"I totally had a crush on Ted," Elizabeth said. They were friends. Beyond that, Ted wasn't interested.
Sophomore year, neither ran track, but Elizabeth felt residual crush effects when she saw Ted in health class.
Then the summer before junior year, both attended the optional cross-country practices, organized by the team captains. The group was relatively small, and Elizabeth and Ted talked more and more.
Her crush turned out to be contagious.
"I don't know what happened," Ted said. "I'm still trying to figure that out."
School started again, and they sat together on the cross-country bus. Then Ted's mother and stepfather dropped the two off for their first date: They saw The Grudge, a horror movie the couple found truly horrible. All the better for paying attention to each other. A week later, Ted asked Elizabeth to be his girlfriend.
Ted double-majored in biology and marine science at Stockton College. Elizabeth earned a chemistry degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. They stayed in touch through instant messages and Skype. They saw each other twice a month, thanks to the discovery of a cheap casino bus between D.C. and A.C.
Both graduated in 2010. Elizabeth found work as a sales associate at the Cherry Hill Mall Macy's, where she's now cosmetics sales manager, and aims to one day be a store manager.
Ted landed a summer job as an education intern at the Atlantic City Aquarium, where he is now manager of education and curation.
How does forever sound?
Elizabeth bought two tickets to Southern California for Ted's September 2012 birthday. They'd hoped to eat at a restaurant on the Santa Monica pier. Alas, after a day of sightseeing, they arrived to find the restaurant no longer serving. A place across the street would have to do.
"Let's go back to the pier," Ted said after the meal. "No, it's cold," said Elizabeth. "Let's go back to the hotel." Ted said please, and Elizabeth caved.
He asked her to stop for a picture. "Is this the best vacation you've ever had?" he asked.
"It's fun, and I like it," Elizabeth said.
"But are you having the best vacation EVER?" he pushed.
Elizabeth gave an honest answer: "No. We went to Hawaii last year."
Ted knew she'd say that, but he had an ace in his camera case. "Do you want me to make this your best vacation ever? Close your eyes, and hold out your hand."
She did, and when she opened them, saw a diamond ring.
Elizabeth literally jumped up and down with joy, yet asked, "Is this real? Is this real?"
She wants you to know, she did not mean the ring. "I was just being sure that this was actually happening."
Ted assured her by asking, "Will you marry me?"
In April 2013, Ted and Elizabeth, who are now both 26, moved to their apartment in Galloway Township - close enough to the Shore to allow Ted to go surfing most mornings at 5.
It was so them
The couple wed with their bare toes in the sand near Morey's Piers. Ted's beloved Uncle Bob, who is usually a chiropractor, was ordained online so he could perform the ceremony.
Ted swore he wouldn't cry. No one believed him. "We both started immediately when I walked down the aisle with my dad," Elizabeth said.
After the ceremony, the couple and their 130 guests walked a few feet to the Mariner's Landing Pier, where they ate beneath pavilions strung with lanterns and twinkle lights, the Ferris wheel and other boardwalk rides glinting in the background. They danced on a portion of pier open to the sky.
Most of their family and friends stayed in Wildwood and stretched the party across the whole weekend.
Ted and Elizabeth wrote their own vows, and Elizabeth was amazed by both Ted's sentiments and his use of ocean metaphors. He promised to love her as long as the tides go in and out. In other words: forever.
Ted records all adventures with his GoPro camera. Four months out from the big day, Elizabeth asked him to please, please make the wedding an exception. Ted later suggested he could tape the camera to her brother's head, or hide it in his sister's bouquet. No taping by the best man or maid of honor, Elizabeth said.
Minutes before the wedding, Ted, his brothers and the best man zip-tied the camera to the bamboo archway where the ceremony took place. Elizabeth saw it there, but had to admit they hid it pretty well. The best part, said Ted, was watching the video together for the first time. Elizabeth loved it, and it will always remind Ted of both his wedding-day joy, and happy scheming with the guys.
A bargain: Photographer Robert Turi was 30 percent to 40 percent less expensive than the other photographers they considered, and he gave them the rights to all images.
The splurge: More than $500 - worth of sugar. "We're both really small children. We like candy," Ted laughs. The candy bar featured gummy sharks, Swedish fish, and Shore favorites including taffy and Johnson's popcorn. And then there was Elizabeth's obsession: Hand-spun cotton candy.
Ten days of snorkeling, surfing, beach time, and learning about the culture in Bali.
Officiant: Robert Super, the groom's uncle, was ordained for the occasion.
Venue: Rendezvous Beach Pavilion, Mariner's Landing Pier at Morey's Piers, Wildwood
Catering: Morey's Piers
Photography: Robert Turi Photography, Sewell
Dress: David's Bridal, Maple Shade
Music: Ceremony: Steel-drum player Chris Aschman, of the group Trinidelphia, Philadelphia
Reception: DJ Danny Sullivan, a cousin of the groom
Wedding coordinator: Stephanie Berge, accommodation and event manager at Morey's Piers
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