Our Polar Bear Plunge Wedding

We were amazed to see how a bit of social media strategy and a goal to make it into the local news turned into what some people are calling “the most talked-about non-celebrity wedding.”

Our wedding was a blast. Originally, we wanted to go for a hike alone in the woods on 11/11/11, but our friends beat us to that date. Then, our brother-in-law suggested we could still get a date full of ones by celebrating on 1/1/11. Some friends jokingly said, “…but you’ll miss the Polar Bear Plunge.” Well, we didn’t!

Just to set the record straight, in Pennsylvania, you can get a self-uniting marriage license with only two witnesses. Our moms were our official witnesses, and as planned, the last picture on this page shows the exact moment we tied the knot. Check out how happy I look!

Here’s a quick rundown of the media coverage we got…

We were honored to hear our names, pronounced CORRECTLY by Steve Inskeep on NPR.

Most publicized non-celebrity weddingMentioned during the SNL news segment (adult in nature)

KDKA (with video):

Live stream recording: (jump near minute 33)


YouTube Video from WTAE. They interviewed us which was nice. A little misinfo, those were not our bridesmaids – but we did have about 40 friends that jumped! The kilt at the end was for authentic!


Tribune Review:



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We are getting married January 1st, 2011. That’s 1/1/11 !!!!

We are exchanging vows and jumping into the river. Please read on for more details of our unique wedding. We have been challenged to get this crazy wedding onto national tv. Please join our Facebook group below right to show support!

Follow this link to get the latest water temperature:
Water Data for Mon River

This video may give you an idea for what we are jumping into….

30 Days left – STRESS! :)

It’s almost here!
Things are actually falling into place!

Invitations have been sent. That was a nightmare, and super big kudos to Laurie, my future sister-in-law Michelle and brother-in-law Werner for helping Adam and me get them out – and for interpreting my stressed out gibberish talk. “Paper containers = Enveleopes” by the way!

My biggest fear is that I missed someone who is interested in attending. We have switched to a venue that accommodates a nice size crowd, so if your invitation doesn’t reach you by early next week: it got lost, I messed up the mail merge on my Mac (OHMYGOSH- I love my Mac, but there is no such thing as an easy mail merge), or I just overlooked something – sorry Mom, you ARE invited! – then send me a note. We just need to know so we can plan for the food. Adam is planning the menu – and his fellow chef friends are serving his amazing food on the wedding day. I am super stoked. 🙂

WE GOT A BOAT!!! 🙂 It only fits 49 people – so first priority to family and those jumping in with us!!!

Leave Us a Message

Please leave a comment to share your words of wisdom, advice, stories, well-wishes, etc.

Also – if you have any ideas of what we can do for our wedding – in addition to jumping in the river, please share!

What Im currently struggling with:

– some people may actually want to come and observe our exchange of vows.
This is a public event, with other people jumping in the river as part of the Polar Bear plunge and space is limited. Anyone have a boat capable of cutting through ice??? 🙂

– we are so lucky to have such amazing people in our lives, and people are wanting to come in and celebrate with us. We really have been quite busy, and now I wonder how we might find a way to accommodate this. Please write with any ideas! 🙂

1/1/11 Wedding Plans

Adam and I are super stoked for 1/1/11

We had planned on getting married 11/11/11, but as my future brother-in-law pointed out, that is a Friday, and the first day of repeated 1’s is 1/1/11 AND a Saturday.  My girlfriend Joanna is getting married on 11/11/11 too, so this way I can see her get married. Why the fascination with 1’s?  See Why Adam and I like 1’s

A Winter Wedding was never something I considered, and I admit I was not as excited at first. A friend had asked if we were going to miss the Polar Bear plunge. Well, that question prompted a quick decision to adopt the icy jump – we have decided to embrace it and make it part of the ceremony.

We had wanted something non-traditional and considered going off in the woods with a Quaker’s license – but instead we will exchange vows and then jump into our future together by taking the plunge into the Mon river on New Year’s Day.  Guess we will have cold feet that day!

My sister is going to video tape this, and we plan to have a live stream on this website.

We expect to possibly make it onto the local news, and who knows, maybe we will make even make the evening news highlight reel.

So, any ideas on how to prep for a zany winter wedding?

The Ring I Made for Judy

The day after we were engaged I made Judy her ring.

I had an idea to use an old Titanium mountain bike spoke from one of my old wheels. I knew the wheel was at my vacant storage unit of a house that I have here in Pittsburgh. I had to change out some locks anyhow, so I made a trip to the house. I started working on the door locks, setting my tools down on a speaker beside me. I almost set the tools on one of the Titanium spokes. I knew I had to make the ring, but do not remember leaving the spoke there.

The ring turned out great, and was actually very easy to make. I had the whole process figured out in my head before I began. The material appears flat when you first look, but there is a very subtle tapering on both sides. One of my favorite parts about the ring is it’s functional. Judy uses it to clean under her fingernails, funny to see. I have a few things I’ve made from old mountain bike parts, but this one takes the wedding cake. I rode this old spoke on a Sun Ringle’ rear mountain bike wheel for many years and now it’s on my beautiful Bride to be’s finger.

Judy’s Point of View

Once I made a list of all the things that I wanted in a partner.  Adam meets every item on that list.

I really feel like Adam and I are connected on some deeper metaphysical level. Finding out he sees 1:11 a lot, and I see 11:11 is only part of this. We see the world in a similar way.  I like to think of myself as a patient and open-minded person, but Adam is so much more peaceful. At times I find myself thinking WWAD – What Would Adam Do?

Adam is into extreme sports – he enjoys skateboarding, mountain biking, snowboarding, and one thing I really appreciate – seeking out new adventures. We may try paragliding later this year.  He is a good teacher.  He has made me a better motorcyclist, snowboarder, biker, and skateboarder, although it may be awhile before I try that again!

One of the only negatives I can say about Adam is that he doesn’t like chocolate. Well, its not a negative its just a bit weird.   He has this in common with his mom and niece, and they along with the rest of his family are great – so who cares? As Adam says – more chocolate for me.

Adam is amazingly intelligent.  He is a great chef. He is mechanically minded – fixes things, cars, power cords, and even me.

If I am ever in a bad mood, he is able to diffuse it very fast.  One thing he said in the beginning as we were enjoying spending time with each other – is lets keep spoiling each other. I can be down with that.

Adam’s Point of View

“I can be down with that” was my response to Judy asking me to marry her…yes her asking me.  Some of her friends thought I’d be offended by this, why I do not know. I’m very happy and proud to have a partner with the inner strength to go against the grain and do what they feel is right. Untraditional ideas are something we both enjoy and this is nothing but a positive for me. I love it.

Judy had been thinking about asking me at Burning Man this year, if I didn’t do it by then. She attended the festival in 2003 & 2008, I  have never made it out. We are going this year. The idea had popped into my head on a few occasions, but I never acted on the thoughts. Judy kept getting signs and references to marriage that would make her giggle, or sometimes laugh until she cried. I would ask her what was so funny, or what was wrong. Time and time again she would reply, “I can’t tell you.” This is very unlike any situation with Judy & I, if there is something wrong we talk about it. I finally convinced her to reveal this mysterious subject to me after I had to take over driving, because she could not see through her laughing-tears. Later that evening she asked, and I replied, “I can be down with that.”

I feel very lucky to have Judy as my fiancee. We dated back in 2005 and I broke up with her. After spending quite a bit of time focusing on myself and pinpointing what I was looking for in a relationship, I kept coming back to Judy as my perfect partner. I may not have had a hard-copy list, but she fulfilled all my requirements. Since we’ve gotten back together last September 1st, Judy’s date, but I consider it to be August, we have been almost inseparable.