Rocklin couple plans for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ themed wedding

By: Megan Wood, Gold Country News Service
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Miranda-Lynn Ward and Tom Gartin’s romance is one for the storybooks. “Pride and Prejudice” to be exact. The pair met at Sunset Christian Center in Rocklin, Ward was volunteering during her senior year of High School and worked closely with Gartin, then a Sunset intern. “I liked him from the start, and word got around,” Ward said. A rule against dating during Sunset’s internships made a relationship between the two impossible, despite a church, 2,000 members strong, rooting for them. To make matters worse, Gartin was nearing the start of a new school year at Bethany College in Santa Cruz and was sure there were plenty of prospects on the horizon. “I kept telling people I wasn’t interested (in Miranda Lynn) even though, looking back I know I was all along,” Gartin said. Gartin’s pickup truck eventually got the brunt of it, via a 30-pound bag of flour, after a letter Ward had written explaining her feelings, was harshly rejected. “I basically told her I never liked her and I never would, which was such a lie,” Gartin said. “And so she floured my car, it took me washing it three times to come off. Not fun.” The following year, with Gartin at Bethany College, Ward became interested in a pastor at Sunset and began dating. “I was finally getting over Tom and not thinking about him,” Ward said. “And that’s when he started texting me.” Gartin had become the editor of the college’s newspaper and, knowing Ward would be attending in the fall, was recruiting her to join as a staff writer. Ward agreed, but under the condition that the two discuss what had happened between them so they could begin working together in a professional capacity. “It turned into this four-hour phone conversation where we worked everything out,” Ward said. “He told the truth (about his feelings) and I think we both realized we couldn’t be just friends or enemies, we needed to be together.” Seven months later, on Thanksgiving Day, the couple became engaged in the meadow behind Gartin’s Rocklin home. Ward and Gartin have often compared their relationship to Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and laugh at the similarities between the characters in the novel and themselves. “I was too proud to admit I liked her, and then when I did finally, she was interested in someone else,” Gartin said. “And some of the situations, it’s all very similar to us.” The couple is set to be married later this month at historic Empire Mine in Grass Valley in a ‘green’ meets “Pride and Prejudice” themed wedding. Quotes from the classic Austen novel will decorate the reception as will pages ripped from the book and Ward selected the musical score from the 2005 film adaptation for the wedding ceremony. As the wedding date nears, Ward and Gartin are becoming increasingly excited and anxious to begin their new life together and share their first kiss. “We made a commitment in high school to save all intimacy for marriage,” Ward said. “That includes kissing, so our kiss as husband and wife at the altar will be our first kiss period.” While it hasn’t always been easy, Gartin explained that, all intimacy aside, communication between the two had to be strong. “I couldn’t just kiss off her feelings, we had to talk them through and work it out,” Gartin said. “On the other hand, if I was feeling affectionate towards her I had to find another way to express that. It’s taught us to love each other completely and wholly.”