By BRENNA GRITEMAN
Love was indeed in the air during a pinwheel-themed wedding at the North Findlay Wind Campus this summer.
Chris and Erin (Kashawlic) Roekle said “I do” on June 2 as seven massive wind turbines spun rhythmically overhead. The ceremony was a first at the wind park and provided a unique and unprecedented opportunity for the guests, too.
“Everyone was super intrigued,” said Chris, recalling the couple’s decision to marry at such an unusual venue.
For Erin, though, the day carried a strong undercurrent of normalcy.
As a technical manager for One Energy, she was personally involved in the development and construction of the wind campus located just east of Whirlpool Corp. But while working in the shadow of the 405-foot-tall machines is second nature for her, Erin realized many of her friends and family members were incredibly unfamiliar with her line of work.
“I’m there all the time and just kind of wanted to share … I’m always impressed and sort of in a trance when I look at the turbines,” Erin said.
So, the couple settled on the pinwheel theme and ran with it.
They sought the talents of Lisa Allen at The Baker’s Cafe, who crafted a wedding cake and other treats adorned with miniature fondant pinwheels. And Chris’s sister meticulously crafted “a ton” of rainbow-colored pinwheels out of construction paper and dowels that twirled energetically in the breeze.
Yard games like cornhole and ladderball completed the whimsical celebration, and Erin’s coworkers graciously led wedding guests on tours of the turbines.
“I wanted whimsy,” Erin says, noting that all the details of the day came together to deliver just that.
Because theirs was the first wedding to be held on First Energy’s campus, and thanks to Erin’s connection to the company, the venue was provided free of charge to the happy couple.
Administrators at First Energy had half-jokingly suggested the venue to other engaged couples over the years and, since Erin and Chris were the first to take them up on it, the viability of a wind campus wedding was slightly up in the air heading into the day.
Fortunately, “I think it turned out better than everyone was expecting,” Erin said.
Though both Erin and Chris are from Michigan — she from the Detroit area and he from Saginaw — they had their first date at Logan’s Irish Pub in downtown Findlay on May 1, 2016. The couple met through the Bumble dating app and met for lunch on Chris’s way out of town while traveling for work.
The transplants have fallen in love with Findlay and intend to stay here into the future, with Chris working for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, NCAA Division II.
They made a point of using as many local vendors as possible for their wedding day, including Gina Lynne Design as florist; Ary Entertainment as DJ; M&T Photobooth; Generations Salon And Spa for the bridal party’s hair; and Beauty by O for the bridal party’s makeup. The reception was held at Alexandria’s, with the meal catered by One Energy’s chef.