Jackson County twins share their special day
These Jackson County twins have shared everything their entire lives so it was an easy decision to share their wedding day, especially when the grooms, a pair of Charleston police officers, consider themselves to be brothers.
Mallory Ohse Anderson and Megan Ohse Sharp are identical twins. To be more specific, they're what are known as mirror-image twins, which means that right-handed Megan's hair naturally parts on the right and left-handed Mallory's hair parts naturally on the left.
The 25-year-old Fairplain natives are close and always have been, they said during their wedding rehearsal dinner Friday evening in Charleston.
"I love being a twin," Megan said. "You literally have your best friend around all the time."
"We're always together and have always been together," Mallory said.
They needed men in their lives who were understanding of their close relationship but also got along with each other. The twins found their matches in a pair of Charleston Police officers: Megan with Canden Sharp, 30, and Mallory with 32-year-old Ryan Anderson.
Canden, now a detective in the Criminal Investigation Division, patrolled the West Side with Ryan for years. When interviewed separately, both said they think of the other as a brother and that it felt right to have the weddings together.
"We work together," Ryan said of Canden. "We are brothers. We worked side by side for I don't know how many years.
"That's a big enough connection, then you throw in the mix you're both dating sisters and on top of that they're freakishly close twins."
"It takes a special kind of person to date a twin," Megan said.
"You date one, you've got to put up with the other," Canden said with a chuckle.
Megan, a radiation therapist at St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington, met Canden seven years ago through mutual friends Chipper and Stacy Fields, both of whom participated in the wedding.
Canden is also from the Fairplain area and attended Ripley High School, graduating only a few years ahead of the twins. He didn't know them then, though Megan laughed when she found a picture of him at graduation that showed her in the background.
Canden and Megan enjoy the outdoors and sprucing up rental properties.
"He's like my best friend," Megan said of Canden. "We've always clicked from day one."
Canden echoed her sentiment, calling Megan his best friend. He waited until Megan finished school in May 2012 to pop the question.
They had dated for two years when Ryan asked about Mallory, now an accountant with Arnett, Foster and Toothman in Charleston.
"He first asked me about Mallory. We'd been dating for two years. We were both kind of young, but I was like 'you're not ready,' and wouldn't let him see her for a while," Canden said of Ryan.
The couple eventually introduced Ryan, a Whitesville native, to Mallory at another officer's wedding reception. Ryan and Mallory didn't really like each other at first.
"We're very similar. We're both very fiery," Ryan said with a chuckle. "I'm seven years older than her, so our maturity level is the same."
"We had some growing up to do," Mallory said. "We were right for each other but not right then."
Two years later, Mallory accompanied Megan and Canden to the 2010 B&D Shift Luau, an annual shift party, and this time they hit it off.
"He keeps me in check and he makes me laugh," Mallory said. "I'm a fiery and high-spirited individual. He keeps me sane but still lets me be who I am. He makes me the person that I strive to be."
"She makes me better," Ryan said without hesitation. "When I come home, no matter what I've done or seen or felt, I can hug her, look in her eyes, and it brings me back."
He added that they have the same sense of humor and that he can tell her the same jokes he shares with his co-workers.
When Ryan asked Mallory to marry him in December 2012, a few months after Canden and Megan got engaged, the couples started joking about a double wedding. But the jokes turned to reality as they all saw that it made sense.
"I know sisters share a special bond, but twins? You cannot break that and you cannot be in a relationship with one unless you're willing to take on another live-in person because they're always together," Ryan said.
When he and Mallory go places with Megan, they all ride up front together in extended cab pickup, he said with a laugh. The women speak at least once every day, they said.
"So to do anything life-changing or to have a major life moment without one or the other would be wrong," he said. "It would be weird."
"Not only that, but Megan and I shared a womb together," Mallory said. "I've shared everything my whole life. I would prefer not have 'me' time because I've never had that, I would prefer it to be about 'us.'"
The couples tied the knots, separately but together, Saturday at Haddad Riverfront Park, with more than 150 friends and family, both blood and blue, on hand to witness the event. They shared a few bridesmaids and flower girls and ushers, but held separate ceremonies.
When Megan walked down the concrete ramp with their parents, Pam Lewis and Kevin Ohse, she came from the west. Mallory served as Megan's maid of honor, a duty Megan would take up a little more than a half-hour later for Mallory, who strode down the opposite ramp, also with their parents.
They changed between ceremonies. Megan changed out of her white flowered wedding gown and into a taupe lace bridesmaid's dress. Mallory shimmied out of her lace bridesmaid's dress and into her white lace gown.
Megan and Mallory accompanied each other on the hunt for the perfect gowns and helped dress each other the day of the wedding. They both planned to wear their gowns for the joint reception held at the Beni Kedem Temple in Charleston.
The couples often go places together and vacation together, so it seemed natural to honeymoon together. Ryan said he initially was against the idea but that after a few days of thinking, the notion grew on him.
"I was like, 'what am I going to do after three days?'" Ryan said. "Being out there, just the two of us, we don't know anybody, so it'll be really nice to have that connection."
Canden and Ryan share a few of the same hobbies.
"Well if you guys want to go deep-sea fishing you can do that and we'll just go to the spa," Mallory told him.
They headed for the Dominican Republic Sunday.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.