Matt Trombley stood sideways in a shopping cart just outside the Rutland Intermediate School as the love of his life, Sam Pike, shoved him from behind. Both were dressed up for the shopping cart surfing adventure and both had huge smiles.
The two just got married and this was one of their wedding pictures.
“We were taking pictures at the playground of the intermediate school because that is where we had our first kiss. The shopping cart was just there so we decided to just take a pic with it. It was just an impulse decision,” said Trombley with a smirk.
Their big day was June 1, 2013, when Trombley and Pike, both students at Castleton, made the ultimate commitment to each other after dating for seven years.
The idea of getting married was something that they began to talk about years ago. Although Trombley said it was suggested by Pike, he too was tired of always being asked about when the big day was or when they were going to tie the knot.
“I feel like I was already married at the time. I’ve been with Sam so long, I really didn’t think it was that big of a leap and I was sick of waiting,” said Trombley, a senior communication major.
Just talking to either of them for more than a few seconds, it quickly becomes evident just how happy they are. “Now that I’m married, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. To have a place with just my wife, this is something I’ve been dreaming about since we first started dating,” Trombley said.
Friends of the couple, like recent alum and WIUV radio buddy Zach Scheffler, are happy that the two got married.
“I was kind of surprised because it’s not something you hear about everyday … I was like, ‘that is awesome, glad you’re doing it,'” said Scheffler, who added that he isn’t against getting married in college, if you meet the right person.
The level of love and friendship that Pike and Trombley have for each other also filtered into a classroom recently. In professor David Blow’s feature writing class, he asked the class to write down “what makes them tick” and Trombley wrote a neat passage about how for him, it’s his wife.
Not only was Blow surprised that he was married and impressed by the response, but he said all the girls in the class immediately went into showers of “awes,” that made him blush.
Even though Trombley and Pike got married while in college, it’s not a common practice or one that everyone even entirely understands. Trombley, who gives tours at CSC to perspective students and parents, said his marriage often raises eyebrows.
“A question I usually get on my tours is ‘why did you move off campus?’ And then I say because I got married and they go, ‘how old are you now?'” said Trombley. “Some people are taken back and say ‘what did you say?'”
According to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, the average age of men getting married for the first time is 28 years old and 26 years old for women.
A request for data on Castleton students getting hitched led to an email response from the Registrar’s Office that those stats aren’t tracked. The office only gets a few requests each for students changing their last names, though that could be due to multiple factors including marriage or divorce, officials said.
But why is the Trombley-Pike marriage so unique?
Longtime Leavenworth secretary Mary Woods said two reasons come to her mind.
“There’s so much that goes into planning a wedding, especially for the bride,” she said, adding that students are also really focused on their school work and not tying the knot.
Scheffler had a few other thoughts as to why his millennial classmates might be waiting to get married. He said they might be disillusioned with the marriage idea and that people are starting to cohabitate together instead of getting married and focusing more on their careers now so that they are in a good place when the time comes to get married.
Most in the Castleton community know Chrispin White met his wife Renee while they were both students here at Castleton. He said they began dating sophomore year and had a simple answer when asked if he thought of getting married while in college.
“No!” said White, director of Community Service and Internships here at Castleton, before letting out a long string of laughs.
He also has his own thoughts on why students are waiting till after school to get married.
“There’s so much to think about as college students that marriage seems so far away,” he said.
No matter who you speak with though, all seem very supportive of those couples who decide they can’t wait to commit to married life.
“If people are ready financially and personally than go with it,” said Amanda Zuber, a Castleton student who is engaged. She said her wedding day will likely be after her fiancÃ© graduates, though it could possibly be when he was still in his last semester.
Regardless of opinions about their choice, Trombley and Pike say they are happy they got married and moved into their own small quaint apartment on Main Street in Castleton.
“We got married June 1, 2013. The next day we moved into this apartment. The day after that we went to work,” said Trombley who added both he and his wife work for the college with him doing tours and Pike working in the library.
“Our schedules don’t always match up all the time,” said Trombley, before Pike finishes his sentence. “But we make time.”
Some may say there’s too much life ahead to tackle marriage in college, but Pike and Trombley say they couldn’t be happier.
“If you find the right person, I highly recommend it,” Trombley said.