly struck by how Emily’s son Billy, 9, turned to him as they were leaving and said in a rather paternal way: “Take care of her, Matt.”
It was only recently that Blashaw learned that it was all a set-up.
“It was all planned, just in case the first date was a fluke,” he explained.
The couple finished that second date at Bluestem, with a flaming orange drink.
Somewhere in all that, they decided they both wanted to see where the relationship would go. They began traveling together and taking turns visiting each other.
Blashaw, who grew up and lives in Orange County, Calif., has grown to love Kansas City.
“It’s so eclectic, the restaurants are incredible, it’s beautiful,” he said. “And everyone is so nice. They let you into traffic when you’re trying to get out of the driveway. It’s that little hometown feel that I don’t get in Orange County.”
Archer has taken him to a Royals game, the River Market and Union Station, where he was mesmerized by the model trains.
You can get a sense of the moments the couple first met if you catch the Kansas City episodes of “Yard Crashers,” which premiere at 9 a.m. May 6 on DIY Network.
Or, as Blashaw likes to put it: “Look for the cute girl in the overalls and hat, that’s my future wife — the future Mrs. Blashaw.”
The couple will live in Orange County after they marry, as that’s where he works.
Blashaw doubts there will be any acknowledgment during the May 6 show that he’d just met the love of his life, because no one really knew it was happening at the time.
“But you never know. Spinoff?” he quipped.
Where to watch
The two Kansas City episodes of “Yard Crashers” air May 6, beginning at 9 a.m., on DIY Network.