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Love Me Tender

"Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can’t help falling in love with you,” Elvis impersonator Anthony Shore gently crooned as Jordan’s Kasey (Sheprow) Swager walked down the aisle and onto the stage to meet her longtime partner and now husband, Richard Swager.

Valentine’s Day weekend began on a high note for the Jordan couple, who after 10.5 years of dating, tied the knot in the Love Me Tender ceremonies at Mystic Lake Casino on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Kasey and Richard met when both were working at Home Depot in Shakopee. The couple have two children together, a son, Caleb, 9 years, and a daughter, Kendall, 2 years.

After 10 years together, Richard proposed to Kasey on Dec. 8, 2015. One of Kasey’s friends was getting married on a cruise in the Bahamas, and Richard and Kasey were in attendance.

Exchanging a glance and rings

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“I told her girlfriends and the bride (about his plan to propose) and she (the bride) wanted me to do it at the reception during the wedding,” Richard said. The reception was held, ironically, at a bar called Diamonds Are Forever. Richard took his cue when Jason Derulo’s “Marry Me” was played.

“I looked up and everybody in the reception was looking. I thought I better do it before she caught on,” Richard said. “For us being together that long, I felt like a little kid.”

In early 2015, almost a year before Richard would propose, Kasey had entered them in Mystic Lake Casino’s Love Me Tender contest. Although they were picked, Richard wanted to propose first. A year later — and with a new engagement ring on her finger — Kasey decided to enter the contest again, and lo and behold, they were again selected.

According to Kasey, their 9-year-old son Caleb was very excited for the wedding.

“He wants me to have his same last name,” Kasey said. “And he likes to dress up. We are going to pick up a suit and he is going to walk me down the aisle. He wants to be the ‘best guy.’”

As a Love Me Tender winner, the couple received a hotel suite for two, bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, dinner for two at Mystic Steakhouse, wedding photographer, box of chocolates and $250 in Mysticash. Their wedding ceremony was officiated by none other than famed Elvis impersonator Shore, who also sang during the couple’s first dance.

Kasey said she was most looking forward to sharing her special day with friends and family.

“Hanging out afterwards should be fun with everybody,” Richard added. “The kids being able to walk us down too.”

“It is our family becoming one. No one else is involved (in the ceremony) except us four, and everybody is there to support us and watch,” Kasey said.

Indeed, a crowd gathered to witness the nuptials in the 2 p.m. ceremony. Their vows were scripted in true Elvis form, pulling lyrics from some of his most popular songs, such as “I’m All Shook Up,” “Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear,” and Don’t Be Cruel.”

“Love me tender, and I won’t be cruel, won’t return to sender. I promise not to call you nothing but a hound dog,” Kasey repeated at Shore’s prompting.

“I will never have to ask you if you are lonesome tonight,” Richard repeated in his vows. “Oh baby let me be around you every night. Let me be your loving teddy bear. I don’t want no other love. Baby it’s just you I’m thinking of. My tongue gets tied when I try to speak. My insides shake like a leaf on a tree. As I stand before you it’s now or never. I’ve learned to live a little and love a lot. I can’t help falling in love with you.”

The couple exchanged a tender look as they gently swayed back and forth in their first dance as husband and wife.

“The wedding was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Kasey said. “It was so nice to see all our family and friends there supporting us and really enjoying themselves. A big shout out to Mystic Lake for this opportunity and Alyssa for making it all happen.”

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