David Smith and Stephanie Hippach had a whirlwind romance, so it’s fitting that they’ll be taking a whirl on a carnival ride when they say their "I do’s."
The Pleasant Grove spouses-to-be are among 16 couples who are getting married Thursday while on board a Ferris wheel at Scheels sporting goods store in Sandy.
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The free Valentine’s Day wedding on the 16-car ride is being sponsored by radio station K-Bull 93. The station selected the participants based on the stories of love and devotion that they submitted in a "Seal the Deal on the Wheel" contest.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at Scheels, 11282 S. State St.
Smith, who was living in Tooele, and Hippach, a Pleasant Grove resident, met online in October. The two — who have both been widowed and have six children and two grandchildren between them — clicked.
Soon after they met, Hippach, 39, got sick.
"She had to have surgery and I took care of her and her kids and we fell in love," Smith, 43, said.
Also taking the matrimonial ride are Megan Coates, 30, and Andrew Jack, 29, who have known each other since they both attended Oquirrh Elementary School in West Jordan.
"I had the biggest crush on him but he didn’t have one on me," Coates said, adding that they were best friends then.
The two lost touch after they went to different high schools and she moved to St. George. Coates returned to the Salt Lake City area in November 2010 after a divorce and reconnected with her old friend through Facebook.
"We just hit it off right away and have been together ever since," said Coates, of Kearns.
The two had been talking about getting married and decided to enter the K-Bull contest, even though Coates didn’t expect to win.
When she heard that they had been selected, Coates said, she knew "it was meant to be."
Murray Mayor Dan Snarr will conduct the ceremony. He has experience officiating at weddings — the mayor has performed marriage ceremonies on a motorcycle, on a trampoline and at a haunted house on a Friday the 13th.
"We’re going to have some fun with it," Snarr said of the Valentine’s Day wedding.
The free wedding package for each couple includes wedding bands from Jonathan’s Jewelry, a bouquet from Tulip Tree Floral, an 8x10 photo from Blackburn Studios and a 3-day ticket package with campsite to the 2013 Country Explosion music festival at the Miller Motorsports Park this summer.
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