A Buffalo couple will be tying the knot in a very unique way on Saturday, September 1, when they get married at a local summer camp and will literally “fly” 500 ft. over Ellicott Creek, as they begin their first day of marriage together.
Darcy Kennedy and Jonathan Ellis first met working at a YMCA summer camp in the Adirondacks in the summer of 2010. Jonathan came to summer camps through a program that places international young adults in American summer camps; he had wanted the adventure. Darcy was a self-proclaimed ‘Y Brat’, having spent most of her free time in middle school and high school volunteering with the local YMCA Teen Leaders Club and working summer day camps. They were both very quiet individuals so it took some time to get to know each other, but over the next two summers their friendship grew.
Over the next two summers their friendship grew into something more. One night, Darcy wrote a note to declare her feelings for Jon, but was too shy to actually deliver it. Their friends encouraged Darcy to go through with her plan and when Jon revealed that his feelings were mutual, and a new chapter of their relationship began.
“We worked at that summer camp one more summer, after which school got in the way,” recalls Darcy, “We maintained a long distance relationship for four years, though the distances changed – Buffalo to England, Detroit to England, Boston to Atlanta, Boston to Buffalo, a brief stint of together in Buffalo, and finally Albany to Buffalo. Through AmeriCorps and teaching certifications, capstones and au pairing, we’ve been there for each other.”
In summer of 2017, Darcy and Jonathan planned a visit up to Old Forge for their anniversary – the town they’d go to on their days off at camp. After a hike up Bald Mountain, Jonathan proposed to Darcy. Little did he know, Darcy was pretty sure a proposal was forthcoming and was ready to counter-propose with a ring!
With a lifetime together ahead of them, the couple decided the perfect way to start their married journey was with a wedding that was true to their roots. “Luckily we found Camp Centerland,” says Jon “It’s a perfect fit for our needs and wants.”
And so, on Saturday, September 1st, the couple will arrive early at Camp Centerland, located on the Irving M. Shuman Campgrounds at the Jewish Community Center on North Forest Road in Amherst. They’ll use a Conference Room and Art Room inside the JCC get dressed, and do hair and make-up while set up and decorating is being taken care of at the Camp. In the early afternoon, joined by about 100 guests, they will have a wedding ceremony in the Rein Family Amphitheatre.
Guests will be treated to an afternoon of camp games, scavenger hunts and other activities.
Before dinner, the couple will fly through the air together using Camp Centerland’s zip line, soaring 500 feet over Ellicott Creek to the landing zone that brings them back to the camp’s Amphitheatre, where dinner will be served, followed by dessert and dancing under the stars.
“Neither of us have used a zip line, actually – Jonathan was the archery teacher while at camp (he was a champion longbow archer back in college), and I was usually leading kids through the low ropes challenge courses. It’ll be an exciting and terrifying experience!” says Darcy.
For more information or to report on this unique wedding, contact Jordana Halpern, JCC Director of Development at 716-204-2255 or firstname.lastname@example.org