Erin & Luke Ravenstahl

Luke and Erin Ravenstahl were 26-year-old, newly married high school sweethearts when Pittsburgh’s mayor passed away unexpectedly in September 2006, leaving Luke—then City Council President—holding the reins to the city. Cue their new life as overnight First Couple: the Ravenstahls’ quiet life of backyard barbecues and Friday night football games at their former high school morphed into one of police escorts, 14-hour workdays, and event-filled evenings. While he’s busy keeping a city running, she’s keeping it real, still working at the local hair salon by day, and acting as his wingwoman on the circuit each night. But we all know politics require compromise: So far the mayor has had to relinquish mowing his lawn because he just “couldn’t find an hour to do it.” At press time, it’s unclear whether he’ll once again be cutting his grass—or trimming more fat out of the city’s budget (the mayoral elections took place on November 6).

A Cinematic “Will You Marry Me?”:  The movie Message in a Bottle, one of his wife’s favorites, inspired Luke to propose on a trip to New York in 2003—via a bottle planted in the sand!

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.