Sealing the Deal: Kyle and Lauren’s EDC Wedding
For most, EDC Las Vegas means dancing Under the Electric Sky with thousands of fellow Headliners. For some, it’s even more: It’s where couples can join hands in marriage and spend one of the most important and memorable nights of their lives with their loved one.
When it comes to the phrase “Couples that rave together stay together,” it doesn’t get much more spot-on than Kyle and Lauren. Attending his very first rave in April of 2014, Kyle’s life was immediately turned around by a beautiful girl who asked him for a photo. A little over a year later, the two are fulfilled their dream of getting married at EDC Las Vegas and spending the rest of their lives together. Here’s their heartwarming story.Lauren Kirk
How did you two meet?
Kyle: I moved to Florida about a year and a half ago. I was working at Virginia Tech, and I got a job offer in the Tampa area on a Friday, and had to start the new job that Monday. So, I grabbed a single duffle bag’s worth of my belongings, threw everything else away, and moved. I didn’t know a single person in the Tampa area, but luckily, my new coworker Tony insisted I stay with him until I found a place to live. It was him that actually took me to my very first rave, on April 19 of last year. He woke me up from a nap, yelling with excitement that Rehab was playing that night at Shephard’s—I had no idea what he was talking about, but his energy was incredibly contagious, and I was stoked.
One of the first things I noticed was two girls and how differently they were dressed. Shephard’s is a beach resort, so most of the crowd was wearing bathing suits, but these two girls were wearing armfuls of kandi, which I had never seen before. The two girls were Lauren and her best friend Dalva. They asked me to take a photo of them, and I didn’t want them to leave afterward but couldn’t form any words to make them stay. I felt like my brain was just operating on some kind of primal level, and I could hardly make sense of my thoughts.
The next day, I was so excited to meet her again that when she posted the photo I took on Instagram, I publicly posted my phone number on it asking her to message me so we could go on a date. I came to my senses and deleted it a few minutes later, but it must have worked, because we went on our first date five days later.Luckily they stayed, we traded Instagram information, and Lauren was able to explain to me what PLUR was. She gave me a piece of her kandi to keep for myself.
How did your engagement happen?
Lauren: From the start, we were both very open with how we felt about each other. We had never experienced being so comfortable and in love with someone, so it wasn’t long before we started talking about marriage. That said, I had no idea when Kyle would officially propose.
K: I asked her father’s permission first. I love her dad and wanted to ask out of respect for him. We were in a swimming pool, and Lauren and her mom had walked away to get something. I asked him, and he shook my hand and welcomed me into the family. In retrospect, a swimming pool was probably a terrible place to ask for his permission, since it would have been very easy for him to drown me if the answer was no.
L: EDC Orlando was coming up that month. It was my fourth year in a row attending, and Kyle’s first. On the first day, Kyle told me he wanted to trade kandi, which was strange because he’s always given me his as soon as he finishes making it. He then traded me a single bracelet with four words: “Will you marry me”! Through my sobbing, I somehow managed to say yes. I couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect way for him to propose.
K: Dalva had recorded a video, which blew up online very quickly. Every single time we go to a rave now, people come running up to congratulate us. It began happening only hours later at EDC Orlando. I love it—it’s proof to me that the rave community is one giant family. Can we all agree to start calling rave proposals “PLURposals”?
What do the scene and community mean to you, especially now that it’s fostered your relationship?
K: I think raving doesn’t really have a definition, and it’s the lack of definition that makes it so powerful. It shows you people—real people experiencing life, happiness and community. I think the lack of definition also makes it really hard to understand from the outside looking in, which is why it can develop a negative stigma. Watching the media talk about raving is like watching it talk about internet culture—you can’t understand internet culture by browsing Facebook, and you can’t understand raving by watching from the sidelines. For me, raving is like a cleansing in fire, a meditation through complete overstimulation. Ironically, it allows me to think clearly: Nothing grabs my attention, because everything does. It’s the only time that my brain is actually quiet and I can relax.
One night, a guy traded a piece of kandi that said, “Back to reality.” He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Remember not work, not bills, not any of that. This—this right here—is reality.” He then hugged me and walked away. I will never forget that.
L: Raving is what keeps me going; it made me who I am today. I went from an insecure, somewhat shy girl to a confident woman because of it. When I had nothing, the scene gave me something to look forward to, and later, the wonderful memories to look back on.
Since meeting Kyle at his first rave, I’ve introduced him to all the things I love about the scene. He took to it right away. It’s been tons of fun watching him experience everything for the first time. One of our favorite activities is blasting music and making kandi and costumes together. Raving together has shown me just how perfect we are for each other.
How did the idea to seal the deal in Vegas come about? Was it an easy decision?
K: I think it has always been Lauren’s dream to get married at EDC, and once I started raving with her, it became my dream, too.
L: I have always dreamed of going to EDC Las Vegas one day. I love EDC Orlando like my home, but I’ve always wanted to see where it started. Once I told my parents our plan to marry at the festival, they fully supported us—but under one condition: that they were coming with us! This was parents’ first rave.
K: I feel like I’m made a religious pilgrimage; it’s like the Mecca of raving. I’m a bit of a festival noob, but so far, I’ve never experienced anything like it. The community absolutely blows me away.
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