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September 17, 2022
Grand Rapids, MI
#bruemmerbeginnings

Amanda & Jason

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Jason Bruemmer

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Amanda Rutishauser

#bruemmerbeginnings

September 17, 2022

Grand Rapids, MI

The COVID Conundrum

Postponing for the Pandemic

We first started planning our wedding shortly after our engagement in March 2020. We were early in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic at that point and, in retrospect, had no idea of the challenges that we would face on a personal, community and global level over the next two years. We were scared but hopeful and we set a date of May 22, 2021. As planning progressed we met obstacle after obstacle: my mother could not come to Cincinnati to help me shop for a wedding dress, we had to significantly decrease our guest list, we were told we may not be able to have dancing at our wedding reception. We were heartbroken but in the face of mounting challenges we decided to postpone to September 18, 2021. We hoped a few more months could afford us the freedom we wanted for our celebration. In the meantime we attended our virtual wedding shower and sent out official invitations (to a heavily cut back guest list) with the highest of hopes. The release and increasing availability of the vaccines against COVID-19 was our light at the end of the tunnel. We watched the numbers of vaccinated grow slowly in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and nationally. It seemed promising. But then as the case numbers began climbing in late July and August 2021 we were faced with another incredibly difficult choice: postpone again or persevere? Maybe it was a matter of good luck or perspective as we had watched or attended some beautiful weddings with friends and family during the pandemic. It seemed like it could be doable to keep our date but at the same time would involve risk and compromise. I recall bemoaning to friends and family that in the time of the coronavirus you could have anything you wanted for your wedding-- a gorgeous dress, delicate flowers, a beautiful venue, delicious food-- but you couldn't have the people you love. And in the end Jason and I felt that we could not imagine our wedding celebration without all our friends and wider family. It was a gut-wrenching, tearful decision to postpone again. And yet it had been over a year since our engagement and Jason and I felt ready to get married. So with only a few weeks to plan we pulled together a much smaller affair near our home in Southwest Ohio which was attended by just our parents and siblings. It was not the celebration we had always pictured or so longed for but it was a beautiful day and we were grateful for every moment. But even as we were now officially married we still held out hope that one day we could gather our nearest and dearest for a weekend of celebration. We know that love is patient and love is kind. Our love for all of you has not wavered and we sincerely hope that amidst this twisting and turning course of events that you have not felt forgotten. And we humbly hope that you will be willing to celebrate again with us...at last! We have each other and to have you there too would be our long-awaited dream finally come true. Thank you for praying for us, hoping with us and sharing in our joy. We can not wait to see you soon! Love, Amanda (Rutishauser) & Jason Bruemmer

How We Met

March 26, 2018

Before our first date Jason asked me where I would like to go for dinner that Monday night. My answer? "Anywhere I can get an Oberon!" Oberon is a Summer Wheat Ale brewed by Bell's Brewing in my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the late Spring the Brewery's release of Oberon Ale signals that summer is officially on its way. And although I had moved to Cincinnati in 2016 I was still eager to mark the occasion. The search for Oberon led us to the unfortunately now closed restaurant and bar, Teller's. Teller's was unique in that it occupied the building of a former bank and still maintained the historic vault. We settled into a delicious dinner and laughed and talked for hours. Topics ranged from our love of Lake Michigan sunsets, our favorite movie adventures, tales of our glory days in higher education and our thoughts on family and friendship. When the waiter came by to let us know it was closing time we were surprised to realize that our first date had stretched on for over five hours. Clearly there was more to say...and now three years later we still mark Oberon Day with ale, dinner, laughter and love. - Amanda

The Proposal

March 21, 2020

This is, like so many stories from 2020, a tale of how the best laid plans didn't go off quite as intended. One of my favorite places in the world is Rocky Mountain National Park. The snow capped peaks and clear, alpine lakes fill my heart with joy. So when it came down to where I wanted to ask the woman I love to spend her life with me it was the only place I wanted to be. I spent a couple of months preparing our trip to Denver: I compiled a playlist of love songs to play for her as we drove to and from Colorado. I ordered personalized jerseys (University of Michigan for her and University of Cincinnati for me) with the numbers "3" and "30" to mark my intended date. I booked us rooms in a Mountain Chalet Bed and Breakfast. I hired an amazing photographer (Sean Lara) to capture the moment. And of course I bought Amanda's dream ring (with a little guidance from her of course!) But then the pandemic descended on the US and it became impossible for my plans to proceed. The morning I received a notification that Rocky Mountain National Park had closed I decided that there was no need to wait a moment longer. I found a picture of the shore of Bear Lake to display on the TV and when Amanda came down the stairs that morning she found me kneeling beside (the image of) the lake. I asked her to make me the happiest man in the world and she said YES! It was not the moment I had spent so much time planning but it was life-changing and special and just for us. We were able to have our trip to Colorado later in the year and celebrate our love beside mountain peaks freshly dusted in snow. I'm sure there will be many more moments in our life together that don't go as planned but every moment we're together is perfect to me. - Jason

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