From sweatpants to romance, seniors Emily Mariani and Kyle Dreger found love at Mount Union.
Mariani and Dreger met their freshman year while cleaning up a local church for Raider Relief, Mount’s service organization. The two then went to a movie together some time after. Dreger, dressed in jeans and a button down, met up with Mariani, who was wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Dreger admits the two had far different expectations for the date. Their relationship did not really start until they went out for coffee in March, about a month after they had met.
Mariani said, “I asked Kyle to coffee quickly after we met. I knew I needed to hurry and ask him before someone else would. We met for coffee at the B&B and talked for a long time. He asked me to come back tomorrow the same time and place, and after that, we hung out all the time.”
And just like that, the couple became not only lovers, but best friends. Although they go out to eat for dates, they love more to stay in, watch movies and eat candy together. They have study dates, play Call of Duty and enjoy going on runs.
Dreger said, “Honestly, some of our best dates are the ones where we go running together. You get to be out there in God’s nature with your best friend. Plus, after you’re done, you’ve pretty much eradicated any guilt that will accompany a binge on Chinese food later.”
Besides their friendship that ties them together, they share a strong faith in God that brings them closer.
Dreger said, “She’s my spiritual rock. I know building a life with her will be one of trials and tribulations, but the fire we’ve built on our families, friends and God won’t ever go out. Plus, she’s always my personal cheerleader in whatever I do. Life is pretty amazing with someone who constantly champions you.”
The myth of the kissing bridge still holds strong. The couple has kissed on the kissing bridge, is now engaged and plans are set in place for a summer wedding next year.
Dreger and Mariani’s favorite memory together is the day he proposed, where they had met for the first time.
Dreger said, “I had spent literally a year and a half preparing for that day, and once I proposed I had zero plans for what to do next. We tried calling our friends and family, but no one would pick up the phone. We ended up sitting outside at Panera, just letting it sink in, both the engagement and that we were the only two people in the world who knew.”