Katie and Lauren

Katie and Lauren's Engagement in West Virginia

How We Met

It all started almost six years ago in the spring of 2012 at Slippery Rock University. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, and Lauren was a native Pittsburgh yinzer through and through. I played on the softball team at SRU and she played Rugby. Lauren and I had a ton of mutual friends on campus from being involved in athletics and had been around each other for years at parties, events, etc. It wasn’t until that spring that we decided to act on the feelings that we previously had with not having any idea where it would go. The first time I remember asking Lauren to hangout I had some extra Pittsburgh Pirate tickets and asked her and some of our mutual friends to come with. It didn’t take long until we wandered off alone and in a tipsy tone I will never forget jokingly saying “a Pirates jersey with your last name wouldn’t look to bad on me.” We officially started dating that fall and the rest is history. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “my other half” but that statement could not be any more true for us. She is what I am not, what I lack she has. Our passions are so similar and she only continues to make me a better person every day. I have never met someone who saw life the way I did, who wanted to spend every minute they could outdoors, but is also down to grab a beer after the longest hike. I knew no matter what we had to go through to make it, we were going to do it. Through college, her moving across country to teach for a semester while I finished my undergrad before returning to Pittsburgh where we both call home, we eventually moved in together in the fall of 2014. We moved with nothing but college worn down couches and furniture, having no idea where life would take us but we knew we had each other. We adopted our dog, Dusty from a rescue in November of 2014 and he was the last piece to our little puzzle. We’ve had our roller coaster times, our bumps and bruises and ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade those for the world.

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How She Asked

I love pictures, Lauren on the other hand, not so much. When I suggested this summer (in July) that we take professional pictures with our dog for his 3rd birthday she was less than thrilled. She eventually agreed to make me happy, or just shut me up, or both? I knew a local photographer that I had mutual friends with so I booked a mini-session for November 4th. I laugh now looking back not realizing I literally picked my own engagement date without having a clue. I coordinated the time and payment with the photographer and all the details through email, etc. Lauren did not know her personally so she was not involved in the planning (or so I thought). November 4th rolls around and we head to Weirton, WV for our mini-session. It was on some land with an old rustic barn, lots of trees and area for Dusty (our dog) to run. On the way up there I could tell Lauren was nervous and when I asked what was wrong she replied with “you know I’m not crazy about pictures” and I laughed it off not thinking and told her it will be fine. We started with some pictures of the three of us in different spots. It had unfortunately been raining days leading up to it so halfway through the photographers suggested that we take Dusty to the car to let him dry off and warm up and we could take some of just us. Lauren and one of the photographers took Dusty to the car and I helped the other photographer of the team set up a blanket in a nice spot for our next set of pictures. The lead photographer yelled down to us a couple hundred yards away that we should come and do some by the barn. I had no idea that in that moment what I was about to walk into. I walked around the corner of the barn to see Lauren on one knee holding a ring and a personalized Pittsburgh Pirates jersey with her last name hanging up against the barn.

It took me a couple seconds to realize what exactly was happening. I stood frozen and said “WAIT WHAT, WHAT IS HAPPENING?” about five times before Lauren said, Kate come here. On a beautiful fall day in West Virginia she asked me to spend the rest of my life with her. I couldn’t believe she remembered what I jokingly said about the Pirates jersey in 2012… she told me how could she ever forget?

It was beyond perfect and luckily we had a professional photographer to capture the entire thing, who did an absolutely amazing job. I was stunned, thrilled, shocked and undeniably happy. If that wasn’t enough on our way back to Pittsburgh she asked me if we wanted to tell some close friends and have some drinks, to which I agreed to. I walked into a huge surprise engagement party with 60+ of our family, friends and long distance friends. Some of which who traveled two hours one way to be there, it was amazing. I couldn’t be more excited about the call up to the major leagues that day, the 2019 season is going to be EPIC!

Special Thanks

Katie & Amanda Kirkbride
Photographer