Kimberley Dean and Ron Palmer may have been joking when they promised each other they would get married if they were both single at 50—but little did they know that their playful pact would actually end in a romance.
On June 1, the bride and groom tied the knot in a garden ceremony in St. Paul. The couple shared their unconventional love story with Today, with Dean, 51, telling the news outlet, “It was a complete joke. We were both single at the time and we were just both fed up with dating and all the craziness that goes with that.”
The now-husband and wife first met in high school, when Dean was a freshman and Palmer was a senior. They dated for a short period of time, and agreed that if they were both single at 50, they would get married. But after high school, the two parted ways and Dean eventually married another man. The two stayed close friends, however, never going more than a few months without talking to each other.
“When she got married, I thought, ‘Ah, she’s gone,’ but, as a young man in my 20s, I thought women were all over the place and I could get along with any of them. I thought that was the norm,” Palmer, 54, told the Star Tribune. “As it turns out, and as I have learned, it is not. I never got along with anyone else as well as I got along with her.”
Palmer admitted that he was always in love with Dean. Dean had two children with her ex (Kayla and Konnor, who both served in her wedding) and Palmer was previously married to his former wife for seven years—but that didn't stop the old friends from staying close.
“She helped me a lot,” he told the Star Tribune. “After my marriage and with me having numerous girlfriends over the years, I would always call Kim when I had something to complain about: ‘Why do women do this?’ She was my go-to person.”
During one particular phone call, Palmer told Dean he was worried he wouldn't have anyone to leave his inheritance to. Dean jokingly replied, "Just leave it to me." But Palmer wasn't joking. In the summer of 2016, the two attended Roseville’s Taste of Rosefest and began to take their relationship to the next level.
“I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of: ‘What do you think if we try this again?’ ” Dean explained. “There was a lot of hesitation on his part. He told me later he worried that, if a relationship didn’t work, we would lose one of the very best friends we ever had.”
“Out of everyone my mom has ever been with—even thinking about my dad, who we don’t have a relationship with—I would say Ronnie has filled that father role for Konner and me,” Kayla told the Star Tribune. “People who are meant to be together will always find each other. It may take 37 years, but it can happen.”