Editor’s note: The Evanston RoundTable is pleased to present “They Do,” a glimpse into the love stories and commitment celebrations of local readers and their relatives. Getting married? We want to hear all about your love story and share it with the RoundTable community. This is a free service of storytelling by the RoundTable.

Peter Leinenweber and Kate Sefton met at Loyola Academy High School in 2013. It was in their junior year ethics class that they discovered there was a spark between them.

Leinenweber and Sefton with Birdie. Credit: Christy Tyler

Even though the two didn’t start officially dating until January 2019, “there was clearly some chemistry there in high school,” said Leinenweber. 

Both are 2014 graduates of Loyola Academy. He is a son of Martha and Tom Leinenweber, of Evanston. She is the daughter of Joe and Joan Sefton, of Wisconsin and Florida, and formerly of Wilmette. 

The two reconnected during Thanksgiving break in 2018. Their official first date was the night Peter drove home from college for the holiday weekend (Leinenweber graduated from Loras College in 2019). “We pretty much dated every single day after that until today!” said Sefton.

The two were exclusive immediately and on their third date, Leinenweber announced, “‘I’m going to marry you,’ even though he hadn’t told me he loved me,” Sefton recalled.

“I was right!” Leinenweber chimed in after his bride described his early marriage declaration. “I knew on the Saturday of Thanksgiving,” he said. “We sat and talked for eight or nine hours without phones or TV. I knew then. I couldn’t wait to get back from school to be with her.”

Kate Sefton and Peter Leinenweber. Credit: Christy Tyler

Sefton is a 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota.

During the early months of their courtship, the pair continued to build on their friendship and commitment to each other. Each was living with their parents at the time and they would meet downtown after work, have dinner and take the train home together.

Sefton is currently a media planner for PHD Media and Leinenweber works as a golf teaching professional at The Golf Practice. They fell easily into love and life together. “When we started dating, it felt like we’d already been together for months or years,” Leinenweber said.

Like many who looked for ways to keep busy during the pandemic, the couple would often take long walks.

It was along the lakefront path around Belmont Harbor that Leinenweber proposed on Friday, April 30, 2021. At the time, he didn’t work on Fridays and was hanging around Sefton’s apartment while she worked remotely. “He was pacing and acting weird the whole day,” she recalled. “We had taken so many long walks around the lake during COVID, so for him to ask me to take a walk that day was very normal.”

Leinenweber proposed to Sefton on the harbor path while their friend Maggi Ibis took pictures from a hiding spot. 

While both sets of parents were in on the proposal plans, all four claimed to be busy when the newly engaged couple wanted to drive to Evanston to share their news. Satisfied with the option of stopping by Peter’s parents’ home to see his sister Annie, the couple were surprised to find a huge engagement party waiting for them. “I was wearing a pair of dirty jeans at the time,” said Sefton. “Not my best fashion day.” 

The happy couple on their wedding day. Credit: Christy Tyler

Leinenweber proposed with a ring using the diamond from Sefton’s mother’s engagement ring, bringing a true sense of family into their future. Lambrecht’s Jewelers in Wilmette designed rings for both the bride and groom.

The couple (now both 26) were married Sept. 24 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Wilmette, with the Rev. Wayne Watts officiating in front of 200 guests. A reception followed at Westmoreland Country Club, with dinner and dancing. The Bluewater Kings band kept the dance floor hopping. “It was packed all night,” said Kate. 

Following the wedding, the couple spent time in Amelia Island, Florida, with an unexpected guest: Hurricane Ian – they said the storm was the unwanted “third wheel” on their honeymoon. Plans for a trip to France are in the works for the couple’s first anniversary.

For this happy pair, love hit them early and didn’t let up. “There were so many moments in the last seven years where we just knew we would be together,” said Sefton.

The couple now reside in Bucktown with their golden retriever puppy, Birdie.

Please contact us if you have a wedding announcement you’d like to share, and include your name, the name of your partner and an email address. We’ll be in touch to spread the love.

Elizabeth Handler Krupkin

Elizabeth Handler Krupkin covers the local wedding scene for the Evanston RoundTable. Elizabeth is a lifelong Evanston resident and ETHS grad. When she is not teaching preschool you can find her running...

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