By Sheri Duff
Who knew that a profile on Match.com, a Like on the Steve Harvey Show’s Facebook page, and a little fate would bring such happiness to a Shelburne couple this year; but it did. Introduced by the popular online dating service, longtime Shelburne resident Kathleen Caraher met Doug Grant for a first date at the Lake Mansfield Trout Club (where he is a chef) nearly three years ago.
Both divorcees, “It only took that first date in Stowe for me to realize he was the man for me,” Kathleen shared. It wasn’t long before Doug returned the longtime Shelburne Community School art teacher’s feelings. As the relationship flourished, the pair began making plans for the future.
But before the couple could walk down the aisle, Kathleen had scheduled knee replacement surgery. Following the successful operation Kathleen was on bed rest for eight weeks.
“During my recovery, I started watching the Steve Harvey Show on a regularly basis. Not only did I find Steve to be extremely entertaining, I also learned that my future mother-in-law enjoyed watching the show,” Kathleen explained. “I eventually became addicted to the show and Liked the show’s Facebook page. While checking my Facebook page a few days later, I noticed a request from the show for couples who found true love a second time around to tell their story. Because I thought nothing would become of it, I shared ours.”
A week later the phone rang. “I received a call from the Steve Harvey Show asking if we would represent Vermont and get married on the show with 49 other couples,” Kathleen recounted. “It was crazy exciting, right?”
The shock and excitement the couple felt was tempered by Doug’s mother’s illness and hospitalization. “We were torn about accepting the offer to go to Chicago and get married on TV because Shirley [Doug’s mom] was so ill,” Kathleen offered. “Fortunately I am a true believer that things in the universe happen for a reason. This was all planned out. Shirley liked the Steve Harvey Show, and she wanted us married. She was in the process of dying, and I felt this would ease her passing,” Kathleen continued, “and Doug and I wanted to be married.”
A whirlwind trip to Chicago ensued. Grooms were supplied with tuxedos while brides chose wedding dresses, shoes, flowers and received makeup for the wedding ceremony taped on Jan. 30. The segment, aired nationally on Feb. 10, was planned as Harvey’s celebration of love for Valentine’s Day.
Ordained in the state of Illinois just for the occasion, Harvey asked the couples to say the wedding vows, to place the rings on each other’s fingers, and pronounced the couples man and wife.
“We had the most beautiful fairytale wedding with 49 other couples, one from every state, and we all got what we wanted – to be married,” Kathleen said dreamily. “Plus we were given an all-expenses paid five-day honeymoon that we’ve yet to plan. It was a wonderful experience. We’re still in touch with many of the couples we met there.”
“When we returned as Mr. and Mrs. Grant, I know Shirley was happy,” she shared. “I am so sad to say that she passed away about a month after our wedding. But I am so glad we were able to fulfill one of her wishes.”
Commuting between houses in Stowe and Shelburne, the happy couple has a wish of their own. “We dream of owning a little café one day,” Kathleen offered. “We would call it Mimi’s, after Doug’s mom. It seems right.”
And so does this. And they lived happily ever after.