This is Jesse and Natalie story as told on The Knot, why rewrite history when you can hear it directly from them. I do however want to add that Jesse and Natalie boycotted the traditional “glass clinking” at the reception and instead asked for donations that would be split between the MN ALS Association and Parkinson’s Foundation. With that simple twist of the tradition, they raised hundreds of dollars for their favorite charities!
Thanks to Toby Keith and String Cheese, Here We Are
It all started on October 18th, 2014. Earlier that year, Natalie made the big move from Duluth to begin her career at the Best Buy Corporate Campus while I was in my third year working at SPS Commerce in Minneapolis. Natalie was out with a few of her girlfriends and I was hanging out with my brother Jake and a few childhood friends. Thankfully, both groups decided to go to Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill (no longer in business, RIP) to have a few adult beverages and enjoy some live music. A few of ‘Natalie’s Crew’ and a couple of my freinds found each other and started chatting just as the live band started to wind down their set. My friends invited the crew back to my house to continue the party. Natalie has always known the importance of greeting and thanking the host and, although I was unaware of having a post-bar party that time, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Natalie reached out, shook me hand, and the rest was history.
We quickly bonded over our love for string cheese (see full story below), how great “Timber” by Ke$ha was, and the prospects of the Minnesota Wild that year. As the ‘Natalie Crew’ was starting to leave, I mustered the courage to ask for Natalie’s phone number which, I’m sure Natalie will attest to, was done in a very manly, suave way. The next morning, I tried to play it cool, waiting to reach out to Natalie, trying to hide my eagerness to get to know the beautiful gal I’d met the night before. I ended up asking Natalie if she’d like to meet again in the next couple of days, but it failed. Not once, not twice, but three times Natalie declined and was playing hard to get. Either my Irish charm started to chip away at Natalie, or she just started to feel bad for the desperate sucker who couldn’t stop texting her, but she finally accepted. Since then, if it wasn’t for work-related trips, Natalie and I haven’t been separated for more than two days at a time. Most nights you can find us binge-watching crime TV shows on Netflix, having our Wednesday-pizza-and-Survivor nights, finding a new sushi place (or Crave for the 8 millionth time) to appease Natalie’s cravings, attending a $5 movie night at the local theatre, playing softball, or attending a Wild game. We also absolutely love to travel, and eat our way around the country and world – we’ve been to both New Orleans and Dallas in 2015, Cabo San Lucas and Orlando in 2016 and London & Scotland in 2017. On the docket for 2018 is a trip to Ohio, then a multi-country cruise in early 2019!
Who knows if fate is real or if there is only one person made for each of us – I suppose we’ll never know – but how else would people from opposite ends of the state meet and fall in love despite no mutual connections? Although Natalie might be a little disappointed she didn’t end up marrying a Johnnie, I’d like to think that she is grateful for finding her Maverick!
It’s Really a Cheesy Story…
When a friend of mine wanted to continue her Saturday night at a friend’s house, I had no idea how badly I would need food. Shortly after clambering out of the taxi, I was greeted at the door of a white rambler in the heart of St. Louis Park.
“Hi,” he said, “I’m Jesse.”
“I’m Natalie,” I replied, “Nice to meet you. Do you have any food?” (I’m convinced it was right there he fell in love with me, but the verdict is still out on that.)
We walked into the kitchen and as Jesse was looking around for food (literally anything that didn’t require an egg or a pound of ground beef) I snuck into the refrigerator and found a lone string cheese. It was over that chunk of mozzarella, as I was sitting on his counter-top, that our love story began.
From our very first date (which consisted of donating turkeys to a food shelter), we bonded over giving back to the community. Both together and separately, we’ve delved into fostering dogs, raising money for ALS research, donating toys and stuffed animals during the holiday season, building homes through Habitat for Humanity, and supporting our local community through Rotary.
Jesse is the most generous person I’ve ever met. Not only with the time he donates and dedicates to others, but also the effort he puts into keeping our relationship fresh and fun. I’m so blessed to have found my partner in crime and can’t wait to marry him.
To the man who always lets me have the last brownie and is the first to pour me a “Natalie” drink, I’ll meet you at the altar.
Ceremony – Greysolon Ballroom
Reception – Greysolon Ballroom
Entertainment – Sounds Unlimited
Photo Booth – Duluth Photo Booth
Flowers – Engwalls
Reception Benefactor – MN ALS Association
Reception Benefactor – MN Parkinson’s Foundation