SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s hard to miss Valentine’s Day when it comes around on the calendar every year- the reminders are everywhere.
Two days before their February 16th wedding last year, Andrew and Maria Bartell served at The Banquet in Sioux Falls. That may be the start of a new tradition.
“Yeah, it was the first time our families got all together with our wedding party,” Andrew Bartell said. “It was the beginning of our wedding feast.”
“Many people flew in and got here and came straight here,” Maria Bartell said.
The reason for being here last year was service.
“You’re looking at how much money you spend on a wedding, and one of the things that we talked about was how much good can you do with that, and there’s a lot of people out there who need, and we just really wanted to do something to provide for those who are in need,” Andrew Bartell said.
“All the guests were very excited ’cause we brought cake, and … they were excited to learn that they were having cake before, our wedding cake before we got to have it,” Maria Bartell said.
“They weren’t getting the leftovers. They were getting to celebrate with us first,” Andrew Bartell said.
Now, tonight, they’re back serving at The Banquet.
“We invited our families and friends, whoever was around and mainly just our local Sioux Falls family, but my parents are here and my brothers,” Maria Bartell said.
“It meant so much to us, seeing the faces on the guests here that we serve is just really impactful to us, and we wanted to do it again.” Andrew Bartell said. “This is our wedding anniversary.”
“I mean, in a relationship, in marriage, love is always about serving the other person and doing what’s best for the other person and for the relationship, and so in serving The Banquet, you’re serving those that are in need, and it’s just a great way to show love to them even though you don’t know them,” Maria Bartell said.
You can check on The Banquet’s website to find out when they need volunteers.