by Dennis Dalman
The pandemic put the kibosh on the original wedding plans for Breana Buettner and Jordan Lenz, but it resulted in 300 meals for people in need.
The couple, who now live in St. Joseph, planned a big wedding for Dec. 12 at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course dining hall in Sartell. They paid a $2,500 deposit for the event. In early November, they sent invitations to about 100 people and then finalized all the details of the marriage ceremony and reception.
Then, in late November, statewide restrictions were placed on large indoor gatherings of people, which included wedding receptions. Buettner and Lenz were of course disappointed when their weeks of intricate planning came to a halt.
The couple pondered a later wedding date at Blackberry Ridge but decided they wanted to get married in December.
They learned the deposit was non-refundable, which upset them to the point they considered legal action. Then they began to think of the less fortunate in these tough times and came up with an idea. They made a suggestion to Blackberry Ridge: Why not use the deposit amount to cook 300 meals and give the meals to local help agencies?
Blackberry Ridge staff thought it was an excellent idea, and a meal plan was soon adopted: Take-and-bake sausage and beef penne pasta with breadsticks.
The meals were delivered Dec. 17 and 18 to four agencies: The Salvation Army, Place of Hope, Terebinth Refuge and Anna Marie’s Alliance. Lenz volunteered to help deliver the meals; Buettner had to work those two days.
Though the couple was disappointed, they tried to take it all in stride.
“We weren’t the only couple that had to change plans because of the virus,” he said.
Meanwhile, wedding plans continued, and the couple had a small wedding ceremony at Anton’s Restaurant in Waite Park, where Lenz works as a chef/kitchen manager.
Buettner was raised in Cold Spring, Lenz in Rice. Both are members of Snap Fitness in St. Joseph.
More than a year ago, Lenz’s fitness trainer suggested he go on a blind date with another Snap Fitness member, Breana Buettner. Lenz agreed and asked Buettner to the action-thriller movie titled “21 Bridges,” starring the late Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller and J.K. Simmons.
“The movie was OK,” Jordan said.
“I don’t know because I fell asleep,” Breana said, adding quickly that she was tired from a long shift at work that day as a licensed practical nurse for Rejuv Medical in Waite Park.
Their second meeting was a bowling date at Great River Bowl in Sartell.
One day in July 2020, the two of them were at Snap Fitness for a buddy-training session. Breana was doing jumping jacks, and Jordan was doing burpees. On his third series of burpees, Jordan found the courage to spring the question.
She didn’t hear him when he said, “Breana, you know I love you a lot. Will you marry me?” He then presented the ring in its opened box, and that got her attention.
“Well, then I looked and saw the ring, and I quit doing jumping jacks,” Breana recalled. “It was a complete surprise and of course I said yes. Yes!”
Now the couple has embarked on married life living in downtown St. Joseph and is loving it. They enjoy working out and cooking together.
As a chef, Jordan’s culinary specialties at Anton’s are steak and lobster.
Meals for people in need, they’ve both decided, was a good omen, a good way to start their married life.
“The people who received those meals were happy to get them and really enjoyed them,” Jordan said. “We are very happy Blackberry Ridge did that.”
“Now,” Breana said, “we can just enjoy our marriage and the rest of our lives.”