Above the Delaware River, a Double Wedding Straddling State Lines

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Philip Andrew Kuntz and Patricia Lynn Mother or father first met as across-the-street neighbors in Parsippany, N.J., when each have been 3 years outdated. “She wasn’t exactly the girl next door, but,” Mr. Kuntz stated, “close enough.”

Kelly Craig Heflin and Carol Diane McNitt have been nicely into maturity once they met at a public backyard in Edgewater, Md., in 2018. “Imagine walking through a park one day and meeting the woman of your dreams,” Mr. Heflin stated.

On June 3, all of them walked collectively onto the Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge connecting Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the place the 2 {couples} had a double wedding ceremony roughly two years after their first double date.

Although the foursome is extra of a latest entity, the trio of Ms. Mother or father, Mr. Kuntz and Mr. Heflin has a historical past that dates to their days as college students at Parsippany Excessive Faculty. Mr. Kuntz and Mr. Heflin have been finest mates since assembly there in 1976. Mr. Kuntz and Ms. Mother or father, nonetheless, by then ran in several circles and weren’t as shut.

The 2 grew even additional aside following their commencement in 1978. After highschool, Ms. Mother or father and her household left Parsippany for Fort Wayne, Ind., the place she later met the person whom she would wed and lift two kids with earlier than their 35-year marriage resulted in divorce in 2019.

By February 2020, Ms. Mother or father, 62, had began to this point once more. That month she posted on Fb a couple of suitor who had talked her ear off. A day later, Mr. Kuntz, 62, shocked her with a textual content message. His eldest sister, Susan Rochelle, had seen Ms. Mother or father’s Fb publish and informed him she was single.

Mr. Kuntz and Ms. Mother or father began catching up by cellphone, then by way of video calls utilizing Fb Messenger. Ms. Mother or father, who on the time was residing in Grandville, Mich., discovered that Mr. Kuntz had additionally gone via a divorce in 2019 — his second — and was residing in Rumson, N.J., together with his twin sons, Liam and McDonagh, now 14.

Whereas speaking with Ms. Mother or father, Mr. Kuntz stated he “was so impressed by her spirit.” Within the years previous her divorce, she had misplaced a number of family members. Her sister died of most cancers in 2013. Two years later, her elder son, Andrew, died at age 28 in 2015. (Her youthful son, Alex, is now 31.) And in 2016, she misplaced her father.

Mr. Kuntz, now a journalist at Bloomberg in Manhattan, had heard about all from his sister. However discussing the losses with Ms. Mother or father, a retired day care operator, introduced her into sharper focus. “She’s a really positive person,” he stated. “She’s unfaze-able. She’s unflappable.” By the spring of 2020, he had fallen in love with the lady he had final seen in 2003, at their twenty fifth highschool reunion.

Ms. McNitt, 54, and Mr. Heflin, 63, had by then developed an equally robust bond after assembly on the Historic London City & Gardens in Edgewater, in August 2018.

Mr. Heflin, a director of enterprise growth for BAE Methods Inc., the U.S. arm of a global protection, aerospace and safety firm, was residing in Edgewater. Ms. McNitt, a psychological well being clinician on the Luminis Well being Anne Arundel Medical Middle in Annapolis, was residing in Crownsville, Md. Each have been nearing the top of lengthy marriages, and finalized their respective divorces the next 12 months.

“Kelly was walking his two Border collies, and I was there to see the gardens and historical sites,” Ms. McNitt stated. “He saw me reading a historical plaque and we ended up chatting for 15 minutes.”

They didn’t change contact info earlier than parting methods, however that didn’t deter Ms. McNitt from monitoring down Mr. Heflin on LinkedIn that very same night time. Although she didn’t have his final title, she had sufficient info to piece collectively that he was the identical Kelly who then labored as a program supervisor at AT&T’s workplace in Columbia, Md.

Mr. Heflin stated he was “completely shocked by her reaching out in that fashion” — in a great way. “To get an invitation on LinkedIn from her was just incredible.”

“We probably sent each other 20 LinkedIn messages each” earlier than exchanging e-mail addresses, he added. “Carol and I might be the only people who’ve romantic text-messaged in a flurry on LinkedIn.”

Mr. Heflin, who has a son, Ian, 30, and two daughters, Alyssa, 28, and Cassandra, 25, described the pair’s early conversations as calm and simple. Ms. McNitt, who has no kids, felt the identical. Plus, “I thought he was incredibly handsome,” she stated.

The day after they traded e-mail addresses, Mr. Heflin requested Ms. McNitt on a primary date, inviting her to a automobile present in Edgewater the place his 1967 Pontiac Firebird was on show. Afterward, they went for drinks on the Pier Waterfront Bar & Grill, the place they talked for hours.

Inside two months of assembly Mr. Heflin, Ms. McNitt stated, she had fallen for him; Mr. Heflin stated he fell for her even sooner. In August 2019, a 12 months after they met, the 2 moved in collectively, into a brand new dwelling she had just lately purchased in Crownsville.

When Mr. Heflin and Ms. McNitt obtained engaged in September 2021, their first thought was that they’d elope or do a five-minute wedding ceremony close to the plaque within the backyard the place they met.

Then Mr. Kuntz floated one other thought. He and Ms. Mother or father, who had moved into his Rumson dwelling earlier that 12 months, had additionally determined to get married. So why not do a double wedding ceremony?

By then the 2 {couples} had been speaking on a weekly foundation since their first digital double date in the summertime of 2020, when Ms. McNitt and Mr. Heflin shared a display screen in Maryland, Mr. Kuntz joined from New Jersey and Ms. Mother or father logged on from Michigan. For onscreen stability, all of them purchased the identical iPad stands “so nobody would get seasick,” Mr. Kuntz stated.

In July 2020, Ms. Mother or father flew to New Jersey to go to Mr. Kuntz, and the foursome met in particular person. She and Ms. McNitt shortly developed an in depth friendship of their very own. “Patti is very easy to like,” Ms. McNitt stated.

As soon as Mr. Kuntz advised the concept of marrying collectively at an intimate occasion, the 4 shortly embraced it. However determining the place to tie a double knot took extra time.

Mr. Kuntz and Ms. Mother or father, who grew to become engaged in November 2021, and Mr. Heflin, their fellow Parsippany Excessive alumnus, have been on board for a small wedding ceremony someplace close to Mr. Kuntz’s home in New Jersey. Ms. McNitt, who grew up in central Pennsylvania, had hoped to marry in her dwelling state.

“Carol had no real connection to New Jersey,” Mr. Kuntz stated.

After they recognized New Hope, Pa., which is simply throughout the New Jersey border, as a potential location, Mr. Kuntz remembered a marriage he had just lately attended within the space.

On that journey, he had come throughout — fairly actually — the Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge, a pedestrian walkway above the Delaware River with one finish in Delaware Township, N.J., and the opposite in Lumberville, Pa. Staging a marriage on it meant that each {couples} might marry collectively, however in several states.

Upon seeing an image of the bridge, which opened in 1947, Ms. McNitt dedicated immediately. “I was like, this is perfect,” she stated.

In February, after the {couples} had discovered their excellent venue, Mr. Kuntz introduced their plan to Jodee Inscho, the director of neighborhood affairs on the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Fee. She signed off on the situation, asking solely that they not forestall pedestrians from crossing.

After they arrived on June 3, the brides and grooms congregated on the bridge’s midpoint of their wedding ceremony apparel. “We carefully counted the doohickeys holding the suspension cables to determine the exact middle, so Patti and I could get married on one side of that line and Kelly and Carol could stand on the other,” Mr. Kuntz stated. He and Mr. Heflin then performed rock, paper, scissors to resolve which couple would turn into newlyweds first.

In step with their joint want for a easy, intimate ceremony, no visitors have been invited. As a substitute, a couple of dozen passers-by watched and witnessed, ready politely for the marriage to wrap earlier than crossing the bridge.

Ms. Mother or father and Mr. Kuntz have been wed by James Waltman, the mayor of Delaware Township, N.J., on the New Jersey facet of the bridge. Ms. McNitt and Mr. Heflin have been married in a self-uniting Quaker ceremony presided over by Mark Baum Baicker, chairman of the Solebury Township Board of Supervisors, on its Pennsylvania facet.

The brides and grooms every recited handwritten vows earlier than each {couples}, pronounced married in about quarter-hour, exited with their officiants on the Pennsylvania facet and walked to the Black Bass Resort, in Lumberville, for a post-wedding drink.

Later, the newlyweds went to the Dubliner, a bar in New Hope. On listening to of the marriage, the bartender there poured all 4 a glass of champagne, then strapped on a guitar and serenaded the newlyweds with the Temptations hit “My Girl.”

After spending their wedding ceremony night time at a bed-and-breakfast in New Hope, Ms. McNitt and Mr. Heflin joined Ms. Mother or father and Mr. Kuntz at their dwelling in Rumson, the place the {couples} hosted a reception with 75 visitors.

Reflecting on their nuptials, Ms. McNitt stated, “It was really just the four of us having fun.”


When June 3, 2022

The place The Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Double Happiness, Double Thanks Neither couple knew their officiant earlier than they hatched the bridge plan, however each officiants welcomed taking part within the wedding ceremony. As a thanks, every officiant obtained a present certificates to a restaurant on both facet of the bridge.

One thing Borrowed Ms. Mother or father was a minimum of the fourth bride to put on a marriage scarf that belonged to her sister Kim London, who died in 2013. “My daughter-in-law and two of my nieces have also worn it,” Ms. Mother or father stated. “Everybody who has gotten married since has worn it. I kept it with me all day.”

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