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Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Eleven couples, 22 cold hands and 22 warm hearts, braved cold temperatures and simultaneously married at the world's largest "grown" ice castle built at Mall of America®. The backdrop, a 30-foot tall tower and castle spanning more than one acre, was crafted using 4 million gallons of water and icicle lattices.
After the couples said their "I do's," a reception featuring individual wedding cakes designed by
Ross Sveback, whose cake designs were recently featured in "People Magazine," were served. Beautiful bouquets by
KMB Floral and photography by
Ashleigh Rachel Photography were donated to each couple as well.
Couples had to write to Mall of America about why they wanted to be married at the Ice Castles. The eleven couples with the best stories were chosen, and one lucky couple,
Steve Szczodroski and
Megan Heitkamp, were chosen as the Grand Prize Winners that won them not only a
Valentine's Day wedding at Ice Castles Mall of America, but also a diamond necklace from
Ben Bridge, valued at
"We are ecstatic to have this unique opportunity to get married at the Ice Castle," said groom
Steve Szczodroski. "It is so fun to get married and share our day with these other couples," said bride
Then Megan and Steve, now Mr. and Mrs. Szczodroski, shared their story of falling in love seven years ago as lab partners in a "romantic" geomorphology class at UMD. From there, they both became science teachers and have endured a 5-year long distance engagement. They wanted to be married at the Ice Castles because of their love for the outdoors and that was a deciding factor in choosing a blue sapphire for an engagement ring because the color reminded the couple of their connection to nature and their love of winter weather.