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Couple ties the knot on the water
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Couple ties the knot on the water

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For Lauren Dupey, 29, and Jake Larsen, 30, any day fishing is a good day.

But, Saturday’s excursion aboard the LuAnn Kay on Lake Michigan at the Kenosha Harbor was unlike any other.

They each got “a keeper” before they even cast a line.

Despite some showers, and a delay, this charter began with Dupey’s father Mark Dupey, walking Lauren, dressed in a bridal gow, down the dock to the boat. After heading out to the harbor, the Pleasant Prairie couple, both graduates of Tremper High School, recited their handwritten vows surrounded by A small group of immediate family and friends.

The one that almost got away

The couple first started dating after high school in 2009, after Lauren’s friend Kayla Tover introduced them at a bonfire. Lauren was student at Michigan Technological University and Jake was an electrical apprentice.

“I knew I wanted to travel around the country and he wanted to stay here,” Lauren said. “I really just wanted to just go get my degrees and be a powerhouse.”

Jake said he knew she was the one in 2011 when they took a trip to Eagle River.

“We sat in the back of a pick-up truck for approximately 13 hours one weekend just talking and right then and there, I just knew,” he said.

Lauren, who never dreamed of marriage, said she knew Jake was the one when she started picturing them living in a one-story brick house, him pulling into the driveway in is work truck and kids running around the side to greet him.

But, school came first and the couple separated. They started dating again in 2017 when Lauren was pursing her doctorate degree in natural resources management in Utah.

“We dated long-distance for a year-and-a-half,” Lauren said, adding she moved back to Pleasant Prairie in 2018.

He set the hook

Jake said he bought the engagement ring last September, but plans to propose in a sunflower field fell apart when the field was destroyed by heavy rain.

Determined to propose before the new year, Jake hid the ring in his tool box and on Christmas Eve when they were wrapping gifts, he pulled it out and popped the question and she took the bait.

Mike Williams, a friend of Lauren’s mother Denise Piquette, of Mount Pleasant, a former master charter boat captain offered to perform the ceremony on the boat. As a master captain, his licenses allows him to officiate on the water.

“One of the things that Jake and I have always done together is fish,” Lauren said, adding they had gone out fishing with Mike several time.

Lauren said it was also the perfect setting because the couple wanted something intimate. She carried a wooden flower bouquet from a shop in Utah where she did her field work and Jake wore a flower boutonniere she made using shotgun shells.

Jake’s parents Cathy and Jim Larsen, of Eau Claire, joined them on the boat. After reciting their vows, the couple planned to fish, weather permitting, before taking their wedding party to the Hobnob for dinner.

A larger reception with more family and friends will be held at a later date.


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