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Matt & Maddie

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Madeline Gail Driban

and

Matthew Pierce Grindle

April 14, 2024

Parkesburg, PA

It all started with chocolate.

04.24.19

When Matt met Maddie at a Chocolate Passover Seder, he was immediately captivated by her smile and charm. When Maddie heard he was leaving in a few months to start graduate school in Ohio, she completely wrote him off. And it wasn't until a month or two later – after Matt attended many more events on a mission to get Maddie's number – that we actually started the whirlwind romance of a lifetime. After weeks of late night texting, non-stop snapchats, and multiple declined date invitations, we finally admitted our big feelings to each other. But the reality of Matt leaving for school led us to the decision NOT to date.

"Can I change my mind?"

Despite that difficult (and tearful) decision, we stayed in constant contact with each other, even as Matt traveled halfway around the world to a family wedding. It was during that time that our connection grew even deeper and...irresistible. Maddie sent the 5 words that changed both of our lives forever: "Can I change my mind?" We went on our first date – mushroom pizza and pistachio ice cream in Trolley Square – the day Matt got home and spent the rest of the summer together until he had to leave for school. Those weeks were short, but the days were long and we spent them making unforgettable memories – visiting Hershey Park and the Franklin Institute, meeting each others friends and family, and planning for our long-distance relationship.

One day the plane ticket will be one-way.

Nightly phone or Facetime calls, occasional care packages, and the endless stream of snapchats helped our time apart pass more easily. We would visit each other every month or so, splitting those short weekends between quiet time at home and sharing more adventures - like our Cozy Cabin Getaway and Maddie's first time attending a war reenactment. Some things we learned from long-distance: 1. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. (But we'd obviously still rather be together!) 2. Airport reunions in movies really do not do the real-life, heart-bursting feelings justice. Then, in March 2020, after canceling what would have been one of Maddie's visits west (and after Matt's rather impulsive decision to adopt a dog withOUT Maddie...) we agreed to spend our COVID quarantine time together in Delaware. Matt drove out with Roxy in tow, and what we thought would be a few weeks turned into 9 months of living together. After that, we knew we would never be able to go back to a long-distance arrangement and Maddie made the big decision to move to Ohio while Matt finished up his PhD program.

The best batch of latkes ever made.

12.23.22

Since the big move, Maddie got a new job, Matt became an official PhD candidate, and we have explored the treasures of our new city – museums, breweries, parks, and more. And we have continued to grow in love each day. In December of 2022, COVID foiled Matt's grand plans for a proposal in our old Trolley Square neighborhood, where our story began. Instead, we spent Chanukkah quarantined in our apartment, taking care of each other. On the night after the originally planned proposal would have taken place, we were getting ready to make latkes when Matt took a deep breath and said: "I can't wait another day....I have to ask...will you marry me?" And Maddie tearfully, finally, officially agreed to forever with Matt.

And the rest...?

04.14.24

Well, it will probably be just as much of a whirlwind love story as the days that came before. Join us on our special day to find out!

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