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Penn State Love Stories: From The Gingerbread Man To Palm Springs

When Becca (Sigal) DePippo left for Penn State in the fall of 2008, her sister, Julia, and her mother made a bet.

They promised an all-expenses-paid vacation on the chance that she’d meet her future husband during her time at Penn State. That’s exactly what she did.

Julia Sigal then had the chance to serve as a maid of honor at her big sister’s wedding. In her speech, Sigal’s story of the beginning of her sister’s relationship and her and her mother’s bet went viral.

“It was never meant to be an inspiration for anything,” Sigal said. “I’m glad I did have that conversation with my mom because it made writing that speech a lot easier.”

She starts the speech with the beginning of her sister’s senior year at Penn State in the fall of 2011.

DePippo considered herself a regular at the Gingerbread Man (now known as Primanti Bros.), where she and several of her sorority sisters would spend their nights out. She then quickly developed a crush on the bouncer, Justin.

“I remember seeing him as the bouncer and being like, ‘he is so cute,’” DePippo said. “I wanted to talk to him, but I didn’t have the courage, so then the next weekend I saw him at the Indigo Club.”

That next fateful weekend, when she saw him at the Indigo Club (now known as The Basement Nightspot), she took a black sharpie to his arm and wrote her phone number. The two finally got in contact, and they’ve been together ever since.

Happy Valley played an integral role in the couple’s relationship, even meeting the future in-laws for the first time.

DePippo was a dancer her senior year for THON 2012, so Sigal and her parents made the trip to State College to support her. In turn, this is also the first time they met Justin.

They took him to dinner at an Indian cuisine restaurant on Calder Way without their own daughter, Becca. While this may seem untraditional to not have your significant other there for the first time you meet their parents, it’s now one of the many treasured stories in the family.

“Hell of a way to meet the in-laws,” said Sigal.

The couple then graduated in 2012. While they didn’t have a set plan for their future together, their love ended up carrying them across the country to California.

They both soon found jobs near Los Angeles and lived with roommates for the first few years on the West Coast. Eventually, they decided to make the move and live together.

Flash forward to 2019, the DePippos finally got married in November 2019 in Palm Springs, California.

The ceremony was beautiful and was held at the Parker Palm Springs Hotel surrounded by all of their family and friends. Of course, this is where the famous maid of honor speech was born.

They also adopted a golden doodle named Penny after their time at Penn State. Even though Sigal says that her sister was never an animal person, DePippo now runs a very successful Instagram account for their four-year-old furry friend.

After a few years of marriage, the couple now has a future Nittany Lion of their own, Parker, who is named after the hotel where they held their wedding at.

While they have not been back to Happy Valley as a family yet, they plan to visit and introduce their son to their old stomping grounds soon.

“Definitely want to bring him to Penn State and make him a Penn Stater,” DePippo. “He’s all geared up in Penn State onesies for now.”

According to their wedding Instagram post on Betches Brides, they still have each other’s phone contacts as “Thee Hollywood” and “Stud Bouncer” after their first impressions of one another on the first weekend they met. No matter how far they go, State College will always be at the core of their relationship.

“They found home,” Sigal said. “Whether it’s in Penn State or L.A., there is a piece of home in each of them.”

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a sophomore staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs at the Linc. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected]

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