Hello there

Lindsay, Steve, and the rest of the dozen University of Scranton students who formed their friend group all met in 2011, freshman year.

The crew was always together — hanging out in someone’s dorm, going to a party, eating in the dining hall — and so Lindsay, who grew up in West Chester, and Steve, who is from Lansdale, got to know each other well. They had similar upbringings. Both were the oldest of three kids in close-knit Irish Catholic families and had attended Catholic high schools, he at La Salle College High School, she at Villa Maria Academy, and felt very comfortable together. Each was also a huge fan of the other’s kindness.

By sophomore year, their always-easy rapport sometimes bordered on flirtatious. Steve’s roommate, Nick, was first to predict Steve and Lindsay would date before graduation, a suggestion Steve gently brushed off.

Lindsay, too, shooed any inkling of interest out of her mind. What would happen to their happy times with friends if a failed romance went sour?

Then fall semester junior year, Steve had an epiphany. “I realized I really liked this girl,” he said. “She had this characteristic of being so loving, and was trustworthy and mature. And I was spinning my wheels elsewhere — I dated some other people, but they just weren’t for me.”

Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko
Ashlee Mintz
Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko

Lindsay happily accepted his invitation to the Christmas formal. She had no clue he wanted to exit the Friend Zone until he showed up with a bottle of wine. Of course they had fun, like always. But then “he ended up kissing me that night,” Lindsay remembers.

They texted over winter break, seeing each other when the entire group gathered in Scranton for New Year’s Eve. When school resumed, Steve asked Lindsay out for Valentine’s Day. “I was nervous as hell!” Lindsay said. “That’s when I found out it was getting more real.”

Steve was antsy and excited, too. He had consulted with their friend, Alyssa, about where to take Lindsay. “Alfredo’s!” she suggested. By coincidence, Steve was watching the episode of The Office, a TV show set in Scranton, that features Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe. He took it as a sign.

When junior year was ending, the two became an official couple and have been together ever since.

“I think we’re similar in terms of who we are,” Steve said. “I saw that compatibility aspect early on.”

“Even before we dated, he was that guy me and all my girlfriends went to when we needed anything — he is dependable, reliable, and caring,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay, who is now a senior territory manager for Zyla Life Sciences, a Wayne pharmaceutical company, graduated with a bachelor’s in community health education. Steve, who holds a bachelor’s in accounting, stayed at Scranton an extra year to earn his MBA. He’s always worked in financial services, and recently took a new job: investment banking associate with Falcon Capital Partners in Wayne.

The engagement

In December 2017, the couple, who are now both 27, decided to buy a townhouse in a new Malvern development. The same day they signed the paperwork stating their intent to buy once the home was built, Steve took Lindsay’s parents, Kim and John, to dinner. “I wanted to let them know, because we were buying a place together, that I wanted to marry their daughter,” Steve said. He got their happy blessing.

Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko
Ashlee Mintz
Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko

After dinner, Steve drove back home and shared the news with his parents, Bill and Cathie, who were also thrilled.

In July 2018, their home was complete and Steve and Lindsay moved in.

That September, Lindsay’s middle sister, Megan, came home from Charlotte, N.C., and everyone was going out to dinner to celebrate her birthday — or so Lindsay thought. At West Chester Pike, Steve didn’t turn left toward Teca in Newtown Square, but right, to Okehocking Preserve. They began a long walk on one of the trails. “I took her through our whole relationship, and said how happy I was,” Steve said. “I jokingly said I wanted us to get a dog — to throw her a curve ball — and then eventually, I asked her to put a blindfold on.”

Lindsay laughed nervously as she tried to figure out what Steve was up to. He guided her just a little bit farther, then asked her to take off the blindfold and turn around.

They were standing in a clearing in front of a pretty, old barn. Steve was kneeling and holding out a diamond ring in an open box.

Lindsay was stunned.

Steve said something neither of them can remember that ended with “Will you marry me?”

She said yes, and then they went to Teca where both sets of parents, both of Lindsay’s sisters, Megan and Alaina, and Steve’s sister, Christine, were waiting to celebrate. (His brother, Dan, was at a wedding).

It was so them

The couple were married at Saints Peter & Paul Parish in West Chester in a ceremony performed by Msgr. Stephen McHenry of St. Anthony of Padua in Ambler. McHenry was the best friend of Steve’s Uncle Tom — the late Msgr. Thomas Herron, who was pastor at St. Laurence parish in Upper Darby. Steve was named after his uncle’s friend, and the chalice used for communion during the wedding had belonged to Uncle Tom.

From the wedding of Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko
Ashlee Mintz
From the wedding of Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko

Lindsay wore her mother’s veil. Attached to her bouquet as Lindsay’s something blue was a picture of her late grandmother, Wilma, wearing a blue dress.

A reception for 220 was held in the ballroom at the Ellis Preserve. “It was all white, clean, and modern-looking,” Lindsay said. The space was decorated with white lights, crystal, and pine cones, and the couple added white flowers, greenery, and silver accents. The 22 attendants included Steve’s best bud since they were 4, who is also named Steve; Lindsay’s childhood friends Meghan and Melissa; Nick, Steve’s college roommate who first predicted he and Lindsay would get together; and Alyssa, Lindsay’s friend who advised Steve on the venue for their first date.

To the groom’s delight, the dance floor was packed the entire night. The guests impressed him by twice drinking the venue out of Miller Lite. “The first time, they sent someone out to get more. The second, they said we needed switch to Coors Light,” he said with a laugh.

Steve’s brother and best man, Dan, and Lindsay’s sisters and maids-of-honor, Megan and Alaina, gave toasts, as did Lindsay’s father. “He gave a really nice toast, not only about me, but about how much Steve means to him. He said he couldn’t picture anyone else with me.”

Awestruck

After the ceremony, the bride, groom, and their bridal party boarded a bus to the reception. Steve looked around and smiled. “It was, ‘OK, we’re married now. And our best friends and family are with us,' ” he said. “It was just the most joyous time, and we had the whole night ahead of us.”

From the wedding of Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko
Ashlee Mintz
From the wedding of Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko

The couple entered the reception through a door flanked with sparklers. “I looked into the room and saw how happy everyone was for us, and then we were dancing, and it felt like just me and him,” Lindsay said. “Even though there were 220 people there, I felt so connected to just him in that moment.”

The budget crunch

A bargain: The couple opted for an eight-person band rather than a 15-person one, which cost about half as much. Eight was more than enough. EBE Sydney “really made the night,” Steve said. “They packed the dance floor, and that’s exactly what we wanted.”

The splurge: The couple looked at the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve on a lark — they thought they could never afford it. It was so exactly what Lindsay wanted that they decided to try. The venue suggested a Friday wedding instead of the Saturday one the couple had in mind, and that brought the cost to just slightly over their original budget, they said.

Honeymooning

Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko
Ashlee Mintz
Lindsay McLaughlin and Stephen Wasylenko

Eight days at Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica. Lindsay’s wedding planning anxiety dissolved into the ocean. Steve relished their lack of schedule and the great food, particularly the lobster.

Behind the scenes:

Officiant: Msgr. Stephen McHenry of St. Anthony of Padua, Ambler, Pa.

Ceremony: Saints Peter and Paul Church, West Chester, Pa.

Reception : Ballroom at Ellis Preserve in Newtown Square, Pa.

Food: Finley Catering, Philadelphia.

Music: EBE Sydney, EBE Talent, Philadelphia.

Photography: Ashlee Mintz Photography, Philadelphia.

Videography: New Pace Wedding Films, Ardmore, Pa.

Flowers: Blue Moon Florist, Downingtown, Pa.

Bride’s attire: Van Cleve Bridal, Paoli, Pa.

Groom’s attire: The Black Tux, Nordstrom at King of Prussia Mall.

Hair: Alyssa Delio with Joseph Anthony, Glen Mills, Pa.

Transportation: Ace Limousine, Chester, Pa.