Mitchell Lonneman first saw his future wife in an Instagram photo from her roommate.
Lonneman had met the roommate on double dates in the past, but it was Hannah Willson who really caught his eye. So, naturally, he did some social media sleuthing.
“She had her Snapchat on her Instagram, but I didn’t want to add her out of the blue on Snapchat,” Lonneman said. “So I found her on Twitter.”
On June 22, 2019, he sent a direct message asking Willson for her Snapchat username so they could chat, and the first few months of their relationship played out virtually.
Willson was nervous to meet in person. She said no to an in-person date a few times before agreeing to meet, but once she saw Lonneman, her fears were put at ease.
“I just felt really comfortable,” she said. “It was never a second thought after meeting … I feel like I’d never felt that. He was just easy to come back to.”
Two years later, the couple were planning their wedding.
It didn’t take long in their relationship for Willson and Lonneman to recognize all of their similarities.
They both grew up in rural areas, played sports in high school and ultimately went to college in South Dakota to pursue careers in the medical field. Oh, and they’re both tall blondes.
The couple also both knew what they wanted in a partner and in life. It wasn’t long before they were talking about what a future together might look like.
“We were open right away,” Lonneman said. “We were both done messing around, and we wanted to settle in and find someone.”
Willson graduated in August 2020 with a nursing degree from South Dakota State University, and the following spring, Lonneman graduated from Mount Marty in May 2021. Soon after his graduation, the couple moved in together in Sioux Falls.
That just solidified their compatibility.
“I can be sweeping the floor, and it’s still kind of fun because there’s someone to talk to,” Willson said.
By the end of the month, they were looking at engagement rings.
Lonneman proposed on Aug. 31, 2021. He’d told Willson they were meeting friends for a nice dinner and should dress up accordingly, but she didn’t know it was a setup to get her downtown by the Arc of Dreams sculpture where a photographer was waiting to capture the big moment.
What he didn’t plan for was rain. There was a gap between two stormfronts, though, and Lonneman knew he’d have time if he raced to get downtown.
“He was sweating the whole drive and was driving kind of fast,” Willson said.
“I knew more rain was coming,” Lonneman added, “so I hurried down there.”
The fast-driving worked. He caught Willson’s attention as she was crossing the bridge near the sculpture, and she turned to see him on one knee.
The couple plans to wed on Dec. 17, 2022 in a ceremony at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church and a reception at Emerald Pines Barn in Sioux Falls.
One of the reasons Willson and Lonneman’s relationship works is their willingness to both hold each other accountable and be accommodating when the situation calls for it.
“We figure things out, and then it just works,” Willson said.
They also have similar visions for what they want in the future.
“We both have the same ideas in life,” Lonneman said, “buying a house, having a family, spending forever together.”
They both value some spontaneity in life, too, Willson said. They enjoy traveling together and look forward to more of that in their married life.
And, at the end of the day, they’re true partners.
“Just having a person there for everything, whether I’m crabby or happy, there’s just someone there to share that emotion,” Willson said. “Having someone to listen is a big thing.”