Home Rochester MN
Rochester, Minnesota

I never thought I would lose my husband at 36 years of age, let alone have a second wedding. I never thought I could find another love like that. It just shows that you never can tell.

When Jeff and I got engaged, I had reservations about having another “big to-do” wedding. Was that appropriate? The answer to that is—yes, absolutely! We had so much to celebrate and be happy about. Jeff and I were in love and excited about our marriage. We wanted to share it with our closest friends and family, but we wanted to do it in a big way. Instead of having a wedding day, we had a wedding weekend.

Some may think we’re crazy, but a January wedding was perfect for us. On our wedding day, I awoke to freezing temperatures and light snowflakes. When it was time for our first-look photos, Bryan and I met indoors. Soon after, everyone braved the cold for outdoor pictures. It felt like we were in a dream. My soon-to-be husband was holding me tightly to protect me from getting cold, while our friends stood by our sides laughing and making jokes in an attempt to fight off the bitter cold!

Kale proposed a few days before Christmas in 2011. After a day of baking Christmas cookies, we went for a sunset horseback ride on the hobby farm where I grew up. It was a beautiful evening, so Kale suggested we take a photo at the crest of a hill. He set the timer on the camera, but instead of looking at it, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

Both Sam and I grew up in Minnesota and have been avid Twins fans our entire lives, but we didn’t meet until we were attending Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. We were both nursing majors who met by chance at a friend’s birthday party. While dating, we attended several Twins games. Some of our most memorable moments as a couple were at those games.

Typical story—boy meets girl in high school, and they fall head over heels. Fast forward 10 years, and they are happily married with beautiful wedding memories. The best part of our wedding was not perfect weather, gorgeous décor, or the location, nor was it rocking awesome bling or having Henry Roth as the bridal consultant at Mestads. The best part was the fact that, finally, we were able to commit the rest of our lives together in front of everyone we loved.

Amanda and I were married at 5 a.m. on a Wednesday in a hospital room. We had four guests, including the most important one—Amanda’s mom, who was in the ICU. We held this smaller, more intimate wedding ahead of our larger one so she could be sure to attend. Sadly, just one month before the larger event, she passed away. After some discussion, we went ahead with the other wedding. We knew Mom was looking down from heaven, and we wanted to provide our family with a happy celebration of love.