WRITTEN BY | Erika Kelm
PHOTOGRAPHED BY | Adam Williams Photography
Back in high school, Jake was in a local band and Keirsten was a starstruck fan girl in the audience, crushing hard on the hardcore musician on stage.
The story starts there but doesn’t pick up again for another six years. Flash forward to Keirsten getting a tattoo at a local shop where Jake worked. She mentioned to her artist that she had a crush on Jake so many years ago. The two eventually spent a “totally tubular” night watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and have been together every day for the last seven years.
Over the years, the two have raised children and bought a house. Keirsten proclaims they knew they would be lifelong partners. “It was never really a question in our minds.”
Yet, their engagement was full of surprises. Unbeknownst to one another, they were both planning to propose. Keirsten had a July engagement in line but Jake beat her to the punch the Christmas prior. After presents were unwrapped, he claimed to have one more gift and walked back into the room with a small box in hand, asking her to marry him. With a sly smile, she replied, “Do you really have to ask?”
The date was set for the following year but there was a twist; Keirsten had shaved and tattooed the side of her head that fall! She gave Jake grief saying, “You knew all this time and you let me cut all my hair off!?” Fortunately, she was able to grow her locks out enough for extensions.
Despite being such outspoken artists, they wanted a super simple wedding. “I’m not girly so I wasn’t excited at all,” Keirsten laughs as she reminisces over choosing a gown. Despite protests from her entourage and trying on several dresses, the first dress Keirsten laid eyes on became the one. It wasn’t puffy or bejeweled; just a simple tulle gown that showcased the gorgeous inked art her fiance had adorned upon his future wife’s figure. “It fit perfectly… We were in and out in thirty minutes!”
Jake and Keirsten celebrated at Venue 481. The ceremony was short and sweet. In less than a minute, they exchanged customized vows with the promise to “Be excellent to each other,” courtesy of the 90’s movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
In true Springfield style, they enjoyed Cashew Chicken and fried rice from Hy-Vee. They chose a traditional white, three-tier cake from Style By The Slice; though the inside was a classy surprise as each tier held individual flavors of lemonade, red velvet, and peanut butter and chocolate.
Getting hitched went off without a hitch. Honestly, the couple had heard stories of people changing once married. But, thankfully, everything has remained the same! “We’re still best friends,” Keirsten smiles. Part of that may be because they didn’t follow a traditional route of a relationship, having children and buying a house before marriage. “We did it all backwards!”
Since Keirsten was eight months pregnant on their first trip together to Disneyworld, these two decided to go back for their honeymoon. They did feel a little guilty for not bringing the kids, so they recorded the entire trip, which is now watched on a regular basis back home.