Four days before his wedding, Jamie Schade still hadn’t found anyone to perform the ceremony. Anxious guests and lost deposits, however, were the least of his concerns. If he didn’t find someone to marry him and his bride, Agata Stanczak, they might never be able to be together again. Her visa was about to expire, and with neither visa nor marriage license, she would have to return home to Poland.
“I began calling everyone,” says Schade, a 1996 graduate. By day’s end, he’d found not one but three judges. The wedding was saved. But something was missing.
The couple met three years ago in Dayton, Ohio, where Stanczak was an au pair, but they were soon separated after her visa expired. They rekindled their friendship when she returned a year later, but after only a few months, her visa was due to expire again, this time for good. Not wanting to lose her again, Schade asked for advice from friends and family—even his priest. They decided to marry in a civil ceremony. A year later they remarried, this time in a church in Poland. “I can say with confidence we were married in our hearts once the Polish, Catholic wedding occurred,” Schade says.