Share this article

print logo

A long-distance love affair

To get ready for her first date with her future husband, Lauren Braunschweiger threw on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and headed out the door without a second thought.

To get ready for his first date with his future wife, Christopher Jenkins agonized over what to wear, what to say, what music to play on his car radio and a thousand other little details.

But when the two of them settled into their seats at Encore in the Theatre District, ostensibly to watch a college football game, Jenkins’ nerves calmed and the conversation started flowing. By the time the University of Miami beat Georgia Tech later that evening, their fate was pretty much sealed.

“That was when we hit it off,” said Lauren Jenkins, who married her former co-worker in Rochester’s Church of the Blessed Sacrament on June 14. “We always laugh about it.”

The pair met while working for the Buffalo Bills, where Lauren landed an administrative assistant job straight out of SUNY Oneonta and where Christopher continues to work as the team’s media relations director. As two of the few Bills employees their age who lived in downtown Buffalo and commuted to Orchard Park for work, they spent lots of time hanging out in the city and eventually meeting one another’s friends and families.

“My family fell in love with him,” Lauren said. “So I obviously had to.”

When Lauren moved to New York City for a marketing job, Christopher found plenty of excuses to visit.

“His mom always talked about how she never saw him so much. He’s from New Jersey. So he would always tell me he was going to visit his family or something and if I was around he’d stop by or whatever,” Lauren said. “We used to have Netflix dates and stuff like that. Like, OK, ready, you press play at the same time and we’ll watch a movie together.”

But after two years, it became clear that brief visits and synchronized Netflix dates weren’t going to cut it. So Lauren searched for a job closer to Buffalo and landed a position with the East Aurora marketing firm Cenergy Communications. Last February, Christopher whisked Lauren away to Bellhurst Castle in Geneva for a weekend trip – no doubt obsessing over every last detail as he had before that first date – and proposed to her in front of a crackling fireplace as the staff took photographs.

“I have no idea what he said or how he asked, but I just know somewhere in there he asked me to marry him because I just started crying right away,” she said. “It was the perfect engagement.”

And so was the wedding, which, according to Lauren, went off without a hitch. As a surprise to Christopher, Lauren recorded her own version of the Calling’s “Wherever You Will Go” and presented it to him at the wedding.

The bride’s parents are Steven and Mary Jo Braunschweiger of Rochester. The bridegroom’s parents are Garry and Leslie Jenkins of South Orange, N.J. The bride is a graduate of Our Lady of Mercy High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing from SUNY Oneonta. The groom is a graduate of Newark Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

After a honeymoon to the Riviera Maya in Mexico, the pair is settling into their busy lives together in Buffalo. With the football season underway and Lauren’s travel-heavy job, the two don’t get to see each other quite as much as they’d like.

“But we make it work,” Lauren said. “He’s my best friend, so it works out.”

– Colin Dabkowski