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Kunkel girls

Helen, Grace, Claire and Katie Kunkel at the inauguration of President Tom Kunkel.

November 2009

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Here come the brides

St. Norbert will host its first triple wedding next October. Yes, that’s right, triple wedding. Helen, Claire and Katie Kunkel are to be married Oct. 9 at Old St. Joe’s.

Father of the bride(s) is president of the college Tom Kunkel. He is blogging on the wedding plans as they unfold in “I Do, I Do, I Do: The story of four daughters, three couples, two parents, and one very big wedding.”

Kunkel writes “People tell me I have a gift for stating the obvious, so let me say right off: Triple weddings are not particularly common events.”

Meet the happy couples
Kunkel and his wife, Deb, have four daughters. The youngest, Grace, will serve as maid-of-honor to her older sisters.

Kunkel is using his blog to share his fatherly perspective on the occasion. He writes, “All three of the young men are thoughtful, respectful, intelligent and compassionate people who happen to have what dads still like to refer to as ‘good prospects.’”

Helen, 21, the third daughter, was the first to be engaged, on July 18. Her fiancé is Ensign Michael Lindsey of the United States Navy. The couple began dating four years ago when Helen was near the end of her junior year in high school and Michael was in his first year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Helen will graduate in May from the University of Maryland.

The second engagement came exactly two weeks later, on Aug. 1. Claire, 24, the second daughter, will marry Sam Kaiser. Claire has a master’s degree in education and teaches high school in the Montgomery County school system, outside Washington, D.C. Kaiser has his degree in psychology from Indiana University and currently works as a research assistant for a University of Maryland lab, studying physical and psychological causes of mental disorders. He is contemplating medical school or a graduate degree in psychology.

Katie, 25, the eldest sister, was engaged two days later on Aug. 3. Nick Stewart and Katie first became friends as undergraduates at the University of Maryland. Katie went on to attend law school at George Mason University, graduating last spring. Nick is now in his final year of law school at George Washington University.

Details, details, details
Initially, the girls had their weddings planned for July, August and October of 2010, respectively. It wasn’t until their parents visited their Maryland home that the sisters brought up the prospect of a triple wedding.

The girls wanted all of their family and friends to be able to attend all their weddings, without having to deal with the inevitable date conflicts or travel constraints that might limit them to one or two weddings. They also realized the planning could be consolidated for one single event that would be a memorable and unique occasion.

But much of the impetus driving the combined occasion came simply from the daunting prospect of one family staging three separate weddings in one summer.

“The reality is that a triple wedding is basically a very long list of logistics and details – the same list you confront with a ‘regular’ wedding, albeit on steroids,” writes Kunkel.

The ceremony will take place at Old St. Joe’s, with three separate celebrants – one for each couple. With 425 guests expected to attend, the reception will take place in the Sensenbrenner Memorial Union.

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