Kent State alumns first to tie knot at Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center


Sadie Kelly (left) shares a nice moment with friends and family members. Sadie Kelly and Nathan Sargent were married at the Kent State University Hotel on July 26, 2013. Photo by Yolanda Li.

Katy Coduto

Just more than a month after opening its doors to the public for the first time, the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center held its first major event: the wedding of Nate Sargent and Sadie Kelly, two Kent State graduates looking to get hitched not far from the school that brought them together.

Kelly, now Sadie Sargent, met her husband while working in student media at Kent State. Mr. Sargent is a 2009 graduate who worked as the advertising sales manager for the Daily Kent Stater; Mrs. Sargent is a 2010 graduate who sold classified advertisements for the Stater.

Their office romance has lasted nearly five years, leading to a wedding in one of the recent additions to downtown Kent.

Planning the wedding

Mrs. Sargent said she first wanted to get married in her home city of Pittsburgh. However, she moved to Ohio permanently last August, and said she realized planning from a distance wasn’t going to work.

“We were living here, and we didn’t want to plan from a distance,” Mrs. Sargent said. “I drive [through Kent] one day and I’m like, they’re building a hotel in Kent – I’m going to call them.”

Both said a lot of planning happened at the last minute due to the late opening of the hotel.

“Everyone was like, you booked a hotel that isn’t even built yet,” Mrs. Sargent said. “Everyone else was worried.”

She was never worried. However, Mr. Sargent said he wasn’t as confident.

“I had heartburn,” he said. “I’m the planner and worrier in the relationship, and I was worried.”

But Mr. Sargent said the hotel staff quickly put him at ease.

“Fortunately, the staff has treated us so well,” he said. “We couldn’t have asked for better people to guide us through.”

Mrs. Sargent wanted to make sure her family had a place to stay, since they were traveling from out of town. She also said that she wanted to be able to go out downtown, noting that she definitely wanted to stop by Ray’s Place for a drink after the wedding.

“We’d be in downtown, and we could have an awesome after party,” Mrs. Sargent said.

Plus, Mr. and Mrs. Sargent both agreed that the accommodations overall were perfect for them.

Mr. Sargent put it simply: “It’s a beautiful place.”

Celebrating the big day

The wedding was held Friday evening in the Conference Center’s Pizzuti Grand Ballroom. The room was decorated for the ceremony and then transformed for the reception.

Samantha Lingenfelter, an administrative clerk in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a wedding guest, said the wedding turned out just as everyone expected. Lingenfelter worked in student media with Mr. and Mrs. Sargent.

“It was perfect Sadie and Nate,” she said. “Even as Sadie was coming down the aisle, everyone was laughing.”

Tim Magaw, co-best man and former editor of the Stater, said he was happy with the wedding and its location.

“It’s a nice hotel, it’s going to be great for the city, and we’re going to break it in,” he said.

Lingenfelter agreed, saying the hotel did a good job of accommodating the more than 140 people who were in attendance.

“It fit perfectly for this size,” she said. “It was a pretty simple set up, and it served the night’s purpose.”

Lingenfelter also agreed with Mrs. Sargent about the location of the hotel and conference center, saying that being downtown was a major benefit.

“I think it’s going to be a good time tonight,” she said, talking about the group’s plans to go to several downtown bars.

Magaw said the whole experience of having the wedding in the hotel and in downtown Kent made the wedding that much more special.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “It was just really neat today. We were walking around Front Campus and taking pictures. It’s just been really, really cool.”

Congratulating the couple

Mr. and Mrs. Sargent’s bridal party made their entrance to the reception to Avicii’s “Levels.” The bride and groom came out to “We Found Love” by Rihanna. The bride’s father’s opening remarks included him waving a Pittsburgh Steelers flag at Mr. Sargent’s family, followed by the entire family pulling out flags of their own. The groom’s family, being loyal fans of the Cleveland Browns, retaliated by barking in true Dogpound-like fashion.

“You can feel the excitement,” Lingenfelter said. She said it was palpable in the earliest moments of the reception, and it lasted through the night.

While most present had Kent State ties — four in the wedding party had worked for the Stater — all present were there for the bride and groom.

“It is neat to be the first couple married here because we both have close ties to the university,” Mr. Sargent said. “I’m just excited to be married!”

Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected].