OMAHA -- The picture of the flower girl and ring bearer hangs in the living room of the West Omaha home, right next to the TV.

It serves a dual purpose. Newlyweds Tyler and Kristina Kanne love to look at it, and it’s proof that they really did walk up the aisle together in 1999, 23 years before they officially tied the knot.

They often need that proof when they tell their story.

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A photo of Tyler and Kristina at the wedding in 1999.

“Basically, their jaws drop and they say ‘no way’,” Kristina replied when asked about people’s reaction to their wedding tale.

So, here’s the story.

Kristina’s aunt, Beatriz Via-Reque, went to college at Creighton many years ago, and picked up a few babysitting jobs along the way. Among her charges was a young Tyler Kanne and his brother, Elliot. The boys’ mom, Janet, introduced Beatriz to her cousin, Corey Wieseman.

Beatriz and Corey fell in love and married. Kristina, 7, served as the flower girl and Tyler, 9, as the ring bearer. Neither remembers many details from the event.

The couple

Tyler and Kristina Kanne were married in Colorado and then held a reception in Omaha.

Kristina went back to Chicago and they only saw each other twice in the next few decades.

Then Kristina, a nurse, moved to Omaha in 2017 for a job. Tyler was still here, working in the financial industry. He missed a family dinner that Kristina attended after she arrived.

It took a cat to bring them together. Kristina loves them and posted an Instagram picture of Stache, her new tuxedo cat with a mustache. Tyler messaged her that his mom had a similar kitty. In fact, they each have three cats that look strangely alike.

cats

Kristina's cats at bottom are very similar to those of her mother-in-law, Janet.

“Definitely a sliding into the DMs,” Tyler said. “I did know she was single.”

Marriage wasn’t on his mind then. But they talked every day and eventually became engaged last May at Lauritzen Gardens.

They were married on Sept. 1, 2022, in a small family ceremony in the mountains of Colorado, which they both love. There was no ring bearer but they did have a flower girl, a relative of Kristina’s.

Their picture from that original wedding was brought on the trip and it was displayed again at their Omaha reception on Dec. 31 at Villa Aletta, where Tyler’s parents had held their reception 35 years ago. Tyler’s ring bearer pillow and Kristina’s original flower arrangement also were on hand.

The evidence came in handy for relatives and friends, whom Tyler said always want to see pictures when they tell their story.

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The couple were married on Sept. 1 in Colorado with just their immediate families on hand.

The couple made sure to get even more photos with the old picture for their wedding album. After all, it’s a pretty unique and cool coincidence, Kristina says.

Tyler agrees.

“Not many guys get to walk down the aisle with their wife at 9 years old,” he said. “I guess I’m the lucky guy.”

Originally published on omaha.com, part of the BLOX Digital Content Exchange.

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