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Penn State Love Stories: A Stately Wedding

This week, we decided to mix things up a bit and spotlight one particular couple and their wedding, a wedding that may very well be the greatest Penn State themed wedding of all time.

Meet Ryan and Kelsea.

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Kelsea met Ryan at a sleep-away summer camp about seven years ago. That fall, Kelsea was going to attend Penn State for the start of her sophomore year; however, her summer didn’t exactly have a happy ending.

“As the summer ended and before we went back to school, Ryan told me that I was just a summer ‘fling,’ and he wanted to be single for his senior year at PSU. But, when we got to school, he couldn’t stop thinking about me and texted me his feelings, and the rest is history,” Kelsea explained.

From that moment on, the two attended PSU football games, frat/sorority events, and had drinks at the Gaff and Indigo. They even supported one another during all 46 hours of THON. After Ryan graduated in 2010, he made the drive from New Jersey to Penn State to spend the weekends with Kelsea.

Then, on Friday, October 26, 2012, before the Ohio State football game, Ryan proposed. “Ryan gathered my friends together for a ‘tailgate weekend.’ Little did I know, but all the friends knew, Ryan was going to propose. Ryan popped the question at the Nittany Lion Shrine on Friday night. Ryan also convinced my friends to get me out of my Halloween costume and keep me sober so he could go through with the proposal. The Saturday was celebrated with champagne at the Tailgate,” Kelsea explained.
On June 21, 2014, Ryan and Kelsea were married. “We decided to have a PSU themed wedding since thats where most of our relationship grew. We spent 90% of our time together there except for being home during breaks together. We also established our friend group at PSU and most of them were in our wedding party.  It was also easy to go with a PSU theme since its something we both agreed on, and how could Ryan say no to blue and white!” Kelsea said.
Together with help from friends, family, and Pinterest, they created a masterpiece. The wedding was held in the Versailles Ballroom in Toms River, New Jersey.
One of the most beautiful accessories Kelsea added to her wedding dress was a broach bouquet. “My mom and I collected all sorts of broaches, and I also had family members send them to me too. We then sent them to a vendor who put them all together for me in a bouquet form,” Kelsea explained.
Some of Kelsea’s favorite food decorations included the custom cake topper and the Nittany Lion shrine ice sculpture.
BeFunky Collage
The pawprint with the G inside (for Giisberg of course) was both on the isle for the ceremony and lit up as a light decal for the after party. “I thought the paw print was a classy way of bringing some PSU into our wedding. It was a small detail that we could easily put in places to tie everything together,” Kelsea said.
“In lieu of throwing rice, since our ceremony was indoors, we used the pom-poms as a send off. We did, however, have a blue and white candy buffet that people took home in Chinese takeout boxes as our favors. Oh, and if anyone needs pom-poms, come see us at the Rutgers game, we still have tons left from the wedding!”
“Each of the table nameplates were our favorite places in PSU, from Ryan’s frat house to our dates at Baby’s and the Creamery that each had a significance in our relationship.”
One of Kelsea’s favorite wedding memories included “icing” her new husband. As Kelsea explained to the Wediquette and Parties blog, “One thing that stuck out was during the garter removal when I ‘iced’ my husband by placing a Smirnoff under my dress. Icing was a common practice at PSU parties we attended, where you surprise someone with a Smirnoff Ice bottle, and they have to chug it on one knee. It was a funny surprise at the wedding, and made for a memorable moment.”
Kelsea also offered up some advice for those with dreams of their own Penn State wedding. “You have to be creative and use different ideas and run with them. Also don’t be afraid to ask your vendors questions, never did I think I could get a Nittany Lion ice sculpture and boy did I. Oh and PINTEREST!”
She also has some advice for anyone looking for the Penn State soulmate. “Don’t be afraid to take chances with someone who you least expect.  Strike up a conversation with someone at your summer workplace or at a random bar who is a Penn Stater, you never know where your relationship could take you!”
**All photos were given with permission from Kelsea and Ryan Gisberg.  The wedding photos were taken by Jan Thessian. You can view all of their wedding photos, here.
For more Penn State Love Stories, check out part one and twoTo submit your own story, fill out this form.

About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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