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“Katie first laid eyes on Derek in 1992 during Wheeling Park High School speech team tryouts. He was in the hallway doing impersonations. She thought it was cute. (Twenty-three years later, little has changed.)

 “Shortly thereafter, Katie asked Derek to the Sadie Hawkins dance. The dance was in February. She asked in November. She wanted to lock that down. Their first kiss was the night of that dance over a game of “Spin the Bottle.” Their high school romance was short, as most high school romances are, but they still remained friends.

“They went their separate ways in college, Derek to WVU and Katie to Ohio State. Katie’s visit to Morgantown in 1997 for her 21st birthday rekindled some old flames. Their college romance was short, as many college romances are, but they still remained friends.

“Life took them in different directions after college — into teaching for Katie and sportswriting for Derek, to Colorado for Katie and Florida for Derek. But life brought them back together in 2011 when they both found themselves back in West Virginia. Two years later, Derek proposed and, in 2014, they were married.
“So, in the end, this romance was anything but short, as the best romances always are. And they still remain friends.”


I’m so proud of this wedding work.  It’s honest.  That’s intention on my part, but it’s also finding a couple who values documentary work.  That’s easy when the groom, the best man and the maid of honor are all journalists.  The bride I’ve known for many years.  Katie is an amazing English teacher and mother.  Plus, she plays in the handbell choir at church (proof below).  Katie and I moved back to this area around the same time, and our daughters are close in age and grew up in church together.

Katie and Derek just added a new member to their family.  Ethan was born last week at eleven pounds.  Derek blames it on the size of his head, which Ethan apparently inherited.

I’m so grateful for the trust you extended to us in capturing your day.  I’m also moved by the joy and humor that runs deep in your relationship.  What a great family all of you make together!  Happy (almost) Anniversary and a warm welcome to Ethan!

Thanks to Roberto Lopez Zavaleta for his contributions.

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