There are many hotly debated opponents such as democrats vs. republicans, Vikings vs. Packers, and the Eveleth Golden Bears vs. the Virginia Blue Devils. This small-town rivalry is the likes of one I hadn’t seen before. Each community is as passionate about their own town’s glory as they are about the inferiority of the other local. That is – until September 15th, 2018 when one of Eveleth’s crown jewels of a gal married the pride of Virginia and both communities came together to celebrate and bury the rivalry-hatchet. At least for this day.
Ashley, an Eveleth native, and recent UMD graduate met Andrew, from Virginia, through friends. Their romance was swift and sweet and about a year into their courtship Andrew proposed.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Surrounded by family and friends these two had a perfect day. The weather called for severe storms and rain, but the storms held off and we were able to go about the business of the day with ease (and dryness!). This was a great first sign of what was to come.
Ashley had two, first-looks on tap – the first with her bridesmaids and the second with her dad, who also happens to be the Chief of Police for the City of Eveleth. While the first involved screams, tears, and hugs – the second, with her dad, was sweet and pure, raw emotion. Both were awesome.
Andrew had eight friends as his wing-men that day. A nice mix of friends and family, all but one of them played hockey. For those new to the Iron Range lore (or any of Minnesota history for that matter), hockey matters in a town named Eveleth. Or Virginia. Or on any square-inch of the Range. Eveleth is home to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, and memorabilia of the loved sport can be found all around town. While most guys involved with weddings understand the photography portion of their duties, they are usually eager to get them over with so the fun part of the day can commence. When the World’s Largest Free-Standing Hockey Stick was a couple of blocks from the church, well…. We had to get some photos there and the fellas were happy to oblige.
The ceremony was beautiful, and the pews were crowded with the couple’s family and friends there to support and witness Ashley and Andrew’s commitment of love to each other.
After the ceremony, and a few more family photos, the wedding participants and guests (and I mean everyone) headed to Margie’s Roosevelt. A fun, home-town bar that Ashley’s aunt (Margie!) happens to own, and Ashley fills in from time to time. A welcoming and JOYous cheer came from inside when the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Judnick arrived (think Norm!) and hugs, well-wishes, and cocktails were a-plenty.
The party eventually made its way to the Eveleth Event Center where speeches, food, and dancing capped off their perfect day, while the rain that was supposed to plague the festivities started just as the couple came together for their first dance as husband and wife. And in what I’m sure was to be the first time in history, the Eveleth Golden Bears and the Virginia Blue Devils buried the hatchet (or the hockey stick) for at least this one evening. Congratulations Ashley and Andrew! I wish you many years of happiness!