By Rachel Belle
Left to Right: Seattle officiant Annemarie Juhlia, Kelli Lane & Jon Kilroy (Photo courtesy Red Sparrow Photography)
Kelli Lane and Jon Kilroy met online in April 2009, but it wasn't on a dating website. Jon lives near Chicago and Kelli, who lived in Kansas City, was getting ready to move to Dubai to teach. She went to an online forum to ask a question about taxes, and Jon answered her question. Somehow an online forum about taxes sparked a romance. But being 2009, they first became Facebook friends.
"Our Facebook chats led to Yahoo chats, lead to video chats, and eventually, about a couple weeks before I was moving, I asked him if he wanted to meet me and he said, 'Yes.' So he came down to Kansas City and we met for the first time, 13 days before I moved overseas," says Kelli.
Kelli moved to Dubai, under a two year contract, and they figured they'd never meet again. But they continued to talk everyday.
"We Skyped every Sunday. He would wake up and stay in his jammies and I'd get off work on Sundays and get into my jammies and he'd be having breakfast and I'd be having dinner and we'd have dates. We would Skype where you can share a screen and we'd watch movies and that would be kind of our sacred time."
Months later they agreed to meet in Spain, their official first date, then again in Italy and Chicago, and Jon eventually proposed to her in Dubai.
"When he proposed, we'd only been in the same room for 28 days [in two years, combined] but we talked every day, constantly. I don't think anybody knew me better."
Finally, after two years of long distance, Jon and Kelli settled in together near Chicago to plan their wedding. But things kept going wrong. Kelli and Jon booked an old theater to get married in, complete with marriage officiate, food and drinks.
"Suddenly we couldn't find our venue online, their Facebook page was gone, their phone was disconnected and it turned out he had been indicted for wedding fraud. My self, plus 80 other brides, were without a wedding venue."
Not even 24 hours later...
"I had gotten a call from the dress shop where we had ordered our dress and they had told me they could not get it in time for the wedding."
No dress, and then no shoes.
"We'd ordered red ruby slippers, because I'm from Kansas and a huge Wizard of Oz fan. They came in the mail and they were not actually attached; the sole to the shoe."
The wedding was only two months away, and Kelli managed to book a new venue, but couldn't find any plates to rent during the busy wedding season.
"We decided to buy and the bottom plate in every package was broken so we had to return all of those."
But then, the unthinkable happened.
"It was about three weeks before the wedding and my hair dresser of eight years, the only person I let touch my hair, called me and said, 'I can't do this.' I'd laughed at everything up until this point, I had a good sense of humor, but once it was my hair...I was done. I stopped talking for about six hours. I went to bed pretty upset that night."
"She went to bed," says Jon. "She was just absolutely devastated and I'm like, 'OK, I can't put her through this anymore.' I stayed up. We knew we were going to honeymoon in Seattle so I started looking at venues and apparently eloping in Seattle is very popular. Every resort up there has an elope package. When Kelli woke up the next morning I was like, 'OK, we're scrapping the wedding. Let's just go to Seattle and get married.'"
They decided on a Sunday, June 10th wedding at Willow's Lodge in Woodinville, but Kelli's dress was not going to be ready in time.
"I looked at Jon and I made the joke of, 'You know, it's a Sunday, we're usually in our pajamas on a Sunday. You want to just get married in our jammies?' And he goes, 'Yes.' And I said, 'I'm just kidding.' And he's like, 'I'm not! Let's do it.'"
So Kelli got married in pajama pants, a 'Bride' T-shirt and pigtails while a pajama clad photographer took photos and the wedding officiate married then in a robe. Oh, and they were married in bed, while their family watched on over the Internet.
"It was absolutely meant to be," says Kelli. "It was the perfect wedding. I wasn't worried about pleasing other people. I didn't care about my hair. It was a day to celebrate finding somebody and starting the next chapter of our life together."
The newlyweds say that their wedding anniversaries will be spent, of course, in their pajamas.