The first time Kristina Littlefield met Glen Sanford, he convinced her to buy a pirate’s costume with a burgundy corset and green-and-brown skirt.
They were at the Maryland Renaissance Festival with a group of mutual friends in September 2007, and Sanford had come in costume that included “a big, foppish hat with a feather in it.”
It’s more fun, he told Littlefield, when you look the part. The two paired off for much of the day, laughing as they wandered through the fair.
“I thought he was hot,” Littlefield recalls. “And he was funny. He made me laugh. He was just, like, the perfect guy.”
But it didn’t matter — Littlefield was in the early stages of a divorce and in no position to start a new relationship.
They saw each other at parties and dinners over the next few months. Sanford was attracted to Littlefield but never let on. “She’s out of my league,” he remembers thinking. “I have no chance with that.”
Sanford, who works in technology, couldn’t remember the last time he had a girlfriend and just assumed he’d be a bachelor forever. He’d always been an independent guy, and it seemed that most women he met didn’t understand his interest in fantasy games.
By late 2008, they’d begun meeting up on their own occasionally, but Sanford still didn’t make a move. He asked her to lunch in Annapolis one day, and while they sat across the table from each other, something seemed to spark. After they finished, Sanford followed Littlefield into a shoe store where she suddenly kissed him.
“It was kind of a spontaneous thing,” she recalls. “Once we started talking and flirting, I was thinking, ‘You know, I really like this guy. I really think something could happen.’ So I wanted to explore that possibility. And it was good!”
“Woohoo!” Sanford remembers thinking. “Apparently I do have a chance!”
They began to see each other regularly, but Littlefield’s guard was still up.
“I wasn’t sure if I was ready. We were having a lot of fun and I had feelings for him, but I was afraid of being disappointed,” she says. But over time, she adds, “he really made me feel comfortable in the fact that he’s not going to hurt me. And he never really had to say it. I felt it.”
And Sanford found himself happily relinquishing some of his independence as they spent time together. She learned how frequently he forgot to eat and began cooking all his meals for him.
“She kept my attention,” he says. “And she understands me. She didn’t question my geekiness. I’m one of those guys who will stop and spend time online gaming. She didn’t have a problem with that. She seemed to understand it.”
By 2010 they decided to move in together, mingling his dog with her two cats. But they were up front about the fact that it was meant to be a long-term cohabitation. Both had qualms about marriage — she questioned the institution after her divorce, and he “saw no reason for marriage. I’d seen what other marriages did to people,” he says.
But as the months ticked by, he began to change his mind. They took care of each other, and living together felt easy and natural. He told her he wanted to get married. “Something clicked,” he says. “I think it was just not wanting her to get away.”
Once he brought it up, Littlefield’s reservations about marriage melted. “It really surprised me, but made me think, ‘Yes! Absolutely. I could see myself marrying this guy,” says Littlefield, now 37. “I don’t have to be somebody that I’m not. And to me, that’s important.”
On Christmas morning 2010, Sanford proposed in their home just as snow began falling outside.
Immediately, they knew they would have a Renaissance-themed wedding in honor of their first meeting. By then they were season-ticket holders for the Maryland Renaissance Festival and had multiple costumes in rotation.
The couple spent more than 20 months planning their Sept. 8 wedding at Chase Court in Baltimore. Littlefield wore a custom-made, forest green period gown with a corset top and flowing cape. Sanford donned tall boots and a white shirt with billowing sleeves under a black tunic.
The two were married in a courtyard surrounded by stone walls. Tony Guida — a.k.a. Cardinal Sinnius Vice — served as the officiant, reading the ceremony in Old English. The rings were delivered to the arm of the best man by a trained hawk. Guests, most of whom were also in costume, were given velvet pouches with chocolate coins.
“He’s my knight in shining armor,” Littlefield said before the wedding. “And he’s my best friend.”