Every week on CST we bring up examples of how much the Orange & Blue mean our supporters. We encountered a terrific representation of how our local club played an important part in the life of two FC Cincinnati supporters and how those two included their fandom on their special day.
Josh and Kristen Leis both attended Lakota West High School, but because Kristen was a year ahead, they didn’t often interact on a daily basis. Kristen played on the soccer team and enjoyed the USWNT run in the 90s, but really started to understand the love of the sport when she studied abroad in Dortmund, Germany. In just a couple months, Kristen saw firsthand the passion of the Bundesliga and became a Dortmund supporter. Around the same time, Josh was also exposed to the Bundesliga through his brother in Berlin. He aligned with Hertha BSC and would wake up early on weekends to catch the games.
A year after high school, she reconnected with Josh on Facebook. After chatting for a bit, they decided to go on a date. Just in case the date went poorly, a friend was standing by to bail Kristen out with a call. That call wasn’t needed.
Josh and Kristen had been dating for a few years when FC Cincinnati launched. They first heard about the club after the second game. FC Cincinnati showed up on the local news, and they grabbed a group of soccer-loving friends and planned to attend the 3rd match. It was cold and rainy, but they showed up anyway along with 14,000 others. Josh fell in love with FCC immediately, but it took a few more matches to gain Kristen’s loyalty. They could not believe the authentic atmosphere at the games. The Bailey was genuine and excited, and it had the look and feel of their German experiences. Having seen the real thing in Europe, they were not going to buy into any inauthentic. They went to almost every match the rest of the season and then became season ticket holders.
In the middle of that first season, Josh proposed. Kristen had her suspicions as they embarked on a trip to Chicago so she brought some nice clothes. She never got to prepare for the moment, as Josh proposed to her as Kristen was in an FCC t-shirt at the Buckingham Fountain. Ironically, he was wearing a “Mitch Says No” shirt. Kristen said yes and soon it was posted online so the FC Cincinnati family could celebrate with them.
The idea for an FC Cincinnati themed wedding started a joke. Josh blurted out Orange & Blue when asked about wedding colors. Kristen blew the suggestion off by commenting that he may have a problem. A few days later, the seed had grown and she started to embrace the idea. The wedding evolved and more and more FC Cincinnati was included in the festivities. The team was still new but had already captured their hearts.
October 14, 2017, the final regular season match day of FC Cincinnati’s second season, was set as the wedding day. The groomsmen sported navy tuxes and orange ties, and the bridesmaids wore blue dresses and orange shawls. They were surrounded by orange flowers as they exchanged their vows. Then came the party! Josh and Kristen entered the reception to the FCC intro theme “Gotta Love It.” Orange and blue streamers were shot off to commemorate both the wedding and the fallen at Louisville. The entire bridal party was given scarfs, and the guests received orange and blue dipped Oreos as wedding favors. A fantastic finishing touch to a beautiful love story.
The only ideas thrown out were smoke bombs and an appearance from the Knights of the Bailey on the drums. It turns out, some ideas may just be a little too crazy.