Arriving in Madison as two excited 18 year olds, we initially met each other within just a couple weeks of moving into the Freshmen dorms. Both of us were in Slichter Hall, though on different floors, and our early friendship consisted of an overlapping group of friends and a lot of late night walks home from Ian's Pizza. No longer living in the same building, we lost touch during Sophomore year and only saw each other once or twice for events with our overlapping friends. That may have been the fate of our friendship, but proximal living came through again during our Junior year when Lauren returned from being in Thailand over the summer and moved into a house a short walk from the aptly named Brick House (where Mark lived). Nearly an entire fall semester of late night walks home together from the other side of town, and we both knew that we had more than Ian's Pizza and taste in parts of Madison in common. We had our first official date at Short Stack on State Street, and 8 years later here we are--two dogs, five moves, and countless laughs later.
While we met Freshman year and knew each other in Madison all throughout our undergrad years, our relationship with the city is now much deeper. Madison is very much a city of two halves divided by the state capital, and since becoming Badger alumni we've had the opportunity to experience both the campus side of town as well as the near east side of E. Washington and WIlly Street. We both started loving Madison even more after we moved to the east side; a short trip away from college nostalgia and right in the middle of Madison's restaurant and art scheme. In the three years we lived within a mile of our eventual east side of Madison wedding venue, we attended concerts, braved COVID, adopted two dog children, joined community groups, and supported each other through many challenges in pursuing major career changes and goals. From Mickies Dairy Bar to Weary Traveller, the places and people of Madison that have formed so many amazing memories for us over the 9 years we lived there are why we wanted to come back to the city with everyone who means the most to us.