They established a truce at the outset in Warrensburg, Mo., but now their baseball affiliation plays out in Florida.

Kurt Schuyler grew up in Wichita, Kan., while Kelsey Donovan was a Parkway South High School graduate when the students met at the University of Central Missouri. Her friend, who dated a player on the Mules baseball team, introduced them. When they met, each found the other “easy on the eyes.” After about a month, the easy- going pitcher – a biology major and follower of the Kansas City Royals – and the future nurse, a baseball fan committed to her St. Louis Cardinals, dated exclusively.

Game travels and studies occupied Kurt, a starter in the second championship game of the NCAA Division II World Series, but Kelsey and her nursing school friend drove to nearby games. A fellow aviation student flew the fans to Kansas to root for one. Her fascination surfaced early. When she and Kurt drove to Columbia, Mo., for dinner with her parents, she said, “They could tell he was very charming and I cared a lot about him.” Within five months, he agreed their prospects would be brighter together, too.


They appreciated times together and Facetime became an “amazing” resource when apart. A challenging time, Kelsey admitted, was after her graduation when work kept her in Kansas City on alternate weekends during baseball season.

Stan the Man watches over proposal

As Kurt interviewed at dental schools across the country, the couple felt bound to a future commitment. Thus, he planned their engagement for spring 2015, so they could head together to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Fla.

“There was a long list of things to do. I knew when the moving date was and I had to decide when and where, ask the father, get the ring. I did it on opening day at the Stan Musial statue outside Busch Stadium. I wore my Royals’ jersey,” he said.”

Donned in Cardinal red, Kelsey was suspicious. A stealthy look at Kurt’s profile en route yielded no clue of a bulging pocket with a ring box, so she was surprised when he dropped to one knee with her parents and friends alongside. She happily agreed to a future contract.

The wedding fit their tight calendar. They chose a single-site ceremony and reception on the Sunday after Friday finals of his first year of dental studies, then headed to Montego Bay for a Caribbean honeymoon. Their return flight arrived in Tampa, Fla., at 2 a.m. the next week, just before his first summer class would start at 7 o’clock the same morning.

About 110 guests enjoyed their wedding at Fox Run Golf Club, Eureka, with “good music, good food. It was elegant,” Kurt said. At the ceremony, they wove a fisherman’s knot from Cardinal-red and Royal-blue ropes. Kurt wore a custom suit a shade darker than the gray of groomsmen’s formal wear, its vest trimmed in black and paisley. Colors of eggplant accented with lavender, light green and white were the bridal attendants’ complements set on a verdant backdrop of fresh spring green.


A ring worn daily by Kelsey’s mother, reset with sapphires by her own mother-in-law as a wedding keepsake, covered both the traditional “borrowed” and “old.” The bride tossed a garter with colors of baseball blue and red and wore a new bracelet with her soon-to-be initials, a gift from her mother.

The bouquet held photo charms of two grandparents recently passed, who were also pictured with another deceased grandparent on a table with a sign, “Wish you were here.” Two grandmothers saw the joyful day in person, while Kurt’s remaining grandparents in Wichita, Kan., watched the ceremony on FaceTime. The youngest guest was the 2-week-old son of the groom’s sister, one of six bridesmaids.

‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ of joy

Stepping away from a walking boot two days before their wedding, the bride danced in spite of fracturing a small ankle bone four weeks earlier. They entered to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

“Walking in was fun,” said Justin about admiring looks from relatives and close friends assembled just for them. His bride recalled, “Holding hands and laughing as we walked into the reception was the best. At that moment, you could feel everyone look at us and we just looked at each other as they introduced us as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Kurtis Schuyler.’ I had the biggest smile.”

Kurt recalled an intimate moment during their first dance to “H.O.L.Y.” by Florida Georgia Line. “A gift from my grandma was four dance lessons,” he said. “At the moment we danced, you could hear everyone notice and we just shared it with each other.” A dollar dance benefited St. Jude’s Hospital where Braelynn French, daughter of close friends, had been treated.

Their baseball theme scored. A hatbox painted with baseball stripes sat on a home plate to hold cards. A bridesmaid drew them as sports fans. Blackboards announced sentiments, directions and a signature cocktail. Kurt’s groom’s cake echoed his baseball loyalty. They shared koozies printed with their wedding date and pens made by women in Guatemala. “Love You More” atop a four-tier cake echoed a family saying. A cousin of the bride personalized photos.

The groom found the wedding short on innings. “You blink and it was over. I remember dancing a bunch.”

Kurt appreciates Kelsey’s way of always doing “little things that add up and mean a lot to me.” She sees how hard-working he is, particularly for their future together. With another year of dental school to go, they hope to pack both their red and blue baseball jerseys in a return to the Midwest.

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