Joan and Dean Logo divide

Our Story

Joan and Dean met while serving in the Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa in early 2003. Accounts vary of the specific timeline, but suffice it to say that Joan and Dean were clearly and irrevocably smitten from the beginning! Patiently, over the next two years their bond grew over their shared sense of adventure and deep commitment to helping those in need. Journeying from the lush green cotton fields in the south to the barren cliffs of the Dogon in the Saharan north, from one remote village to another, required a lively 24-hour journey by bus, bike, and donkey cart. After arriving on foot in the middle of the night, villagers in Missirikoro, where Joan was stationed, began to refer to Dean as Chuck Norris! And so their first two years together were filled with all the imaginable heaviness and thrill of facing life in the third world while finding true love amidst the deep beauty and vibrant life of West Africa.

Once back stateside, Joan and Dean have kept the adventure going living in San Francisco, New York, Denver (Dean), Haiti (Joan), and finally settling for the past 5 years in Boston. In each of these places, they have faithfully supported and encouraged each others’ personal, educational, and professional goals. Whether together or apart, their respect for each other and commitment to their beliefs has provided Joan and Dean with a foundation that has supported their relationship for the past 11 years.

They are looking forward to celebrating their marriage with family and friends and hope to see you all on the dance floor in June!


the party

Join us June 7, 2014 at historic Camp Mary Orton in Columbus, Ohio. Beautifully situated on 167 wooded acres, the camp is home to a youth empowerment camp which exposes kids — who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity — to the joys of nature in a day camp setting. It’s a great place and we hope you’ll enjoy a lovely summer evening with us, celebrating our marriage.



The capital city is home to the nations largest university, numerous corporate headquarters and one of the largest LGBT communities in the midwest. An economically diverse and thriving small city, Columbus, with it’s many locally owned shops, food trucks, local breweries/distilleries/roasters and museums has a lot to offer weekend visitors. Read what others have to say: Cool Hunting, New York Times, Usa Today, Usa Today Travel, Washington Post.

Suggested Day Trips

Your best bet is to book a flight through Port Columbus (CMH) located just 10 minutes from Downtown and 20 minutes from the wedding site. Or Dayton International Airport (DAY), about an hour from Columbus.

We have reserved blocks of rooms at two great hotels in Worthington, both of which offer complimentary shuttle service to/from Camp Mary Orton.

Hyatt Place Columbus Worthington A discounted block of rooms will be held until May 9, 2014. Group code: VAPA.

Holiday Inn Columbus/Worthington A discounted block of rooms will be held until May 16, 2014. Group code: VWW.

* If you’d rather be situated closer to the downtown and Short North areas, The Hilton Downtown Columbus and The Lofts Boutique Hotel are both very nice and will put you and yours in the heart of the city.




What we want most for our wedding is to have all of our friends and family there to celebrate the occasion with us, more than anything we would simply enjoy your presence. However, if you wish to honour us with a gift, you can find some suggestions here:
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Illustrated by Mary VanWassenhove ©