Love on the Hill – An RSU Couple’s Wedding Celebration During a Pandemic

Caitlyn Campbell and Gio Wahome embrace at their weddingSpring is a time for love, and while the worldwide pandemic canceled many large gatherings, it couldn’t stop love. Love simply was not going to be canceled for Rogers State University alumni Caitlyn Campbell (’20) and Ngare Kibuga “Gio” Wahome (’19).

Following her favorite romance novel, A Walk to Remember, Gio proposed to Caitlyn while standing in two states at the same time: Oklahoma and Arkansas. While taking photos together Gio got down on one knee and proposed.

“Gio turned to pull the ring box out of his pocket as he kneeled. He explained to me that he was in Oklahoma, and I was in Arkansas at that moment. I stood in my home state, while he knelt in the state where we fell in love. Of course, I said yes!”

The couple’s wedding date was set for August 8 but were initially forced to postpone knowing the greater impact of the pandemic.

International travel had stalled and visitors from Kenya, Gio’s home country, would most likely not be able to attend the ceremony. These visitors would have included his mother, father, brother and sister. 

Instead, the couple decided to move the ceremony up and on April 18th,  the two were married at Lendonwood Gardens in Grove, OK. Caitlyn’s immediate family, an aunt, uncle, and cousin, as well as Roxanne and Brent Bilby, were in attendance. However, once they met the ten-person limit, the rest of the family attended through a Zoom link.

“We ended up with family watching from at least six different countries via Zoom. Although the circumstances we’re unfortunately not what we expected, we were able to adapt and quickly overcome,” Gio said.

Both Gio and Caitlyn chose to see the positive though their dream ceremony didn’t go as planned.

“One benefit we found to hosting a Zoom wedding is the ability to re-watch our entire wedding and see each of our guests’ reactions! In a traditional wedding ceremony, this would have been nearly impossible,” Caitlyn said. “We have enjoyed watching our unique experience multiple times now. Each time, we see something new and heartwarming that we did not see previously.”

The couple is planning an in-person vow renewal and wedding reception set for August 2021.