Robin Griteman

and

Allen Voter

Robin Griteman and Allen Voter

Please join us for our wedding celebration on

Welcome!

We're so glad you're here, and we hope you can celebrate with us as we say "I do!" in front of our family who've known us the longest, and our friends who know us the best.

If you'd like to know a little more about the two main characters in this love story, keep reading. I'll admit it's long, but I (Robin) am a writer by trade, so I can't help myself. I've had so much fun putting together this website in the hopes that it helps those of you who don't know one of us or our story very well, to get better acquainted with the reason we're celebrating this spring!


Setting the scene:

Robin:
I grew up in rural Northwest Ohio on a farm outside of Toledo. My parents didn’t work as farmers, but our home and the barns and fields around it, as well as both sets of grandparents and several extended family members working as farmers, made sure my two younger brothers and I were proper country kids. We had lots of land to run around on and a big network of family support and love just down the road. So naturally, after I graduated from college, I took a job in downtown Chicago where I knew no one and lived in a 336-square foot apartment.

The four years I spent in Chicago were when I learned to be an adult. I paid bills, signed leases, biked all over town, got a cat, discovered sushi, joined a church, and made a family out of friends. Two of those friends moved to Cincinnati and told me about an open job as a writer for an advertising agency there. I interviewed on a whim and was offered the job. Though I didn’t want to leave Chicago, the position seemed too good to pass up, so I moved to Cincinnati the summer of 2010.

Though I struggled at first to love my new city, I found a great, huge apartment, bought a car, joined a new church, made some more wonderful friendships, and really came into my own career as a writer and marketer. I grew to love Cincinnati; life was very full and very fun.

Allen:
Allen’s family put down roots in a suburb of Rochester, NY, though his extended family threads throughout the country. He spent his childhood as a curious budding engineer, taking things apart to see what improvements could be made and creating computer programs to vex and annoy his two younger brothers. After high school, he stayed close to home, attending Rochester Institute of Technology for both undergrad and grad school.

During those seven years as a college and grad student, he periodically came down to the national Toyota manufacturing headquarters in Northern Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati, a few months at a time for his co-op. After graduating with his master’s in software engineering, Allen decided it was time to strike out and start his own software company. So in the summer of 2010, he moved to Kentucky permanently and began working as a vendor for Toyota, creating software used in plants nationwide to track energy use and data management.

When he wasn’t working, Allen was diving into his interests learning more about the paleo diet and Myers-Briggs personality types, working on his two rare 90s-era Audis, and attending a local hackerspace in Cincinnati where he and other people interested in science, technology, and building things socialized and collaborated on projects.


How we met and fell in love:

Allen and I met at Arnold’s, Cincinnati’s oldest and most-storied watering hole, on a Tuesday evening in the early fall of 2013. We enjoyed each other’s company, finding out our shared interests for things like hiking and bourbon drinking, for a few hours over a couple brews. I specifically remember being charmed by his quiet laugh and shy smile. And somehow my chatter made him want to see me again, because he asked if I wanted to go hiking with him sometime - which of course I did.

We went on our first hike a couple weeks later and I spent the whole time being nervous that he would try to hold my hand and I wouldn’t know what to do. He spent the whole time being nervous about whether or not he should hold my hand. Thankfully - no hand-holding ensued and neither of us lost our cool. Mostly I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk with him right away about anything and everything. Seriously, on the first hike or two we covered marriage, divorce, kids (though not particularly with each other at that point), religion and faith, family upbringing, politics…. What should have felt like intense topics seemed like the most natural things in the world to talk about.

We spent the fall going on hikes and sipping wine while talking around crackling fires - getting to know each other and deciding whether this was something more than just a friendship. After one particular hike followed by the glow of the fire pit at Dutch’s, I caught Allen gazing at me with... a look. My suspicions were confirmed when the next day he messaged me online to tell me that he liked me. Allen took me on a date a couple days later for my 29th birthday (October 23) and we did finally hold hands (it was thrilling) during a stroll around Eden Park.

By the next week, I was pretty sure I was as smitten with him as he was with me. Knowing he enjoyed working on cars, I claimed I needed his help on an issue with mine. It all went according to my plan: He invited me over to his place after work so he could take a look at it and we could hang out afterward. Allen then immediately flew into action cleaning and picking up. His efforts were repaid when I made a complete mess of his kitchen cooking my first meal for him.

The next week we made it official - boyfriend and girlfriend - but not before I completely freaked out and he had to ask me twice just to make sure we really were. Poor guy. Two days later he asked if I’d like to go to Madison, WI, with him for Thanksgiving in a few weeks to stay with his brother and sister-in-law and I freaked out again - this time slightly more internally. We went, and it was wonderful.

In early January 2014, he told me he loved me, and I - you guessed it - freaked out. It wasn’t until April that I was able to answer him back. We were certainly learning a lot about each other: Him learning that I needed time to process and think and sort out my feelings, me learning that he would patiently and gently wait for me, never rushing me, never making me feel bad that I needed the extra time.

We spent the next two and a half years falling in love and becoming best friends. We’ve gone on tons of hikes, camped with friends, played lots of board games, chopped down a Christmas tree that melted snow all over my living room, traveled to the Pacific Northwest twice, got to know each other's families, explored the Grand Canyon, spent evenings making dinner and watching Netflix, browsed bookstores and grocery stores, Allen bought a house, I got a promotion at work…. In our own time, two very independent people realized we couldn’t do life without the other.


How he asked:

The afternoon of November 6, 2016, we went hiking at Devou Park, the place where we went on our very first hike. It was a gorgeous fall day - when the air is cool, but the sun is warm - with cloudless blue skies and leaves falling from the trees overhead. We stopped under some lovely orange-leafed trees for a second, and then suddenly he was on one knee asking me to get married! He was very sweet, and I cried. We finished out our hike with me just barely able to deal. Back at the car we took a few photos by a pretty overlook, and headed home to call parents and friends and start the celebration!







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Travel

Getting Around

Parking:
The venue for the wedding and reception is the same, but parking is street parking only. You'll find a spot, but plan a few extra minutes into your schedule to leave time for finding a spot and possibly walking a block or two.

Uber or Lyft, two ride-sharing apps you can download on your phone, might be the best bet if you'd rather not bother with all that. These apps let you request a ride from right where you are, and you pay through the app, so there's no exchange of money with your driver. Allen and I use them often when we travel, and we've always found them reliable and hassle-free.

Driving:
If you'll have a car, getting around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is best with Google Maps on your phone. I highly recommend using it even if you're somewhat familiar with the city, as street names can change and streets can change direction suddenly. I use it all the time and I've lived here for more than 6 years.

If you won't have a car, or even if you do, and would prefer not to bother with parking, you can use Uber or Lyft, or get a cab. However, cabs in Cincinnati can be tricky to find and are fairly expensive.

Where to Stay

There are several other hotels in the Covington-Downtown Cincinnati area, and a quick Google search can give you reviews, prices, and availability information.

We also love using AirBnB when we travel, and there are several options available in this area on their website.

Things to do

If you have a few days to enjoy yourself in the Queen City, the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area has lots to offer. Here are some of our favorite places to go and things to do. Just Google them for more info!

Explore:

Findlay Market - the state's oldest continuously operated public market and a great place to soak in some of Cincinnati's culture and food.

American Legacy Tours' Queen City Underground Tour - A great walking tour that takes you through Cincinnati's oldest neighborhood, underground through crypts and brewery tunnels, and is full of fascinating information. There are often ticket discounts through Groupon or cincysavers.

50 West Brewing Co. - Cincinnati is a serious brewery town and some local breweries are really taking things to a new level. If the weather's nice, 50 West in Mariemont has bike rentals and access to the Little Miami Bike Trail (a favorite of ours), as well as a brewpub and tasting room. Allen recommends the Punch You In the EyePA.

Hiking in Devou Park in Covington or Ault Park in Cincinnati - Cincinnati has great parks with tons of hiking trails - Devou is where Allen and I first went hiking and where he proposed, and Ault Park is one of our favorites.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers - If the weather's not so nice, the Cincinnati store is a great place to wander with a coffee, and when you've worked up an appetite, head over to their restaurant, Bronte Bistro, for a bite. We recommend the Bronte Burger with Sweet Potato Fries.

Cincinnati Art Museum - It's free! And also the home of some excellent pieces and exhibits.



Eat & Drink:

Adriatico's - Close to the University of Cincinnati, Robin's office gets pizza from here all the time. Get the Sicilian crust for a real treat. You won't be sorry.

Bakersfield - An Over-the-Rhine staple and the start to any fun night out, Bakersfield has terrific margaritas, chips and guac, tacos...we could go on.

Dutch's - This unique spot in East Hyde Park is mainly a bar and bottleshop with some excellent food available from their Larder. We love this place for their inexpensive bottles of wine which can be sipped by the fire on the patio.

Green Papaya - A Hyde-Park/Oakley neighborhood favorite for sushi, Thai food, noodles, etc.

Rhinegeist - Another brewery that's taking over the city. Rhinegeist's beer is reliably really good, and the space is a pretty awesome converted warehouse in Over-the-Rhine with ping pong tables, beanbags/cornhole sets, and a rooftop deck. They don't have food in-house, but Adriatico's delivers there and it's not uncommon to see people bring board games with them and play at their long tables.

Taft's Ale House - Possibly Allen's favorite restaurant ever, Taft's claim to fame is tri-tip. They put it on everything, and it's always perfectly prepared. The smoked chicken wings are another favorite, and their beer is good, too! Another OTR gem.

Taste of Belgium - The best brunch spot in the city. There are a few locations, and their waffles are to-die for and the Brunch Burger is a serious treat. Also open for dinner with plenty of non-breakfast options.

Zula Bistro and Wine Bar - A tapas-style restaurant and wine bar in Over-the-Rhine that we love for all the variety mussels you can get!

Events

Wedding and Reception

6:30 PM, March 25, 2017
The Frock
8 West Pike Street, Covington, Kentucky 41011

Please join us for the ceremony, followed by drinks and dinner, at The Frock Studio + Event Space in Covington.
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Wedding Party

Kirstie Ford

Matron of Honor

Kirstie is sunshine in person-form, and has been my confidant and sounding board during my years in Cincinnati. Our shared love for literature has taken us out to Shakespeare plays and kept us in for Jane Austen movie nights. Kirstie and her husband Steven have become good friends of both Allen's and mine, and we've made some great memories, from camping trips and traveling the Bourbon Trail, to grilling and sitting on the porch playing cards and board games. Kirstie has that amazing ability to listen without judgement and is incredibly thoughtful in what she says and how she loves.

Andy Voter

Best Man

Though Andy and his wife Carolyn live in Wisconsin, he and Allen get together every Thursday for a virtual video game date night. They also both jump at any chance to play board games together - during trips home and to the family lake house in Michigan, as well as trading off hosting Thanksgiving the last four years. Allen would say Andy is the lucky one, to have him as an older brother, but if you really know Allen, you know he actually feels it's the other way around. There may not be anyone Allen admires and respects more than Andy, and the brothers' relationship has grown over the years from merely putting up with each other and/or worse, to a true, genuine friendship.

Kelly Klein

Bridesmaid

One of the first people I met when I moved to Chicago, Kelly quickly became my family while we navigated our early 20s in the big city. We spent most evenings cooking meals and drinking wine at each other's apartments. We went to the ballet, explored the city's eating and drinking establishments, shopped, and traveled together. Easygoing and always up for new experiences, Kelly is one of the best companions. She has a knack for knowing just the right touches to make someone feel welcome, comfortable, and cared for, and I love, love, love spending time with her.

Tim Schofield

Groomsman

Allen and Tim grew up only a few houses away from each other, but it wasn't until a group project threw them together in high school that they realized they should have been friends all along, what with their love of the X-Files and similarly themed board and video games. Their inseparable friendship has continued through the years and even across a continent, with Tim living in Oregon these days. They keep up over virtual game nights and trips back home for holidays, and Allen and I have visited the Pacific Northwest twice so they can get their board-game fix mid-year. Happily, the distance will shrink considerably later this year when Tim and his husband Tomas move...to Cincinnati!

Jathniel Shepherd

Bridesmaid

In our 13 years as friends, Jath and I have lived in different cities for only four of them. We met in college, and after I graduated and moved to Chicago, she went on to Charlotte and Cleveland before we found our way back to each other's side in Cincinnati. I've loved seeing her life unfold from my front-row seat: watching in awe as she went through the rigors of nursing school, introducing her to her husband Aaron, standing up with her in her wedding, visiting her in the hospital after the births of all three of her children, and watching in awe again as she raises them with grace and strength. Extremely loyal, compassionate, and steadfast, Jath's friendship feels like home to me. I'm so very blessed to be so near to such a friend.

Brian Voter

Groomsman

Even though there's a 12-year difference in age, Brian and Allen share several similar traits and interests - they both have the same quiet and thoughtful reserve and have a passion for computers and technology. Brian's currently majoring in computer engineering like Allen did, and Allen is always pleased to pass on advice to his youngest brother, even when he isn't asked. More than anything, Allen sees lots of potential in Brian and his talents, and wants to see him succeed in everything. Especially if it means one day he joins the Voter Software business and can take over most of the work for Allen.

Amy Onweller

Reader

Amy and I met as college freshmen when we were randomly put together as roommates. Ours was an almost instant fierce friendship that has now spanned many years, many adventures, and many states. From Indiana, Illinois, the Virgin Islands, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Minnesota, Ohio, and now Kentucky, we've stayed close and been there for each other during the very highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Amy has always been a boundless source of love, support, and encouragement to me - I'm not sure I could really express how thankful I am for her friendship.

Gift Registry

Blueprint

We're registered through Blueprint, an online collection of things we love that will help us start our life together.
Petra Kern