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“Love is Love” for Wykoff newlyweds


Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in Wykoff Features

Holli Bartelt (left) and Amy Petrich (right) stand with Holli’s son Blake (far left) and daughter Anna (far right) at their August 1 wedding at the Mall of America, one of the first same-sex marriages in Minnesota. Photo submitted

August 1, 2013 brought a very special couple together in marriage. Every wedding day is special, as was this one, but the day was special for more than only the couple being married. It was a special day because it was the first day that this couple could legally be married in the State of Minnesota.

Amy Petrich and Holli Bartelt met a little over two years ago through the website OKCupid.com and became friends immediately. Over time their friendship grew into a relationship which continued to grow stronger. Amy said she knew right away that Holli was the one for her. Amy told her parents from the beginning of the relationship that she was “going to marry Holli” some day.

With Holli living near Des Moines, Iowa and Amy in Wykoff, Minn. the couple were unable to spend a lot of time together but then the situation would change. Holli’s mom, Deb, was on a transplant list and she knew she would need to be in the area to be near her mom and help with things when the time came for her mom’s organ transplant so Holli moved to Decorah, Iowa, which brought Amy and Holli even closer. Holli moved to Wykoff shortly thereafter.

The time came where Holli wanted to propose to Amy but wasn’t sure how to do it. She had already spoken with Amy’s parents and in an old fashioned tradition had asked for their daughters hand in marriage. The couple had a trip to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. planned for Holli’s birthday on April 24, 2013, so Holli decided she would propose to Amy there. She contacted the Mall of America and explained her plans, and the contact person at the Mall of America helped her make her plans. The two would go have a caricature done together and Holli would propose while sitting for the caricature.

It so happened Amy and Holli were a little early and the caricaturist was not there yet. By this time Holli was nervous and hoping to not have her plan found out so she quickly decided the couple could take a photo together in the photo booth and have a picture of the moment she proposed.

So once the two got into the booth and right before the first set of four photos began, Holli proposed. The photo strip tells the story of the surprise proposal and the happiness of the couple after Amy said yes. The photo strip is a once-in-a-lifetime memory for the couple.

Following the proposal the two had a celebratory dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse called Fogo de Chao in downtown Minneapolis where they discussed their future together and began planning their wedding. The couple were hoping to be married in Minnesota if the bill passed otherwise they would have been married in Iowa.

When the bill passed in Minnesota the same Mall of America representative Holli had worked with for the proposal called them and asked if the two would be interested in getting married at the Mall of America. Being that the Mall of America had become a meaningful place to them through the proposal they were happy to accept the invitation to marry there.

Amy and Holli Petrich were united in marriage at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2013 in the Mall of America’s “Chapel of Love” being announced wife and wife, with approximately 50 close friends, family, and media present making them one of the first same sex couples to be married in the State of Minnesota.

The colors Amy and Holli chose for their wedding were orange and blue, the colors which stand for marriage equality. Amy wore a pant suit and Holli wore an ivory wedding dress for the ceremony and the two brides wore matching shoes. Holli’s children were also included in the wedding with her daughter Anna, 9, wearing a blue dress and her son, Blake, 10, sporting a gray suit with an orange vest and blue tie.

The couple handed out guest gift bags after the wedding which included a bottle of wine with a label reading Amy & Holli, with the date and place of their wedding and the words “Love is Love” on the bottom of the label. Also in the gift bags were a CD with songs from their wedding ceremony including “At Last” by Etta James which was a very fitting song in more than one way. Additionally in the bags were a bag of skittles candy, orange rose buds in a heart shaped container, and an orange and blue sucker in the shape of a flower.

Following the marriage ceremony the couple had a reception outside the Chapel of Love with 12 dozen different varieties of cupcakes from Cupcake of Minneapolis which won on the television show “Cupcake Wars” along with punch and coffee donated by Mintahoe of Minneapolis. The couple stayed at the Radisson Blu which is connected to the Mall of America for two nights in the honeymoon suite compliments of the Radisson Blu. The newlyweds are now back home getting settled after a very busy last few weeks and say they are “grateful and appreciative of everything they have received for their wedding.”

Felicia Glass-Wilcox, who owns the Chapel of Love was wonderful in providing the flowers, photography, and much more. Felicia stated that the wedding was a really good time and said she loved every minute of it” adding, “Amy and Holli handled the media very well and they were very appreciative of everything.” Erin Vande Steeg is the contact person with the Mall of America that Holli met while planning the proposal and Erin helped the couple with hotel arrangements and helped in any other way she could. Erin said that the Mall of America was very happy to work with The Chapel of Love to make arrangements for Amy and Holli’s wedding and stated that she is very happy for them and wishes them the best in their life together.

The couple states that everyone was really nice at the Mall of America and just in general. Both Holli and Amy are very easy going people who do not like to focus on the negative but say they have had a few instances in the past as far as remarks and such but hope someday that those will disappear altogether. Until that happens they will continue living as any other family by cooking meals and eating together, going to the park together, the things that families do, along with loving and supporting each other.

They hope that people will consider the old saying “treat others as you would like to be treated” if someone does not agree with their lifestyle with their main concern being the children and their families. Amy and Holli say they have been given a lot of support and it warms their hearts to know so many people care.

Both Amy and Holli would like to provide support to anyone that could use someone to talk to at any time. They stated that they don’t want anyone to feel like they are alone during such an emotional time and added, “Anyone who needs someone to talk to is welcome to contact us.” They will be there for support.

Holli and Amy are breaking ground in Fillmore County for many reasons. The two have become one of the first same sex couples to marry in Minnesota, they have been open with the media, they are giving strength to others indirectly and hope to help and support others in a more direct way in the future. The two not only have love, they have courage.

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