Nathan Blackwell, '15, and Melaina Dressing, '15, crossed paths during their first year at the Mount, and the rest is MSJ history.

bride and groom smiling and dancing

Accepting students from all walks of life through its doors, Mount St. Joseph University takes pride in creating a positive campus climate where everyone feels welcome, and in this case, it led to “I do.” Meeting in 2011, Melaina and Nathan realized how much they had in common, despite coming from different cities and different backgrounds.

Melaina chose the Mount because it was close enough to home, but far enough away that she had her own space, and she really liked the environment. After going on a tour, Melaina immediately knew the Mount was her school of choice. Simultaneously, Nathan went to Urbana his freshman year of college, and decided to transfer with his friend John, who had both heard good things about the Mount, and decided to pursue their education there.

“The people seemed so friendly and the Art & Design Department seemed really great. One of the best choices of my life!” she exclaims.

After exchanging numbers one night at a gathering, the two became inseparable. “We talked about our future together after college pretty early on,” says Melaina. “I knew that Nathan was the one by the end of freshman year; we'd already accomplished so much together in that short amount of time, and I couldn't picture my life without him.”

And, what they accomplished together is nothing short of good fun. They participated in intramural sports together, and Melaina sang the National Anthem at Nathan’s wrestling and football games. They attended the spring formal freshman year, and they were even able to have a few classes together over the years. They had a lot of fun at the Mount, and met lots of great people over their four years there.

“Meeting Nathan the first week of college is something I look back on all the time and makes me so incredibly happy; our story is so amazing,” says Melaina. “I believe that God puts people and things in our life for a reason and I know He put him in my life that first weekend of college. College would have been a lot different had it not been for him, and I can't imagine it any other way.”

After graduation, Melaina and Nathan moved into their first home in West Jefferson, Ohio, where she began her first full-time graphic design position where she is currently still employed today, and Nathan found his calling as a lineman mechanic.  Their first house was a pretty intense fixer-upper, and luckily Nathan is extremely handy so was able to do almost all of it himself.

On November of 2017, Nathan proposed at a decoy birthday party for Melaina, followed by a beautiful barn wedding in September of 2018. They moved into a new home in 2020, and are now due with their first child this October.

Looking back at their years together, they believe it is all thanks to taking a chance at the Mount and all of the opportunities life has brought them since then.

“Without the Mount, we may have never met,” says Melaina. “We both believe in God's plan and know that He brought us both to MSJ for a reason and are so thankful to have met there. We have so many amazing memories from the Mount and they were some of the best years of our lives. From all the parties, school activities, and friendships made, we are so thankful for MSJ!”

Interested in hosting your wedding at the beautiful Mater Dei Chapel? Visit the Mater Dei Chapel page to submit a wedding inquiry form.