September 7, 2012 | 11:05 a.m.
By Samantha Allgood '12
During the sixth inning of the Minnesota Twins game on June 29, recent graduate Nicole Nettleton ’12 and fiancé Mike Willenbring, both from Stillwater, Minn., found out they won the “Welcome Back to the Diamond Contest,” sponsored by the Minnesota Twins and JB Hudson Jewelers. The prize included a wedding package totaling $20,000 with a ceremony at Target Field’s home plate, rings from JB Hudson, and a reception. “We were so shocked. We basically found out alongside the 40,000 other Twins fans,” says Nicole. “I got a little emotional, and Mike was just pumped.”
The couple met in middle school and bonded over their love of baseball and the Twins. They started dating in high school and spent many dates at Target Field. “When we got engaged, everyone assumed we would be getting married at Target Field,” says Nicole. “However, after looking into it, we discovered it was way out of our budget. About two weeks later, though, I found an announcement introducing the contest and instantly filled out the application.”
The unexpected contest win forced a bit of last-minute planning. “The best part of everything was that we got to keep our same wedding date in August,” says Nicole. “It was a little stressful—basically re-planning an entire wedding in one month—but we are so excited and blessed to have had this opportunity.”
The couples’ Target Field wedding was August 4, and they now reside in Roseville, Minn. Mike is a chef at Reve 324 in Stillwater, and Nicole, who majored in business and journalism at Bethel, is a business analyst at Target.