By Johanna Calfee
This is the story of Michael, Lauren and Jeffrey. Michael and Lauren are a real, engaged couple living in Southwest Virginia. Jeffrey is a sock puppet. But in many ways, Lauren and Michael would not be the couple they are today without Jeffrey. Really, it’s a story that’s as complicated as it is simple.
Like a lot of couples, Michael and Lauren met in college, during their freshman year. Michael had just come out of a relationship. Lauren, however, knew a good thing when she saw one. They quickly became friends, through a shared oddball sense of humor and similar values regarding faith, family and friendships. Michael was into all things science and history, which worked out well, since Lauren was into all things literature and the Arts. But that’s about where their differences came to an end. By the summer going into their sophomore year, they were officially dating.
Throughout their college relationship, the pair became something of celebrities at their campus at Roanoke College, co-hosting a weekly radio show on the school’s station–a quirky mix of humor, antidotes … and Jeffrey. Ah, Jeffrey. The sock puppet that Michael picked up at a secondhand store in Salem soon became the third “man” in their self-described “nerdy” relationship. Soon, Jeffrey went with them everywhere, taking on a life of his own, to the point that friends often greeted them as a trio instead of a pair. Jeffrey’s escapades created a following on Facebook that outdid Lauren’s and Michael’s combined. Once, as a prank, some of the couple’s friends kidnapped Jeffrey and held him for ransom, sending out clues as to his whereabouts on Facebook. Their eventual reunion was glorious.
This Christmas, Michael and Lauren got engaged. Jeffery was in remission at the time from a dog attack that left him with a sewn up-face. Still, he managed to make it into their Christmas card photo.
Every couple’s story is unique, and their wedding should act as its translator. Whether it includes mementos of their relationship, tributes to ones who have passed on or is artfully decorated to represent their sense of style, a wedding is a chance to get creative during one of the biggest celebrations of a young couple’s life. That is what this “Hitched” issue is all about. In the pages that follow, we hope you grasp new visions for invitations, centerpieces and vineyard venues. And don’t miss the incredible, idea-inspiring pictorial spread from Hill City Bride.
As for Lauren and Michael, next summer, I will have the pleasure of watching them get married. I’m planning to talk Lauren into carrying Jeffrey down the aisle. After all, since she is my sister, that will technically make Jeffrey my sock puppet-in-law. And really, aren’t weddings all about celebrating family anyway?
Cheers to Your Big Day,
If you don't have an account, please click here to register. Registration is FREE!