Groom in arranged marriage at Mall of America dies at 48

Posted at 9:25 AM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 09:25:23-04

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) - You could say David Weinlick was a reality TV star and viral celebrity long before those terms came into vogue.

20 years ago, Weinlick got married at Minnesota's Mall of America to a complete stranger chosen by his friends.

David and Bethy Weinlick remained married until this week, when he died of colon cancer at 48.

There are few marriages as documented as theirs.

A 28-year-old bachelor chooses a wedding date in June.

His friends choose his bride. 

"Enough to know it's a good thing," said Bethy Weinlick on her wedding day so many years ago. "I don't know everything but I didn't want to know everything. And we have the rest of our lives to learn about each other."

Eight years later and still standing firm, the couple gave an interview.

"Marriage should be about being committed to being together than it is about how you feel in a given moment," David Weinlick said.

Together they built a family with four children, standing by their vows, renewing them last year after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Bethy was by the man who took her breath away as he took his last breath.

"I didn't feel anything leaving me, I didn't feel like the love was gone, if anything it just felt ... it's staying here, " she said.

David's spirit will also stay close to his children who marvel at their parents' love story.

"I always love hearing more about it because I just think it's so crazy and I think a bit of that craziness is in me too,"  said daughter Emily Weinlick.

David Weinlick’s best friend who helped orchestrate the union can attest to this.

"The idea that through this process that we would have found Bethy, would have found someone who could have that depth of connection with, it's just unbelievable," said Steve Flether.

And even though a life has ended, it's a love that will never die.

"How lucky am I to be chosen with this person? That was incredible, it started my life on this whole different trajectory and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat even with this ending," said Bethy Weinlick.

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