Kaitlyn and Lauren chose a venue that gave back and opted out of wedding favors, instead donating to a charity that is meaningful to them.
How did you meet?
We had several failed attempts talking to normal people on the dating app Plenty Of Fish. Because of this, we were about to throw in the towel. There was a point where I deleted the app because I felt I couldn’t really connect with people the way I wanted to. However, a few days after deleting the app, I received a message from Katie via email while traveling to Pittsburgh. I was initially confused because I thought I had deleted the app. But then something made me curious to pull up the message- I’m delighted I did! I thought Katie was hot stuff (as well as super intelligent, beautiful, well-spoken, caring, and all the other lovely things).
Katie usually didn’t message people first, but something about me made her send a message. After several days of messaging non-stop, talking about everything and anything under the sun, I drew up the courage to ask Katie to “go hang out.” In other words, a date. Being the intelligent lady she is, Katie arranged a Skype date first so that we were not “getting catfished” or “kidnapped” by each other. Two hours later, talking on Skype, we decided to go on a date to the high-class Spaghetti Warehouse. From there, what we thought would be just a quick date, ended up being five hours full of conversation and 100% awesomeness.
The rest is history.
What is your favorite memory together?
Our favorite memory together was the time we took a long vacation out east, driving first to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where we quickly learned that driving downtown was a whole other animal. Still, we explored the city, found Ben Franklins Privy Hole, ate at the Always Sunny In Philadelphia Bar, had Philly cheesesteaks, and saw the liberty bell.
We then went out to Baltimore, Maryland, where we met up with one of our friends, explored the harbor. Had nacho ice cream and old bay seasoned ice cream, and stayed at a fantastic Airbnb with an adorable dog.
We also drove out to Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, had some Maryland crabs, and then got caught in a flash flood- survived it, and then returned back home listening to audiobooks. Learning a lot about ourselves, working through stressful situations diving, and truly enjoyed spending time together while exploring places we hadn’t been to.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
This sounds repetitive, but the pandemic. I worked, at the time, at a nursing home as their Activities Director, where we got hit really, really hard with the virus. It is something I never want ever to experience again and I am traumatized by it. I worked there for over six years and have built solid relationships with these folks. So seeing them get sick, and some die from the virus was hard.
Days I would come home and break down, and Kaitlyn was there for me. There were days when I would be at work twelve hours. So many staff got the virus that I was doing things outside of my position, including feeding residents Covid positive. Every day I went into work during that period, I knew I was risking bringing it back to Kaitlyn and potentially exposing other families.
So, we did everything in our power to isolate ourselves and protect our families. This was hard because it meant not spending time with our families. But it made sure I wouldn’t also expose my residents to any possible risk of getting the virus more. Kaitlyn really put a lot on the side just because I worked directly with people with the virus. It was incredible to show how strong she was for me during this time. Knowing how worried sick she was of me.
It wasn’t all bad though. Even though it was crappy and traumatic, we created new traditions. Especially during the holidays (in the past, we would celebrate holidays with all our families). So instead, we started a thing where it was just us two. We bought matching pajamas and drove around to our neighborhood “Illuminaria.” This is when everyone in the area puts candle lights outside on the edges of the main road, and you go and see the lights leading to Santa. We made cookies, had hot chocolate, and watched Christmas movies.
It was our first Christmas as a married couple, and it was probably my favorite Christmas thus far.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
My favorite thing about Kaitlyn is how her eyes squint when she is really happy or laughs hard. It makes me so happy to see her happy.
Kaitlyn’s favorite thing about me is how kind and generous I am- that I would drop everything to help someone in need.
Tell us about your proposal.
Katie had no idea this was happening. For weeks, I had harassed Katie about going on a “Pinterest date” to a park to watch a movie. Katie, being a saint, agreed. Little did she know, this was part of a grand plan. Before going to the park, we went out for brunch for one of our best friend’s birthdays.
After brunch, we got some warm drinks from Starbys and headed to Highbanks Metro Park, where we went to our favorite spot for some of our picnic dates. Katie was primed to watch Trailer Park Boys. More than halfway through the opening credits, it statics out into videos some of the closest people in our lives made talking about Katie. With choreographed dances, singing, and love. Katie didn’t know what it was for until towards the end. I had Katie stand up, and then I got down on one knee. Then all our friends popped out, and we celebrated!
Tell us about your wedding day.
It was perfect—the perfect fairytale wedding of our dreams. We got married during Covid, so we had a small guest list which made it super intimate. We had perfect weather for our outdoor wedding, ideal scenery, and the perfect wife.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We got married at Camp Mary Orton, a nonprofit organization that sends inner-city kids to summer camp for less than two dollars a summer. All the funds from our wedding supported their summer camp, which drew us to this venue. It had incredible outdoor scenery, the lodge was beautiful, and the fire pit was on point.
We didn’t do a regular bouquet toss; instead, we did a Pusheen the cat toss (which those that do not know Pusheen is a stuffed animal cartoon cat) to find out who would adopt the next cat. We both LOVE animals, so it was perfect, and all people at our wedding could participate.
Instead of having favors, we also donated money to a great nonprofit called “Pets for Elderly,” which encompasses what we are passionate about, animals and older adults—connecting older adults living at home with animals in shelters. The funds help support these connections and help older adults adopt and cover costs for the animals.
Photography by Taylor Holibaugh
Bridespeople Outfits David’s Bridal
Catering Hoggy’s BBQ
Cookies Cheryl’s Cookies
Dress Boutique Wendy’s Bridal
Dress Designer Essence of Australia
Entertainment DJ Angie
Favors Donation to charity
Signage Adrienne Rumschlag
Suit Designer Ticknors
Officiant Vicki Cole
Venue Camp Mary Orton