One of our featured couples in the Happily Ever After section of this week's newspaper.

New faculty members at St. Mary’s High School are also newlyweds. Alex and Angie Wannigman got married on June 11, 2016, after Angie completed her studies to be a school counselor.

The Wannigmans met in an education class they were in at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). “Through various small talk, we discovered we had similar interests and hobbies,” said Angie. “As time continued on, we never found a reason to stop getting to know one another.”

“We have pondered whether we ever crossed paths in our lifetime, because we are originally from towns in close proximity,” said Angie. “Alex is from Rice, a little town north of St. Cloud. He grew up with a family of four and attended Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.” Not far from St. Cloud, Angie lived in Litchfield. She grew up in a household of six and attended Litchfield High School.

After attending SMSU, Alex substitute taught and then landed a job in Morgan at St. Michael’s Elementary School. Angie furthered her education at St. Cloud State University and got a Master’s Degree in K-12 School Counseling.

Alex invited Angie to a dinner in Morgan, intending to propose. “St. Michael’s school have an appreciation dinner every winter, and spouses and significant others are invited to come,” he said. “I had bought her ring about a month earlier, and it was burning a hole in my pocket.”

The dinner was at Jackpot Junction and Alex had organized with his aunt who lived in Morgan to help set up the surprise while the couple would be at the dinner. “Angie drove from St. Cloud that Friday, and I told her that we had to rush out of the house because we were running behind schedule,” Alex explained. “Little did she know that the real reason we had to leave quickly was because I had flowers, champagne, and the ring ready to be set up by my aunt and niece while we were away.”

Alex said he kept his cool pretty well during the dinner. “My coworkers knew what I had planned, so they knew I would be a little nervous,” he said. “We made it through dinner and drove the 20 minutes home. During the drive back, I started getting nervous and just talked about anything that would take my mind off of the events that were to transpire once we got home.”

Alex said they went into the dark house, and Angie turned on the light, and saw the house looked different—with rose petals on the floor leading to the kitchen counter where there were a dozen roses, a bottle of champagne on ice, and the ring on the counter.

“At first glance, she thought we had been broken into because of the arranged furniture,” said Alex. “But as we continued walking into the house, she began to realize what was happening. I got on one knee, and nervously asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we popped the champagne to celebrate and spent most of the night talking and jumping up and down in excitement!”

The couple found wedding planning to be easy, with the love and support of their families who were a big part in the planning and organizing. Pinterest was a useful tool. “I’ll let you guess which one of us shared all of our findings with the other, in a loving and non-annoying manner,” said Angie. “Our vendors were wonderful, and Father Joseph Steinbeisser from St. Philip’s in Litchfield was a perfect match for us to prepare for our married life—it was an opportunity for us to think deeper about our relationship and how it requires unity with God.”

Angie and Alex said their wedding celebration was perfect. “Everything that was only images in my head beautifully came together that day,” said Angie. “I suppose one minor situation came up. As I was getting my dress all situated, the very last button popped! So, the day started with the traditional ‘something borrowed’ item: a safety pin.”

They said their favorite part was the ceremony, which included so much joy, laughter, and love. “God was truly with us that day,” said Alex. After the ceremony at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Litchfield, the celebration continued at Dino’s Eden Lakeside Club in Eden Valley. The couple said the wedding party, their parents, friends, and family made the day special for them.

Angie and Alex find married life to be fun, yet challenging, as living with someone completely brings a whole new perspective to a relationship. “What is beautiful about it is we continue to learn about each other and grow deeper in our marriage in union with Jesus Christ,” said Angie.

“St. Mary’s High School has welcomed us, and given us a new perspective on our professions,” said Alex. “We are grateful to be placed in this school with the wonderful people in it. We appreciate our colleagues, enjoy our students, and have a lot of fun coaching our junior high basketball teams.”

The Wannigmans currently live in New Ulm, and love making a trip up to Lola’s Bistro for coffee and breakfast. They said Sleepy Eye has been good to them, and is a wonderful community. “We thank God for his blessings here at Sleepy Eye.”