Alumni couple finds love in unique place
By Alexa Abrams '13
Fate brought together Marissa Zelman '07, MAT '09, a literature loving student from Brooklyn, and Mark Haluska '11, an auto technician from Endicott. Fate, and car troubles, that is. (Photo by Chrissy Albright)
In 2008, when Marissa was in graduate school, she was upset with a local garage for not properly adding fluids during a service appointment. A friend recommended she take her business to Precision Auto in Endicott. And, that's where she met Mark.
After spotting Mark's full name on a plaque inside the shop, Marissa friended him on Facebook. Over the next few months, their relationship flourished thanks to regular oil changes and Facebook. Before the couple ever met, Marissa and Mark had each ventured separately to the Belmar on the west side of Binghamton to show their love for the local band Driftwood. Appropriately, their first date, on Jan. 25, 2009, was to the Belmar to see Driftwood. The couple married on Oct. 14, 2012, holding the reception at the Pumpelly Estate in Owego.
"It's the perfect combination of both of us," Zelman said. "A little glorified barn and a little old mansion," Haluska added.
The wedding had a true Southern Tier flavor as Tioga Gardens provided the flowers, the couple gifted jams made by a local jam maker (Karen Allen, owner of the Old Barn Hollow Locavore Food & Artisan Market) and Driftwood - the band that helped bring them together - played at their wedding. Marissa's dress was even made by a local renaissance costume maker.
For their honeymoon, they drove around the Finger Lakes with only a road atlas - no GPS or MapQuest to help them along their journey. On Valentine's Day weekend, they relived part of their honeymoon, and documented the trip using the same vintage camera that captured Mark's proposal to her two years prior to their wedding.
"We are traditional in some ways and untraditional in others," she said. "We saw each other the day of the wedding. I was the one that fixed his hair."
Marissa works as an academic counselor for Student Support Services at Binghamton University. She encouraged Mark to go back to college, and he earned a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and natural resources. He now works for Meadowlands Geothermal, a local "green" heating and cooling company that also refurbishes old buildings in Binghamton.