In addition to his daughter, Meadows has a son, Blake, with his wife, Debbie Meadows.
On June 4, Kocher posted a photo showing her in a wedding dress alongside her husband. The caption of the photo read, “The start of forever.” Kocher confirms that she married Ian Kocher on May 31 in her bio section on her profile.
The most recent publicly visible post on Kocher’s Facebook page is a fundraiser that the chief of staff’s daughter was running for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. On her page, Kocher says she moved to Atlanta in 2015.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ’70 or So’ Guests Were Present at Meadows’ Daughter’s ‘Lavish Wedding’; the Venue Owner Says the Event Complied With State Guidelines
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on October 8 that Kocher married her husband in a “lavish wedding” in the city that violated city guidelines on gatherings. At the time, gatherings of more than 10 people were banned. The Journal-Constitution reported that “70 or so guests” were present at the wedding, including Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.
The wedding took place at the Biltmore Ballroom, which is owned by a company named Novare Events, in the midtown area of Atlanta. The Journal-Constitution reported that Meadows walked his daughter down the aisle “through a path of soft white flower petals.” The report says there were 11 bridesmaids and eight groomsmen in the wedding ceremony.
In a statement, the president of Novare Events, Myrna Antar, told Heavy:
As a point of clarification, prior to allowing the subject event to go forward, Novare Events verified that it would be acting lawfully and in compliance with the Governor’s Order.
It is disheartening that some media outlets have irresponsibly misrepresented the contents of the Governor’s Orders on this and other occasions. Such misrepresentations are a disservice to businesses hit hardest by the pandemic; businesses that are taking extraordinary measures to fully comply with the guidelines (and, like Novare Events, exceeding the sanitation and distancing measures required).
These misrepresentations unnecessarily incite the public, portray responsible and law abiding business owners in a negative light, and discourage the public from supporting such businesses. We would encourage anyone who has concerns about a company’s compliance with an Executive Order to actually read the ENTIRE Order before rushing to judgment based upon a reporter’s suggestions of impropriety.
In this particular instance, contrary to some reports, the Order in effect at the time of the subject event specifically allowed events like this one, stating that “groups of more than ten (10) people are permitted if their …grouping is the result of being spread across more than one Single Location.” The subject event met those criteria.
To add clarity, a “Single Location” is later defined in the Order to refer to a “space” where social distancing cannot be accomplished. With respect to events like this one, the definition of the “space” that constitutes a “Single Location” is further clarified as being an area of 300 square feet. The Order specifically provides that in determining the number of people who are permitted to gather at an event like the subject event, 10 persons per every 300 sq. feet would be allowed (or 30 sq. ft. per person).
And while we do not comment on client’s events, we can confirm that the entire 16,000 square feet of the space was reserved for this small wedding – greatly exceeding the per person square footage allowed by the Order. As clarified by a later Order, private events at event venues were bound by the same requirements as restaurant and dining facilities and we further confirm that Novare Events exceeded the measures required.
2. Prior to Proposing to Kocher, Her Husband Spent 2 Days Along With Mark Meadows in Washington, D.C.
On the couple’s The Knot page, Kocher said she met her husband in December 2017. Kocher said that the couple met on the dating app Hinge. Shortly after meeting, Kocher said her husband joined her family for a Christmas Eve religious service and dinner. Kocher wrote, “He even made it through being left alone with them for a short time at dinner.”
Kocher said that the couple began pre-engagement counseling in January 2019. In May of that year, Kocher said her husband spent two days alone with Meadows in Washington, D.C. Kocher wrote on the wedding page, “His 2 days alone with my dad, and the giddy smile on Ian’s face gave me a clue that things were moving forward.” Kocher said that her husband proposed to her in July 2020 during a fishing trip in North Carolina. The couple honeymooned on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
In his Facebook bio section, Ian Kocher wrote, “Your friendly ambassador to the world of firearms.” Ian Kocher maintains a blog where he reviews guns. He also has an account with the gaming streaming platform Twitch.
On his Twitter profile, Ian Kocher said, “May your gun be with you always.” He described himself as a “West Virginian livin’ in Georgia” and a supporter of the Libertarian Party. According to his LinkedIn page, Ian Kocher works as a technician for the telecom company Intelset General Corporation.
3. Meadows Has Called His Children His ‘Greatest Blessing’ & a ‘Gift From God’
Being a dad to Blake and Haley, and a grandad to Autumn, has been my greatest blessing. Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there! pic.twitter.com/Nsfd753nga
— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) June 17, 2018
Meadows paid tribute to his children on Twitter twice, on Father’s Day in 2019 and 2018. Meadows tweeted in 2019, “For me personally, there’s been no greater joy than being a father to my two children Blake and Haley, and a grandad to my granddaughter Autumn. They’re a gift from the Lord.”
A year earlier, Meadows called his children his “greatest blessing.”
4. Kocher Graduated From Lee University in Tennessee in 2015
According to Kocher’s LinkedIn page, she works as a benefits consultant in Atlanta with insurance giant AON. Kocher has been in the role since June 2015. In addition to her role in insurance, Kocher works as a wedding planner with a business named Today and Forever Events in Atlanta, according to LinkedIn. She worked as an intern for her father when he was a congressman. The Smokey Mountain News reported in October 2012 that Kocher took a break from college to go “door-to-door” campaigning for her father’s congressional campaign.
Kocher graduated from Lee University, a private Christian university in Cleveland, Tennessee, in 2015 with a bachelor of science in business administration and management. The Smokey Mountain News reported that Blake Meadows was a student a Patrick Henry College, a private Christian university in Virginia.
5. A Creationist Group Claimed That Kocher Found the Bones of a 100-Foot Dinosaur in Colorado at 9 Years Old
In October 2019, The New Yorker reported that Meadows and his wife brought their homeschooled children on a creationist dinosaur fossil digging excavation in Utah and Colorado in 2002 known as Dragon’s Den Dig. The other attendees of the trip were other homeschooled children. According to the Dragon’s Den Dig organizers, Kocher uncovered the claws of a “100-foot Sauropod, presently believed to be of the rare Ultrasaurus variety.” At the time, Kocher was 9 years old.
The discovery was turned into a movie titled Raising the Allosaur: The True Story of a Rare Dinosaur and the Home Schoolers Who Found It. The New Yorker quotes Meadows in the documentary as saying, “We were working towards the end of the day here, just trying to get one last bit of rock out before, you know, before we finished. All of a sudden, we spotted a little bit of bone, we thought—and we found a claw.” Fellow creationist paleontologist Joe Taylor is quoted in the article as saying that the claim that Kocher discovered “major bones” was “utterly ridiculous.”