While some WE Fest attendees were wondering how or if Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton would address their recent "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," one couple was celebrating their 20th anniversary where they said their vows.
On Aug. 5, 1995, Jane and Glen Hines exchanged vows under a tree near the ranch house in the midst of WE Fest. While Little Texas was playing in the background, the newlyweds, she in a white wedding dress and a white hat and he in dark pants and a long-sleeve white shirt, put on a show of their own.
After they exchanged vows, music fans asked to have their pictures taken with the newlyweds. Twenty years later, they created the same buzz. Wearing T-shirts that proudly stated, "Married at WE Fest" with pictures from their wedding on the front and back, random strangers came up to congratulate them. One woman came up to show off her Alive in '95 mug.
"We're clowns. What can I say," said Jane. "The older you get, the braver you get."
"We're getting the crowd cranked up," Glen said.
Twenty years ago they just wanted a simple wedding with their friends.
So, why get married at WE Fest?
"I didn't know any better. He did," Jane said, gesturing to her husband.
"It didn't cost us anything," Glen said.
That and the WE Fest staff was willing to work with the couple to make their special day memorable. The staff worked with them on catering the event, decorated the tree they were married under, gave them VIP seats and invited them onstage.
The weather Friday was similar to what it was like 20 years ago.
"It was hot. We were lucky it didn't rain or storm," Jane said.
"I thought it was great. We had a lot of fun. It's the same group of people ever since," said Kevin Hines, Glen's son from his first marriage.
Kevin took his dad to his first WE Fest in 1992 and met his wife, Susi, there. The couple from the Twin Cities was sitting with Glen and Jane on Friday afternoon.
Their experience that day made them determined to return every WE Fest since. The cowboy hat Glen wore Friday has the pins from all of the shows.
The hat Jane wore Friday was the same she wore 20 years ago.
While they still attend the concerts, their experience is different 20 years later.
"It means we can't move as fast as we used to. Especially up that hill," Jane said, pointing to the path from the concert bowl to the ranch house. "We can't stay as late. We can't close the shows. We didn't think anything of it two years ago."
Even if they can't stay for the whole headlining set—Miranda Lambert was scheduled to start at 10:45—they'll drive back from Moorhead again today to see another day of music.
While they love country music, it's the space at Soo Pass Ranch that's just as meaningful.
"Every year we come back to say hi to our tree," Jane said.
Their song was "Keeper of the Stars"
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Less than two weeks after Daniel Hemric proposed to Kenzie Ruston, they will compete against each other on the track.
Hemric, who regularly runs in the Camping World Truck Series, will drive in Friday’s K&N Pro Series East race at Watkins Glen International. Ruston, a regular in the series, also is entered.
They’ve raced against each other before – about 20 times in Super Late Models and two previous times this season in the K&N Series – but that’s nothing compared to what Hemric experienced on the trip to St. Lucia to propose to Ruston, his girlfriend of six years.
Hemric packed the engagement ring in his suitcase. As they waited on luggage after landing, her bag arrived and his didn’t. More bags came. His was not among those.
Finally, it arrived. The last bag.
“I’ve never been so relieved,’’ Hemric said.
Then came the proposal July 25 on the beach.
“I started getting down on one knee and I’ve never had a more nerve-racking experience in my life,’’ he said.
“Her reaction was priceless and it meant the world to me how excited she was and how shocked she still was whether she knew (about the proposal) or not.’’
Ruston admits she had a clue. She knew Hemric had gotten a stone from the ring of Ruston’s grandmother to put in Ruston’s ring.
“I knew it was coming, and I still cried,’’ Ruston said. “It was very sweet and very personal.’’
As they return to racing, neither sees competing against each other as a big deal. After all, they met while racing Legends Cars in different divisions.
“In more ways than others, we actually help each other,’’ Ruston said. “We both understand racing. We do spend a lot of time apart, but I feel like racing is what brought us together. Racing is a big part of our lives.’’
Said Hemric: “I can’t imagine finding anyone better. I know she’s the one for me and I’m excited to spend the rest of my life with.’’
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Morgan Schweighoefer and Joshua White's love story began after they both responded to a call for a minor traffic accident.
White is an officer with the Moreland Hills Police Department. Schweighoefer was then an officer in neighboring Bentleyville and now works as a Deputy Clerk of Council in Aurora. They met at the accident scene on a snowy winter day in February 2013.
They both agreed it was love at first sight. Their unusual encounter made them one of the Top 5 finalists in Northeast Ohio's Greatest Love Story, a contest we're presenting in partnership with Alson Jewelers.
In May, we asked our readers to submit an essay describing the moment when they first met their significant other and how they fell in love. More than 100 couples entered and we've narrowed it down to five winners chosen by three judges from Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Each of the finalists will share how their love story unfolded in a marieaustralia.com video in our "Love Stories" video series. From this batch, we will reveal a grand- prize winner, who will win a pair of half-carat diamond earrings from Alson Jewelers in September.
This week, we're hearing about Schweighoefer and White's relationship. Like any normal couple, the two spent time together as much as possible during their courtship, even going as far as meeting up to park their cruisers next to each other just so they could have lunch together. "In the cold, we would park our cruisers close together with the windows rolled down and sit in them eating from our lunchboxes, dusting off the snow that fell into our laps," said Schweighoefer.
Wedding date: December 12, 2015
Wedding location: First Congregational Church in Hudson
Reception location: Chagrin Valley Country Club
"We picked that church because we're both members," said Schweighoefer. "It's a really beautiful church and we love the pastor. The reception site really met all the things we were looking for. Very accommodating with good Christmas decorations to fit our wedding theme."
Wedding theme: "It's a 1940's Christmas party where we'll have old-fashioned decorations with a lot of red gold, green and ivory colors. We'll also have a big band singing Frank Sinatra Christmas carols. Hopefully there will be snow on the ground because we're going to have horse-drawn carriage rides and sleighs for our guests."
Rehearsal dinner: Downtown 140, 140 North Main St. in Hudson.
All about the dress: "My dress is two-toned—it's ivory and white. It has a vintage-feel to it with antique lace and it's strapless. I bought it at David's Bridal and I had this preset notion in my mind of what I wanted. All I will say is that for anyone out there buying a dress, it's going to go right out the window. I bought something completely different than what I had anticipated and I loved it".
Something borrowed, blue, old, new? "The something old is going to be my grandmother's handkerchief with a little piece sewn inside of my wedding dress. I'm going to have blue rhinestones saying 'I Do' at the bottom of my shoes. And the something new will be this beautiful comb that my mother bought me."
Bridesmaids dresses: All the dresses were purchased online atmarieaustralia.com.
Kristin Stein (Maid of Honor), Ellen Super, Rachel Peterson and Kelsey Fox.
Groomsmen: Ray Perme (Best Man), Jackson Fox, Mike Pinizzotto and David Barnett.
Wedding cake: Sensational Cakes...And More!
"We're having a spice cake with a vanilla and caramel buttercream and we bought this old-fashioned ceramic cake topper and it looks like it's from the 1930's."
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