Sara Weidner Hansen ’18 and Shane Hansen ’18 and their pug, Sokka, reside in Bethlehem. (photo by Grace Oddo)

At first, Sara Weidner ’18, of Leesport, Berks County, said she swore off dating in college.

“I wanted to focus on my major and academics,” she said. “I wasn’t into the dating scene at all.”

Both she and Shane Hansen ’18 had arrived on campus early for marching band camp, and a mutual friend suggested they all sit together for lunch.

“We were a bunch of freshman flamingoes trying to stick together,” Hansen said. “I thought she was so pretty. I wanted to learn more about her.”

Although Weidner turned him down initially, after some inspirational Facebook quotes and a bit of soul-searching, she agreed to have him over for a movie night.

“He had a depth to him that no one else had,” she said. “From the get-go, I fell in love with his intellect and that I could learn new things from him every day.”

Weidner and Hansen said they could not be more different. Weidner, an avid reader and writer, got a degree in English, and Hansen a degree in physics and math.

Now, she spends her days in an office at Muhlenberg College as the assistant director of career coaching and education, and he spends his in a lab at Menarini Silicon Biosystems as an engineer.

“We have a total left-brain, right-brain relationship,” Hansen said. “But we complement each other’s differences.”

The one thing unwavering between them, however, is their devotion and commitment to one another.

After being engaged for 2 1/2 years, they were married at the Glasbern Inn in October 2023, against a backdrop of stunning fall foliage.

Today, they reside in Bethlehem with their pug, Sokka, a recent addition who enjoys tearing up toys and finishing near-empty peanut butter jars.

He joined them on their recent honeymoon trip to the Finger Lakes, sitting contentedly in a backpack as they hiked through waterfalls and rolling hills.

Although traveling is exciting, they said they find the most joy when they stick close to home.

“We’re always trying to go out and meet new friends,” Weidner said. “Our goal is to keep things active and lively for ourselves.”

Excerpted from the article “Living in the Lehigh Valley: These couples’ love stories begin right here” by Grace Oddo, which appeared in on February 14, 2024