A chance encounter:

It all started with an online dating profile titled “Must Love Phish,” a label inspired by Kara DiStefano’s favorite band and a clever variation of the 2005 American ‘rom-com.’ But after one particularly toxic relationship, the longtime FirstBank customer and award-winning nanny was slowly starting to give up on romance.

She was hovering over the “delete account” button, when an unexpected message popped up from a warm and charming environmental consultant named Taylor Strickland. He recognized early on that the two had a lot in common, and it was more than just their affinity for the same music.

“I was getting horrible messages from guys online, and never responded to any of them. That changed when Taylor reached out. The best things happen when you’re not looking for it,” said Kara.

The two agreed to meet for a drink, and what evolved were the key ingredients in most great love stories – unexpected chemistry and genuine adoration for one another. They spent the next several months traveling North America, going from one music festival to the next.

The proposal:

Taylor finally mustered up the courage to propose to his dream girl. He had the ring, an antique sapphire stone, and knew it had to be on top of Copper Mountain, a sentimental and favorite place of theirs to ski. The plan was set. Almost.

The day he planned to ask for Kara’s hand in marriage, high winds foiled his mountain top proposal. Then, a serendipitous silver lining: the couple discovered a FirstBank cube, meaning they won a special edition Never Summer snowboard via FirstBank’s Capture the Cube contest. And that’s when a eureka moment entered Taylor’s mind.

“Kara asked me to go to the FirstBank tent to make sure they had the snowboard in her size, and I thought PERFECT!,” said Taylor. “This gave me all the time to set up the whole proposal. I spoke to the FirstBank rep and told her my plan, gave her my phone to record the proposal and waited for Kara.”

Here’s what happened next:

Their happily ever after:

When FirstBank representatives got wind of their engagement, we decided to do something special for the happy couple and longtime customers. FirstBank gifted them $1,000 to use towards the costs of their wedding. What was it used for? A designer gown for Kara’s dream wedding.

The two married June 4, 2016, proving that even though there’s plenty of fish, only two “Phish” fans are really meant-to-be.


Kara and Taylor are happily married and have welcomed a baby girl to the Phish family.

Photo by Rhema Faith Photography

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