Celebrations Spotlight: Tegan and James Benigni
James and Tegan Benigni, both 30, celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on July 19, 2012. The couple resides in Troy Hill.
Q: How did you meet?
Tegan: The first time that I saw James was in the gym of our town's recreational center during the summer before I started middle school. I thought he was the hottest guy I'd ever seen and asked my older brother who he was. It was like a dream.
Q: Who introduced you?
Tegan: We were introduced at the beginning of the school year by mutual friends.
Q: Where did you each grow up?
Tegan: James was born in Ohio and I was born in Virginia. Both of our parents moved to Lititz, Pa. the same year, when we were three years old. We attended different elementary schools, but the same middle school and high school.
Q: Who proposed? How?
Tegan: I was living in San Francisco trying to get a job teaching ESO. James was living in Westmoreland County and attending the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (UPG). I was considering marrying my male roommate, an illegal alien, to help him become a U.S. citizen. James thought I was crazy, but understood my desire to help my friend reach his dream of being an American. But then I realized that I couldn't imagine my life without James and that marrying my roommate on the other side of the country would threaten my relationship with James. So, I called James and told him all the reasons that I loved him, that I couldn't bear to live without him and asked him to marry me.
Q: Where were you married? Why did you choose that site?
Tegan: San Francisco City Hall. A few weeks after I asked James to marry me, he came to visit. We didn't have much time and couldn't wait to be married, so we went to the Justice of the Peace.
Q: Where was the reception and honeymoon? Why did you choose those sites?
Tegan: Because we eloped with only one witness present, our celebration afterwards was pretty simple. First, we walked out to the lawn in front of City Hall and had hot dogs from a street vendor. Then we walked to Fisherman's Wharf and took an hour-long cruise on the bay!
Q: What is your favorite wedding memory?
Tegan: James read poetry to me while I lay with my head in his lap in our hotel room. My bouquet was on the corner of the bed and I watched headlights from passing cars move on the ceiling.
Q: What is the secret to your successful marriage?
Tegan: Patience, forgiveness and lots of love.
Q: What activity do you enjoy doing most as a couple?
Q: How did you celebrate your anniversary?
Tegan: We spent it in the Laurel Highlands camping, of course!
First Published September 11, 2012 12:00 am