Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Agawam couple finalists in wedding contest

Date: 9/12/2012

By Carley Dangona

AGAWAM — Your vote could help make a dream wedding come true for an Agawam couple.

On Aug. 27, residents 1st Lt. Ryan McLane, 25, of the Army National Guard and fiancé Taylor Lincoln, 22, received notice that they were one of three couples chosen for finals of the "Wedding to Remember" contest, and will be interviewed on-air, Sept. 12 on the FOX25 morning news.

"My mom saw an advertisement on the station and we applied," Lincoln said.

The Westin Copley Place of Boston and FOX25 sponsor the contest, which provides an all-expense paid wedding including a wedding dress, invitations, dance lessons, a cake, a reception, a honeymoon, gifts and more to a member of the military and his or her significant other. 2011 was the first year the contest was offered.

"It's an opportunity of a lifetime," McLane said. "It's been a fun process. The contest is for veterans, but she's [Lincoln] the hero at home."

He continued, "Right now, we don't have the funds for a wedding. I just returned from my last tour of duty at the end of March. She's a full-time student at Elms College. I work full-time during the day and am a law student at night. [Winning the contest means] I'd be able to give her the wedding of her dreams."

The University of Massachusetts Amherst alumni met at the school, through a mutual friend in 2009 and became engaged in July.

"I really liked her off the bat," McLane admitted. "She played hard to get. I asked her out three times before she agreed to go out on a date with me. The first two times she was unavailable because she had homework."

Lincoln explained, "I really did have homework. But, I was nervous at first. We just had a connection from the first date. It was approximately six months after we started dating that I knew he was a keeper."

The couple kept in touch while McLane was away for a nine month tour of duty in Afghanistan. "I couldn't propose on a whim [before I left for Kabul]," McLane stated. "I knew I loved her, but I wanted to make sure it would last."

He continued, "We run races [usually for charity]. Over my deployment, we completed a marathon training program together."

Lincoln said, "It means everything to have him."

Cast your vote, starting Sept. 12 at Voters can vote once per day until Sept. 26.

The winners will be announced on or about Sept. 27 and have their dream wedding Nov. 12.