By Mollie Rushmeyer
Thanks to mutual friends and a chance encounter at a baseball diamond in Elrosa, Jen Hieserich and Casey Hess of Spicer, now have a different kind of diamond in mind. They met at an all-star baseball game during the summer of 2012, and Hieserich said they kept seeing each other by accident during the next several months, and it “sparked something.”
While Hieserich was trying to take a break from relationships at the time, the mutual attraction and compatibility between them convinced her not to let him get away without her phone number.
“He was trying to play it pretty cool,” she said with a laugh. “But I finally just gave him my number.”
Hess, who is originally from Paynesville, said he enjoyed spending time with her. Quickly, he discovered their common interests and outlook on life such as a love of outdoor pursuits like fishing, and both have an adventurous spirit.
By December 2012, they officially started dating after the bud of a summer romance bloomed into something more.
Following their first date, Hess, who had finished his schooling to become an electrical lineman, had to leave for a month to work in Connecticut on power issues after Hurricane Sandy.
He said when he returned, he travelled often to see Hieserich where she attended school, St. Cloud State University studying to become a school counselor.
Between their busy jobs, his with Kandiohi Power in Spicer and hers in Redwood Falls as a middle school and high school counselor, while building a house together in Spicer, a wedding was always the plan but they weren’t sure when.
As the house construction came to an end, Hess said his plans to ask her to marry him finally became a reality. In September 2016, Hess proposed on the porch of the home they just finished building for their new life together.
Hess first asked her father, Mark Hieserich, for permission to marry his daughter.
“I was more nervous to ask him (her dad) than to ask her,” Hess said. “It was nerve-wracking.”
However, he said, both her dad and mom, Mary Jo, were excited for them and that made it easier.
Even though Hess said the proposal was long-overdue, Hieserich said she was shocked.
“I was very surprised,” Hieserich said. “I was not expecting it at all.”
In fact, Hess kept her guessing before the proposal, telling her since they had just built a house, financially, a ring and wedding would have to wait. But one night after going to O’Neil’s restaurant in Spicer, they were watching the sunset on the front porch and she went inside for a minute. When Hieserich returned, a willow tree sapling and Hess on one knee waited for her.
“When we were looking for a house or where to build,” Hieserich said. “I just wanted a willow tree so bad. I just love them.”
So, Hess found a willow tree they could plant at their new house, and tied a note on one of the branches.
“I think she thought that was all she was getting (the willow tree),” Hess said. “But then she realized there was something more.”
“I had tears running down my face,” she said. “We were hugging and I didn’t give my answer right away, so he said, ‘Do you say yes?’ And I said, ‘Of course!’”
Hess picked a princess-cut diamond engagement ring with a cushion-cut halo, and he said she was excited about the proposal but also to put on the long-awaited ring.
They set the wedding date for this summer, July 29, 2017. The couple will wed in Elrosa where the bride is from, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
Family is an important part of their big day, Hieserich said. Not only are they getting married at the same church where her two sisters were married, they’re also having all their nieces and nephews in the ceremony.
Hieserich said she’s looking forward to walking down the aisle in a dress she wouldn’t normally have picked for herself, but ended up loving — a mermaid-style with a champagne underlay.
Hess, the groomsmen, and his brother and best man, Ryan Hess, will have gray suits. The bridesmaids and the two maids of honor, Kelly Bertram and Julie Schoenberg, the bride’s two sisters, will be in teal.
A reception will follow the ceremony in Brooten at the Brooten Pavilion with rustic décor and accents of peacock feathers, and colors of teal, gold, and purple. Hieserich said food will be served followed by a deejay and dance, and open bar.
This adventurous, try-anything couple said they can’t wait to step into the next adventure of their lives, marriage and starting their own family.
“He makes me a better person,” Hieserich said. “He challenges me, and has taught me not to be so hard on myself. I know he’ll be a great partner in life, and it’ll be an adventure with him.”
“I’m looking forward to starting a new life, and starting a family,” Hess said. “We’re not just a couple, we’re best friends. We do everything together.”