Our Story
How We Met...

From Allie's Perspective: "I was in finals week at the School of Visual Arts in December. I had already been at school for 2 days straight, and I took an hour and a half nap in the break room. I spent the morning doing errands, paid a parking ticket, and then ran home to get a new pair of clothes, just to quickly return to school for our final presentations. After the stressful thesis presentations were over, I put my layers back on. I buttoned up my pea-coat, wrapped a scarf around my neck, put on my magenta snow hat, and then diligently slipped my fingers in to my new woolen mittens. It started to rain ice balls the size of M&Ms, so I whipped out my Hamilton umbrella that I borrowed from my mom , and ran into the nearest Starbucks. I still had an entire day of work left, but I was running on fumes and needed a pick-me-up. My next stop was a books store, so after drinking my steaming cup of Hot Chocolate, I pulled out my umbrella again and started my way to the door, when my umbrella snapped. I left it in a dumpster, and continued walking the longer blocks of the West side of Manhattan without it. A few minutes into my walk, my hat suddenly blew off of my head and landed directly in the sewer. A gentleman watched the events unfold, and chivalrously ran to my aid, offering to share his umbrella. He walked me to the book store, and asked me out. Then, when I realized none of that actually happened, I pulled out my phone to check that I had a message from Jon on OkCupid. The end."

From Jon's Perspective: "We first met as Allie stepped off the train, ready for a fun filled day of dating. I took her to my favorite local place to eat, Bigelow’s Fried Clams. We had some of the best Clam Chowder in the world and talked about her schooling. After that I and took her home to watch tv and play video games. We had a spirited round of Mario Kart 64 which I lost brutally as Bowser. I gave her a kiss goodnight and she was on her way home from what was surely a great time. It turns out if I had known Allie, I wouldn’t have worn a shirt with a funny video game slogan on it. She stepped off the train, took one look at me it what I thought was my best shirt, and considered turning around and getting back onto the train. Turns out she’s not a big fried strip clams girl either, she just said she’d be happy to go to be nice. She also wasn’t thrilled about just going to some guys house to play video games. It turns out what saved the date was how relaxed and happy being around me made her feel during a stressful time in her life, and losing in Mario Kart. She loves being competitive, and winning was one of the highlights of her night. I may have lost the race, but I won her heart."

The Proposal

For those of you who know Jon, you'll recognize that he is not the best at keeping secrets about surprises. He's honest to a fault and barely has a filter. And this day was no exception.

Here was our plan: Jon and I were flying in to Orlando late at night. The first day, we would go to the Magic Kingdom by ourselves. Then, that night my parents would join us at the hotel, and we'd go to the other 3 parks that following days.

From Allie's Perspective:

As with all of our vacations, I insist that we use our phones as little as possible. Vacations should be a time of unplugging, relaxation and bonding. And as with all of our vacations, Jon insists on pulling out his phone at all times of the day.

So, as soon as our flight landed in Orlando, of course Jon pulls out his phone, and I tried to grab his phone to turn it off. Jon suspiciously retracts immediately, and shoves it in his pocket. I question his action, but let it go. We stop at the first bathroom that we could find, and Jon takes an inordinate amount of time. I'm sitting outside with our bags waiting for him; its late, I'm cranky, and I just want to find a cab to check in to our hotel. He's still in there....Finally, Jon comes out, we find a cab, and get to our hotel (actually, its a time share with a lobby, but the rooms are separate, more like a motel.) The door to the lobby is locked and the lights are out. We call a number on the door to a central call service, and have to find the night security guard, who checks us in. He says that we already paid and he just hands us the keys, so I was completely confused since I was the one that booked it. I didn't think about it and we headed to the room.

I unlocked the door, and my parents are standing there. It was a complete surprise, I didn't think we were seeing them until the following night. So, I assumed that this was the surprise that Jon was suspiciously using his phone for. Little did I know....

My mom gave us each Beauty and the Beast shirts, one saying "She's my beauty," and the other says "He's my beast." Then, she handed me a card that said we need to get up very early because of a special surprise planned for the next morning.

Later that night, Jon asks me, "Are you excited to have breakfast in the Disney castle?" He didn't realize that I didn't know what we were doing and my response was, "I'm never going to get surprised again for the rest of my life, am I?." Again, little did I know...and he certainly throws that line in my face constantly.

The next morning I grudgingly wake up (I'm certainly not a morning person, let alone a 4:30 in the morning person), and we go to the park. I have to admit, this was pretty amazing. If you haven't had a chance to have a meal inside Cinderalla's Castle, I highly recommend it. We are the first ones allowed in the park. I've never seen it so empty, we pretty much had it to ourselves. We are directed straight to the castle, and are greeted by none other than Cinderella herself. She's extremely happy and bright in the morning with the biggest smile on her face, so its hard not to be happy. We climb a beautiful spiral staircase up to the top floor where we have a view of the whole park, and are seated near a window for breakfast. Shortly after that, all of the Princesses come in, do a little dance, and then make their rounds at each of the tables. It was definitely a unique experience.

After breakfast, Jon and I parted from my parents to be the first ones on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Cart ride. I don't do roller coasters, but Jon convinced me to go on it with him. We were in the very front car, so we had the best view. I am terrified, so I have a death grip on the railing, and I repeat to myself "Why did you make me do this? I hate you." I probably repeated that 30 times throughout the ride. In the end, I really enjoyed it, but not at the time. Romantic, huh?

We went to meet my parents at the designated meeting space. Jon and my dad went to the bathroom and disappeared for a while, and I was just sitting on a bench, completely oblivious, with my mom. My dad started walking toward us, but I can't find Jon. I spot him on the other side of the lake, and I mouth to him, "What are you doing?" and I motion him to come over to us. He doesn't move. So, we walk over to him and he's standing at the wishing well.

I immediately knew what was happening. Jon got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He pulled out the box from his pocket, and the ring had fallen off of the stand, so he fumbled a bit, and I said, "Yes, of course!"

Happily Ever After!

From Jon's Perspective:

When I heard we would be going to Disney in a few months, it was obvious how I wanted to propose. I even thought she might have planned the trip to get me to hurry up and propose, but it turns out that was just a thing to do when you’re in Orlando. Allie’s mom Lori was a huge help in both the logistics of the day and getting the ring ready, and we formulated the plan together for how the day would go.

Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Being about a quarter as clever as I think I am, Allie caught onto the fact that things were off pretty fast. Coordinating with Lori was difficult when Allie insisted I keep my phone put away, and then wanted to see what was so important I kept doing it anyway. It only took ruining the surprise that her parents were coming a day early and ruining the surprise that we were having breakfast in the Cinderella’s Castle to get her convinced she had found the secret. After all, what bigger secret could I still be hiding my back pocket as we set out early in the morning?

We had a wonderful time at breakfast; she even pretended to be surprised for her parents! It was a wonderful way to start the day, along with getting on a roller coaster to get the adrenaline going. The videographer still hadn’t arrived, so despite Allie’s protests me and her mom decided we should separate for a bit. Allie thought it was strange (okay, she would say stupid) to go on one ride across the park while her parents shopped without us, but everyone else seemed to insist for some reason. We took a ride on the haunted house, and I asked her afterwards if everything today was perfect so far. Over my pounding heart, I heard her say yes.

Finally the time came. I was all wired up with a microphone to record, and in position at the Wishing Well. She approached, angry that I wouldn’t follow her insistent hand motions to go over to her. Her expression changed as I went to one knee and opened the box. I practiced this several times, learned how to quickly tell which side was forward, and opened it perfectly. OF course, the ring had fallen off its stand and deeper into the box somewhere along the rollercoaster and haunted house so I fumbled to get it back where it was supposed to go. None of that mattered as she said yes!

Needless to say, there were a lot of smiles in our pictures we took throughout the upcoming days at Disney.

The Wedding

Sunday, October 7, 2018
5:30 PM
Attire: Semi-Formal (Outside wedding, indoor reception)
Ceremony and Reception
1840s Plaza
29 S Front St, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA

We are extremely excited to share in our special day with you. Due to the limited time and space, we would appreciate if you would be in your seats promptly at 5:30. Due to space limitation, it will be extremely disruptive to the ceremony if you arrive after that. We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation. Complimentary valet parking at the venue will begin at 4:30.

**If you have special dietary needs, please let us know.

Other Events

Wedding Brunch
Monday, October 8, 2018
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor
101 S President St, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA

There will be a brunch at 10:00AM for guests that are staying overnight in Baltimore, so we hope that you will join us. Please let us know if you will not be able to attend.

Wedding Party

Jamie Fratkin - Maid of Honor

From the day Allie and Jamie met, they were inseparable. Since the first day of their friendship, they learned how to finger paint together, read stories together, and they even fought imaginary monsters together. Jamie knew that this was no ordinary friendship, and she knew from day one that she would be standing by Allie on her Wedding Day. That’s why twenty some years later, Jamie is absolutely thrilled to be part of Allie’s big day! As Allie and Jamie’s friendship progressed, they embarked upon their kindergarten adventure together. Their friendship overcame the challenges of living further apart, not going to school together when they entered Middle School. Luckily, their friendship weathered the distance and their friendship continues to survive between DC and New York. Through the years Allie and Jamie, along with Michelle, have had countless sleepovers, mac and cheese and Boggle nights, Mahj Jong games, and countless times welcoming the New Year in together. Their friendship has evolved beyond finger paint to a masterpiece with real paint. Jamie is incredibly happy for Allie and Jon, and truly excited to be part of their big day!

Michelle Kaplan - Matron of Honor

Michelle and Allie have been friends since 2016. Just kidding, it's been over 25 years, even though they love to tease each other. Michelle, Allie, and Jamie grew up together and are as close as sisters, and have always enjoyed playing Mario Party, mafia, and of course Mah Jong together. Michelle is so excited to be Matron of Honor because she loves Allie so much and is so happy she has found Jon as her match. She looks forward to many game nights and terrible baking adventures to come. Michelle loves in Hoboken, NJ with her husband, Dan, and wishes Allie and Jamie were also her roommates. See you all in October!

Jessica Botkin - Bridesmaid

Jessica is Jeremy's wife, and her first sister-in-law. Jessica is so excited for Allison and Jon's wedding. She can't wait to party next October, especially after being home with Allison's new nephew for several months. Jessica and Allie have known eachother for over ten years. Jessica remembers meeting Allie when Allie was still in high school, just as she was getting ready to start her college adventure. One of her favorite memories with Allie was going with her to get her ears pierced. Jessica promised Allie that it wouldn't hurt, but she honestly didn't remember if it did. Even though they pierced Allie's ears one at a time, Allie was able to power through the experience! Jessica loves to think back on Allie's facial expressions during the experience. They were classic.

Dani Botkin - Bridesmaid

Danielle, also known as Dani, is Allie’s sister in law. Dani works with her husband, Matt and together they run a successful financial planning business. They recently had their first child and Allie’s first nephew, Mason! Dani is honored to stand by her sister's in-law
side on her big day.

Rachel Fromme - Bridesmaid

Rachel is Jon's sister, and is afflicted with an awful memory. She first remembers meeting Allie at a Spice Girls concert. Allie was at the bar, sipping a Cosmopolitan, and crying about boys. Rachel swooped in and introduced her to her awesome brother, and it was love at first sight. This is probably a true story. Probably.
Since then, Allie & Rachel have been the best of friends. They escape gossiping mothers and long talks about the intricacies of Super Mario to watch The Office together. When Rachel isn't following Allie's every step, she is binge watching Netflix and drinking too much coffee.

(am i supposed to talk about how much i love you guys now?)

optional i guess:

She is super excited to be a part of the wedding. She considers Allie & Jon to be the best of the best, the greatest around, and she can't wait to see them get married. She's ready to welcome Allie into the family and harass her with lame puns for the rest of her life.

Eric Donaldson - Best Man

I barely remember a time before Jon and I were friends. However, I do remember vividly how we became best friends- bickering for hours over a group project in freshman year of high school. After that, we just found ourselves spending more and more time together. Our rivalry grew strong, but our friendship grew stronger. I spent much of my time at House Fromme, and I consider their entire family to be an extension of my own. I am so happy to be a part of Jon and Allie's journey to start their own family.

Michael Corey - Groomsman

Jon and I met at SUNY Albany, in the Fall of 2009, and have been friends ever since. We're both interested in board games, video games, and general nerdy culture, to a sometimes unhealthy degree. For instance, one afternoon, Jon invited me to try the game "Sonic Adventure." The next morning, we finished beating the game, and I walked over to class to take a math exam. Still, despite being bad influences on each other, Jon's been a good friend; when I'm dealing with stress at work, or other troubles, Jon's there to help me take my mind off my problems.

Jeremy Botkin - Groomsman

Jeremy is Allison's oldest brother. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Jessica, who recently had their first child, Ryan.
Jeremy is so excited that his baby sister is getting married. He can remember the first day Allie came home from the hospital. Even back then, she was full of energy and spirit. She was also born with the Botkin competitive gene, so some of his favorite memories with Allie are playing games. Together, with their bother Matt, they spent countless hours playing Hotels, Mario Kart and Risk. Allie always tried to beat her big brothers. Occasionally, she did! ; )