WYKOFF, Minn. (KTTC) -- As gay marriage is set to become legal in Minnesota on Thursday, the Mall of America will play host to the state's first wedding ceremony at the stroke of midnight. At that time, a couple from Wykoff will be one of the first to wed in the state under the new law.
The time of 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2013, will be a date and time that Amy Petrich and Holli Bartelt will remember forever. It is the day of their wedding, one of the first same-sex couples to be married legally in Minnesota.
"I knew when we met that it would be the real deal," Petrich said. "So I saw her and she saw me and we connected right away."
Holli and Amy met online just over two years ago while Holli lived in Des Moines and Amy lived in Wykoff. Things moved quickly to an engagement, on Holli's birthday, in a photo booth at the Mall of America.
"I was so nervous, and she's sitting there fixing her hair," Bartelt said.
"She likes photos, so I didn't think anything of it," Petrich said. "I was like, 'Ok, ok, pictures.' Then she had a question and I was like 'Yeah?' and then she asked me and I was like 'What?'"
The two became engaged before the state legally allowed same-sex marriage, but that did not stop their resolve.
They felt that change was coming.
"In Iowa, you know, you can get married, but Amy and I decided to wait until it's legal here because I felt that it was moving at the speed that I came out," Bartelt said. "I feel that everything has been perfect."
Planning a wedding was originally thought as a difficult task, but the Mall of America made things a bit easier.
"I got an email saying that 'We're in the early stages of planning the first same-sex wedding, would you be interested? We immediately thought of you guys,'" Bartelt said. "And we were honored, we were honored."
It is a setup that beats their original plans.
"Originally, we planned on going to the courthouse or going that day because I want to spend the rest of my life with her and I don't want to wait," Bartelt said.
Minnesota law now serves in their favor, and Amy and Holli are set to take advantage of it as they start the rest of their lives together.
Amy and Holli are leaving for the Mall of America Wednesday morning with Holli's two kids and other friends and family members. They will be enjoying 12 dozen free cupcakes and two free nights in the Twin Cities before returning home as a married couple.
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