Carbondale natives live ups and downs of inflation through wedding planning, first child

Sep. 18—CARBONDALE — Katie Tressel sums up the path her and Michael Quinn’s lives have taken over the past 18 months or so.

“It’s kind of crazy.”

There was the wedding the Carbondale natives planned for Oct. 31. That’s the one they postponed when they learned Tressel was pregnant with their son, Nolan, who celebrated his first birthday Sept. 5.

Now they’re planning a big wedding ceremony — “The whole shebang,” Tressel said — on Oct. 21 at Constantino’s in Glenburn Twp.

But they won’t really be getting married because they already did that — quietly on Dec. 17, 2020, in nuptials they kept secret from their families before eventually fessing up.

In the meantime, Tressel, 31, travels weekly with Nolan from Philadelphia, where she’s studying at Thomas Jefferson University to be a nurse practitioner and her 28-year-old husband has a job in cyber security, to work three days a week as a travel nurse at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Oh, and they’re thinking about moving back to Northeast Pennsylvania and maybe buying a house.

“Kind of crazy,” Tressel repeated.

Through it all, they’ve experienced the ups and downs of an inflationary economy.

After postponing the wedding, Tressel said she and Quinn thought about canceling the ceremony altogether in favor of a small affair for close family and friends. They nixed that idea when they realized they would forfeit deposits they had already put down — about $17,000 total — for everything from the wedding dress to the venue to the florist.

The good news is the contracts they signed locked in their costs at 2020 levels, before inflation started taking off.

“We lucked out there in the fact we didn’t have to see the increases. Everybody was wonderful,” Tressel said. “In that sense, we beat inflation.”

Of course, a new baby brought a new set of expenses.

The couple fortunately found a friend who could watch Nolan as needed for less than traditional daycare options, but prices for things like formula and diapers have been unexpectedly high, Tressel said.

As gasoline prices escalated, Tressel also started paying attention to what she was paying at the pump as she made her weekly trip back and forth to Carbondale.

“I used to be, ‘Whatever, I’ll just get gas,” she said. “Now it’s who has the cheapest gas.”

Relocating back to Northeast Pennsylvania is still an up-in-the-air thing, and that decision probably won’t be made until after she graduates in May, she said.

“Our plan was to get married, I would finish school and then would try to have a family,” Tressel said. “Obviously, life threw us different plans, which we’re thankful for because Nolan is the best thing ever.”

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