It’s a fantasy for so many: Growing old with the person you love, driving by the venue where you tied the knot and having all the wedding day memories rush right back.
For Selena Stallmer and Brian Dinsmore of Niskayuna, that day will eventually come. But they won’t be driving by a church, or an event center, or really anywhere that looks remotely like a location where you’d get married. … They’ll be driving by a Dunkin’.
“It’s a good story for our kids and everything,” Dinsmore said. “It’s different. It’s not something everyone’s going to be able to say, ‘Hey, we did this.’ And every time we pass by a Dunkin’, we’re just going to look at the kids and go, ‘Oh, that’s where we got married.’”
Yes, you read that correctly. On Friday, after nearly two years of patience following their July 2019 engagement, the local couple finally became husband and wife as they tied the knot at a Dunkin’s shop in Middletown. The near spontaneous wedding date — which all happened within a span of two weeks — was a result of the Dunkin’ Marriage is on the Menu contest, giving customers a chance to win a free wedding experience. The coffee chain teamed up with I Do Drive Thru, an international drive-up wedding service, to perform the ceremonies while the chain provided decorations, photography and some additional goodies.
For the couple who met through mutual friends four years ago, the coffee-centric celebration only started brewing when they shared an Instagram post just a few days back.
“I saw one of the news stations had posted the contest,” Stallmer said. “And I looked at Brian and I said, ‘We should do it.’ And he was like, ‘Sure, you know, why not?’ And so we entered it. And initially had forgotten about the contest. Then it was a couple days later and I woke up to a message on Instagram saying that we had been chosen. I was just shocked. And I immediately called a bunch of my friends. But I didn’t want to tell Brian yet because I wanted to tell him in person.”
The winning photos featured the pair sharing heart-shaped doughnuts, as the caption explained how the pandemic interfered with their plans to hold a ceremony in June 2021. Stallmer also mentioned how they’re both essential workers — she’s a support professional helping people with disabilities, while Dinsmore is a technician — and how coffee helps them get through their day-to-day activities.
To surprise her soon-to-be husband, Stallmer decorated the house with Dunkin’ themed streamers and balloons as he arrived home to the news.
“I walked into balloons and everything,” Dinsmore said. “I’m like, ‘Did I forget something? Am I gonna be in trouble?’ I looked around and I see the one banner, it describes Dunkin’ Donuts and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s the competition.’”
While the couple wasn’t able to bring their friends and family along to the drive-thru ceremony, their loved ones still got to see it all go down on Zoom Friday. And their families were excited for them.
“My mom, she really wanted to see me and Brian get married,” Stallmer said. “And she didn’t want us to postpone the wedding in June. She just told us to just do it.”
After such a long wait to get married, both Stallmer and Dinsmore embraced the contest win, kissed in the middle of a coffee shop and now look forward to a life of sharing all of their days, and all of their Dunkaccinos, together.
“We never planned to get married in a drive thru, without any of our family there, any of our friends there,” Stallmer said. “But we saw the opportunity and we took it, and now we’ve [gotten] married, at a Dunkin’ two hours from home. At first we’re like, ‘Oh, my God, what did we do?’ But, then we were excited. We’ve just embraced it.”