Averi Tobolt and Shawn Callahan met at work about a year and a half ago, and Wednesday, the couple was married in Warford Park.
“I love this park, it’s the best park,” Tobolt said.
But the best part of holding their wedding in that park is because it’s one location for the Integral Youth Services Summer Food Service Program, through which the couple, and their children, met many friends.
Callahan explained that he and Tobolt do not know many people in the Klamath Falls area, but the people they met while taking their four children to the lunch program have become more than friends; they are family as well.
“I’ve got a family right here that I never knew I had,” Callahan said.
Tobolt said she was happy her extended family could be part of the ceremony.
The couple will combine their two families, including Tobolt’s daughter, Paige, 3, from a previous relationship, and Callahan’s two children, Izabella, 5, and Ethan, 8. The couple have 2-month-old Anna together.
Callahan and Tobolt were married by Westside Community Church Rev. John Kays, who was introduced to them by Lori Zumbrun, a good friend of the couple’s and a member of the church who helps run the summer lunch program at the park.
Kays quoted a Bible passage from Corinthians when marrying the couple.
“Love never gives up,” Kays said. “Love never dies.”
Kays also asked the couple to share life’s blessings and struggles, stick by each other if they enjoy riches or have no money at all, and to love each other even in sickness.
Those questions made both bride and groom tear up, as well as their friends in attendance.
“How do you not cry when good friends get married?” Zumbrun said. “I thought it was just beautiful.”
Zumbrun and Sandra Anderson, who run the summer lunch location together, also helped the couple organize their wedding.
“We just wanted a small wedding,” Callahan said, adding that Zumbrun helped convince him and Tobolt to have more of a ceremony.
The park was decorated with balloons and white tulle and ribbon wrapped around the trees creating the perfect spot for the couple to stand with Kays in front of their friends.
Anderson also hosted a party at her home to make the birdseed packets they used to congratulate the couple instead of throwing rice.
Planning and putting together the wedding was a real community effort, Zumbrun said. Kays’ wife even made cupcakes for the wedding party to enjoy after the ceremony.
“Truly, the whole wedding was about $50 is all,” Zumbrun said.
Zumbrun was also happy to see the couple come together; in her toast of congratulations, she said she has watched them grow as a couple and as parents over the past year.
“I have really seen these guys mature,” Zumbrun said.
But, Tobolt said, if it wasn’t for Zumbrun and Anderson, the newlyweds would not have been able to have their wedding in the park where they were surrounded by the happiness and love of their friends and family.