Tylor Augustine and Kurt Seefahrt
June 22, 2019 in Blue Bell
Tylor returned to her Center City apartment in the wee hours of a summer morning in 2016, ears still buzzing from a great Black Sabbath concert. She was happy. She was tired. She was looking forward to a quiet apartment after a week of way-too-many guests.
The door opened before she touched it. “Hello!” said a stranger. “I’m Kurt.”
Kurt had been hanging out with Tylor’s then-boyfriend and decided to crash at their place.
Tylor was ticked. She gave Kurt a quick “hi” before skirting past him to get some sleep.
The next morning, Tylor, the boyfriend, and Kurt had coffee and breakfast, and she realized she liked this laid-back, good-natured Kurt fellow — a good thing, because he became a regular part of their friend group. Tylor, who grew up in Cheltenham and is now 28, and Kurt, who grew up in New Britain, Bucks County, and is now 29, learned a lot about each other.
Kurt had met Tylor’s boyfriend at St. Joseph’s University, but left school after one of his closest friends from high school died. By the time he was ready to return, Kurt, who worked in produce at McCaffrey’s Food Market in Blue Bell, had a goal that didn’t require a philosophy degree: starting a nonprofit vegetable farm that would bring fresh, affordable produce to Philadelphia’s food deserts.
Tylor, who holds a degree in English literature degree from St. Joe’s, was then an executive assistant at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
About seven months after Kurt surprised Tylor by opening her apartment door, Tylor had a new door. She and the boyfriend had broken up, and she’d gotten her own place.
Neither she nor Kurt wanted to give up their friendship.
Six months after that, Kurt realized he wanted to be more than friends.
“Tylor is a very empathetic and compassionate person. And she puts so much effort into everything. And she has this kindness. And then, I just felt she looked into my eyes and saw who I really was, and I knew I needed to make a move before I screwed this up.”
Tylor couldn’t get over how consistent Kurt was. They hung out, or at least talked on the phone, all the time. And he was so dependable. He knew how much mice creeped her out, and whenever one showed up in her apartment, he’d immediately drive down from New Britain, where he lived with his mother, Melinda, to deal with it.
One day, Tylor was pondering their friendship: “Wow, dude just wants to be around me all the time. And I clearly don’t mind – I want him to be around me all the time,” she thought. Some other part of her brain interrupted: “Because you like him, dummy!”
Their first real date, in June 2017, was burgers at Bridget Foy’s. Tylor, who now works in administration at a Wynnewood finance firm, and Kurt, who is now an Uber driver and using the flexibility that affords him to develop the nonprofit farm plan, have been together ever since.
Tylor was very close to her grandmother Angelean. In early May 2018, Angelean was nearing the end of her life. Kurt knew well what Tylor was going through – his father, Arthur, had died in 2013. Kurt was there when she needed to talk, Tylor said. “He would also try to cheer me up with pictures of weird cats on Instagram.”
One day in early June, Tylor texted him that she was on her way to the hospital, and that he wouldn’t hear from her for a bit. When she returned to her apartment, she opened Instagram and began scrolling through his messages. Cat, cat, cat, question. “Do you want to get married this weekend?”
“Are you serious?” Tylor replied.
He wrote that he understood how important family is to her, and the pain she was going through. He said he didn’t want her to ever feel like she was going through this alone.
She wrote back: “Let’s wait for a little bit, just until things with my family calm down. I love you, and want to, undoubtedly.”
Kurt met her family at Tylor’s grandmother’s funeral.
Proposal II: With Pancakes
Tylor and Kurt had plans to join her parents, Ursula and Joe, for Memorial Day weekend. The Friday before, they went to Woody’s with a friend, Kyle, had so much fun, and ended up at the Gayborhood IHOP at 1 a.m.
Back at her apartment, they switched on the Food Network. Kurt plopped down at the tiny kitchen table, and Tylor sprawled out on her bed, cracked open her takeout container, and began working on her leftovers.
“Kurt is talking, but I’m not paying attention, because I have pancakes,” she said. “And then he is all of a sudden next to the bed, on one knee, with a ring box.”
She said yes, then finished her pancakes.
The next day, Tylor showed her parents the ring, and asked for their blessing. Ursula and Joe spent several hours asking Kurt many questions. Afterward, they approved.
It was so them
In the late morning sunshine, the groom and his family and the wedding party walked down the aisle to “Dream Weaver,” which was still playing in the split second when Kurt saw Tylor for the first time – just like when Wayne first sees Cassandra in Wayne’s World.
Kurt grabbed on to best man Jeff and the officiant, Tylor’s friend Kyle, to steady himself. “I had never seen such a beautiful creature in my life.”
Tylor’s fashion objective: “I wanted to look like a fairy princess.” Such a princess would, naturally, marry in a fairy garden, which was her vision for their part of the grounds at Normandy Farm.
Beneath her fancy dress, the bride’s feet were bare – always Tylor’s preference, but also a tribute to her late grandmother, who was so perplexed over her granddaughter's dislike of shoes she would exclaim, “You will get married and be buried with no shoes on!”
Kurt wore a kilt to honor his Irish/Scottish/Welsh heritage. The tartan pattern was also featured in his groomsmen’s and groomslady’s attire.
Tylor quilted the vows together from bits and pieces of things they love: Old Irish promises that the honeycomb will be sweeter when coming from the beloved’s hand and lyrics from The Smith’s “Hand in Glove.”
The couple embraced their taste for breakfast with a brunch reception. Many gave touching speeches, including Kurt’s brother, Arthur Jr., who lives in Ireland and brought a prop: a Weeble toy. Just like that toy, the couple may sometimes wobble, but they will never fall down, he said.
Everyone ate, drank, and danced until 4 p.m.
“The most obvious part of the wedding blew my mind the most,” Tylor said. “Kurt putting the ring on my finger was a physical symbol of what had just happened. It felt great.”
With his big family, Kurt has taken part in many wedding photo sessions, stepping in and out of shots as his role required. This time, “We were in every one of the pictures, and I kept being like, ‘Wait! This is for us!’ I kept turning to Tylor and saying, ‘I can’t believe it! I can’t believe this just happened.’”
The budget crunch
A bargain: A series of florist estimates in the thousands of dollars inspired Tylor to try something different. At 7 a.m. the day of the wedding, she drove to the McCaffrey’s where Kurt used to work and spent $100 on blue hydrangeas to honor her late grandmother and white daisies, carnations, and baby’s breath and lilies, like those her mom had carried. She made her own bouquet, and put all the other white flowers in a cooler so the bridesmaids could grab a handful before they walked down the aisle.
The splurge: Tylor bought a lovely dress at Philly AIDS Thrift for $10. But her mom planned a trip to Kleinfeld Bridal in New York, just for the experience. When Shay – Tylor’s favorite consultant from Say Yes to the Dress – asked what she had in mind, Tylor showed him baroque paintings. She put on the dress he brought her. Ursula and Tylor’s grandmother Yvonne, aka Me-Me, cried. “We’ll take it,” Ursula said.
Five days in Negril, Jamaica, having fresh coconut for breakfast and floating in the clearest blue water they have ever seen.
Officiant: Kyle Black, friend of the couple, Philadelphia
Venue and food: Normandy Farm, Blue Bell, Pa.
Photography: Heather McBride, Philadelphia
Flowers: McCaffrey’s Food Market, Blue Bell, Pa.
Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal, New York, N.Y.
Hair: Makkah, Hair By Hunny M, Philadelphia
Makeup: Ursula Augustine, mother of the bride and owner of Ursula’s About Phace, Philadelphia
Groom’s jacket: Claymore Imports
Groom’s kilt and accouterments: USA Kilts