UMass alumni finalists in Fox 25 wedding contest

By Herb Scribner

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Courtesy Ryan McLane

Courtesy Ryan McLane

Two University of Massachusetts alumni might get a wedding to remember.

­­Ryan McLane, 1st lieutenant of the Army National Guard, and his fiancée, Taylor Lincoln, are finalists in the Fox 25 Boston Weddings to Remember contest. The two would win an all-expenses paid wedding on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) at the Copley Place in Boston.

The contest is between military couples only.

McLane and Lincoln, who live in Agawam, were at Lincoln’s parent’s house outside of Boston when they saw the commercial for the contest on Fox 25. They entered on a whim.

They couldn’t believe they were chosen as finalists.

“It was a shock,” McLane said. “We did it as a ‘why not?’ But now our story gets to be made known.”

McLane, who graduated in December 2009, met Lincoln, who graduated May 2012, while they both worked on the UMass campus. McLane worked in the dean’s office while Lincoln worked in the registrar’s office. They said it was a mutual friend that set them up.

McLane served in Afghanistan from March 2011 to March 2012, and earned a Bronze Star Medal for his efforts as a platoon leader for an infantry platoon. He submitted an entry essay for the contest while stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, because of “the hardship she has to endure, and to give her the wedding of her dreams,” he said.

Entering the contest was also a result of tough financial situations, McLane said.

Lincoln’s brother is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with a brain tumor 12 to 14 years ago, McLane said. Lincoln’s been hosting different fundraising events to help support his medical bills.

It hasn’t been enough for McLane to secure a dream wedding.

Winners of the wedding are selected by both voters and Fox 25 judges.

Voters can log onto www.militaryweddingtoremember.com starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. and watch interviews of the three remaining finalists. They are expected to rate the couples on a scale of one to three.

The judges will consider a written essay and an on-air interview when making their decisions.

The winner will be announced “on or about” Sept. 27 during Fox 25 Morning News, according to a release.

No matter the result, Lincoln is happy to have tried to get the dream wedding.

“I’m definitely proud we got this far,” Lincoln said. “It’ll still be above and beyond anything we could have imagined.”

If not selected, McLane said they still plan on having a wedding.

But if they win?

“I would be able to give Taylor the wedding of her dreams,” McLane said. “It would mean something to me to give that to her.”

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Scribner.