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Wedding Dreams Come True

These Minnesota couples won the wedding of their dreams.
Sherri Hildebrandt

Two lucky Minnesota couples won the wedding of the dreams, thanks to Bold North Cellars in Alexandria and Northern Stacks Events in Fridley, along with a host of outstanding vendors. Winners were selected from hundreds of entrants who shared their love stories and what made them deserving entrants.

MAY 15, 2021

Lauren and Ryan confronted more challenges before their wedding than many couples do in a lifetime. The two met through Bumble, and after three and a half years, Ryan popped the question; then life started to unravel. Lauren was diagnosed with severe mold poisoning that required hospitalization. They discovered that their dream venue had mold issues. A few months later, COVID hit.

Around the same time, doctors discovered a 2-inch tumor in Ryan’s spinal cord. Ryan was admitted for emergency surgery the day COVID restrictions went into place, expecting to be discharged in a week. Seven days turned into almost two months; when he went home, it was in a wheelchair. In the meantime, Lauren cancelled the purchase of their new home and moved back in with her parents to begin planning a house that was fully handicapped accessible.

During a weekend getaway, they heard about this contest. Of more than 100 entries, the sponsors were most touched by Ryan and Lauren’s story, and this past spring, Ryan was able to walk down the aisle as the pair began their new life together.

The Grand Hall at Bold North Cellars (formerly Carlos Creek Winery)
Beautiful Day DJ
The Depot Express
Hart Travel
Design Studio by Stacy
MBaumann Design Co.
Alexandria Photo Booth

Photos by Design Studio by Stacy

JUNE 5, 2021

Melissa and Brian met through a dating app in 2017. Brian specified he wanted to meet someone in a helping profession. Very sexy, Melissa thought; a master’s student in social work, she works with youth and adults with mental health issues. Brian is a lieutenant with the Columbia Heights Fire Department and a health and safety specialist for Amazon, and he had been spending all his free time caring for his mother, Leann, who had terminal cancer. His work ethic and calm, positive attitude only made Melissa love him more.

The couple canceled their July 2020 wedding because of COVID, then Leann died the following September before she could see her son marry. Melissa entered the giveaway because “my wonderful fiancé is worthy of something special” and to celebrate the community that has supported them.

Northern Stacks Events
Moede Photography
Naomi Anderson Events + Design
B'beri Desserts
Route 47 Pub & Grub
Duets Wedding Dance
Forgotten Star Brewing Co.
Gold Petal Lettering
Kathy Eager Alterations
Brides of France
The Rev. Dr. Ann Rosewall, officiant

Photos by Jeremy Moede Photography

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