USC announces couple chosen to receive free wedding, planned by students

Photos provided by USC and Allen Wallace.

Newly engaged couple CJ Lake and Jon Tamasco found out Thursday night their wedding is about to be placed in the hands of USC students – and they couldn’t be happier about it. Lake and Tamasco were one of many couples who submitted their story to be considered for USC’s Love Story wedding.

Twice a year, professor Annette Hoover’s wedding planning class gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in planning a real wedding. The project covers all costs of the chosen couple’s wedding, at the sacrifice of allowing every decision – from the venue to the dress – to be chosen by the students.

The University of South Carolina is a big part of Lake and Tamasco’s story, according to the couple. The two met at Cool Beans, a coffee shop across from USC’s campus.

Lake wrote in her submission letter about the night they met: “He stalled by asking me if I wanted to take a walk around campus. He swears my eyes lit up as I accepted his offer because he didn’t know it yet, but during my time at Carolina, I was a university ambassasdor – and he had just signed up for my signature campus tour. I hate how cliché it sounds, but after that night, the rest was truly history between us.”

Tamasco later brought Lake back to the horseshoe for his proposal. “He often joked that he knew I wouldn’t accept his proposal unless it was on the Horseshoe,” wrote Lake. Tamasco said, at Thursday’s announcement, that it caught Lake a little off guard when he proposed to her on a week day, but he knew it had to be there, at that spot.

Lake said the decision to have the committee choose them means just as much to her family as it does to them. “We’re just so thankful for this gift. USC has been a huge part of my life, so having it be part of my biggest day of my life makes so much sense.”

The announcement was made at Spirit Communications Park, where the wedding itself will soon be held, October 29.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County