GLENWOOD, Minn. — Their date was set. The venue had been chosen and the photographer had been booked. All the details of their September wedding were coming together.
Until a post on Instagram caught the bride’s eye.
Ally Coleman, who is now Ally Koudela, follows Busch Beer on Instagram. She and her now husband, Dustin Koudela, are huge fans of the Anheuser Busch beer known to many of its drinkers as Busch Latte.
In fact, the Glenwood, Minnesota, couple wore “Busch Latte” T-shirts and sipped on the ever-popular beer in their engagement photos.
So after Ally saw the Busch Beer post, “Get hitched on our farm” where couples could enter a contest to win an all-expenses paid wedding on an Anheuser Busch farm, she talked it over with Dustin and they decided to give it a shot.
To enter, couples had to explain how Busch brings them together and then post their comments with the hashtags #BuschFarmWedding and #Contest on social media. Ally posted the essay she wrote on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on April 7, the last day to enter the contest.
Ally and Dustin thought their odds of winning were close to zero.
But that’s what happened. Ally and Dustin, along with two other couples, won a Busch farm wedding.
And on July 10, the Busch-loving couple was hitched on a Busch farm in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with about 50 guests, including their parents, grandparents and other family members and friends.
A modern love story
Dustin and Ally, who have been together five years, said they basically met through Tinder, a dating app, although they also said it was kind of through SnapChat, a social media app. They also said some family and friends thought they met at the Alexandria Technical and Community College, where they both attended.
“We’re kind of a modern love story,” Ally said.
Their first date was back in 2016. It was dinner and a movie — Arby’s and “Bad Grandpa.”
It all went uphill from there and in February 2020, they were engaged and plans were underway for their Sept. 4, 2021 wedding.
As COVID-19 hit early in 2020, the couple chose the September 2021 date thinking it was far enough out that the pandemic would not interfere with their wedding plans. For the most part, it didn’t, they said. Although their actual wedding date ended up being July 10 because of the contest.
On a whim
Even though most of their wedding plans were in order, Ally said she decided on a whim to enter the contest. Because she said she is a rule follower, she read through all the details of the contest just in case they might win. She read that the winning package came with a wedding planner, someone who would help with all the details.
The wedding planner basically sealed the deal for Ally as she said planning a wedding was “really stressful.”
She also read that there were three winners and each of the couple’s would wed on a different Busch farm in either North Dakota or Idaho.
The couple’s original plan was to get married on their 20-acre hobby farm, which is home to a couple horses, some chickens and their dog and cats. A farm wedding would still be happening if they won, but it would just be a different location.
But again, the couple said they never dreamed they would actually win. When Ally was telling Dustin about the contest, he told her to go and then added, “Like we’re gonna win anyway.”
On April 21, exactly two weeks after she entered the Busch Beer contest, Ally received an email from Anheuser Busch that said “You brew us away with your love story” and that they were one of the three winning couples. Prior to that, they had been notified they were in the Top 10, which also required them to do a virtual interview via Zoom. Ally said it was a super short interview and that it went well.
The April 21 email also revealed that their wedding would be July 10 and that it would be on a farm in Idaho Falls.
Although there was plenty of excitement, Ally said there was also panic as they wondered how they were going to get family and friends to Idaho for the big day. She did ask contest representatives if they could possibly change locations to the farm in Fargo, but found out they couldn’t.
“It was pure excitement at first. It was wild to think we won,” said Ally. “I was sitting on the couch when I got the email and I could feel my heart pounding. But then I thought, ‘Are we going to get family there?’”
They did. And the couple said it was a fun and fabulous day.
“It was a laid back, intimate wedding,” said Ally.
Dustin said winning the wedding and having a wedding planner really helped to take the stress off the day.
“We were able to relax, go on a trip, have fun, party and get married,” he said. “And we didn’t have to pay for anything.”
As winners, Dustin and Ally were given a $35,000 budget with $5,000 immediately going to pay for the venue. Out of the remaining $30,000, the couple received a $1,500 prepaid Visa gift card that could be used on whatever they wanted — wedding related or not.
Ally said the only stipulation is that the money could not be used for airfare or hotels or anything related to travel. Because of that, the couple — along with most of their guests — made a whole vacation out of it and drove to and from Idaho. After the wedding, Ally and Dustin decided to honeymoon in Idaho and explored the state before making their way home.
“The whole thing, it was really magical, I’m not gonna lie,” said Ally.
The third wheel
When asked why Busch Light is so special or why the couple loves it, Ally said they love it for so many reasons. She said the essay she posted goes into detail, but that mostly because it’s the third wheel that accompanies them almost everywhere they go and never gets left out.
“Busch Light is our glue for a good time,” she said. “It has been there to help us celebrate our monumental moments like our engagement and intimate moments like a beer after work, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
She also added that it was her idea to do the Busch Latte shirts as a way for Dustin to look forward to engagement photos.
Below is what Ally shared on her social media sites as her entry into the Busch farm wedding contest:
buSSSCCHHH...I’m going to need everyone to quiet down, take your seats, and listen up. Dustin and I have been madly in love since 2016, and you want to know the secret to our relationship? Busch Light baby. Let me give a few points on how Busch Light has brought us closer together.
Busch Light accompanies us to just about every social gathering, it’s the third wheel that never gets left out — the glue for a good time. I mean we’re talking late Friday nights with our friends, hot Saturday afternoons on the pontoon, or slow Sundays with our families. Whether in a group or just Dustin and I — Busch Light brings us together for a good ol’ time.
Busch Light isn’t just a beer, Busch Light is a lifestyle. I mean have you ever met people who drink Busch Light? Along with being some of the hardest working people I know, they also know how to have fun. How can’t you bond with somebody who is living that same Busch Light lifestyle as you? Work hard. Play harder. Drink Busch Light. Sleep when you can. Repeat. Not an overly complicated life, but a rewarding one. Especially when you’re doing it with the love of your life.
Have you ever experienced the PURE JOY of coming home from work, looking at your sweetie, and you’re both like, “are you thinkin what I’m thinkin?” And then all of a sudden, you’re out on the deck, enjoying your ice cold Busch Lights, listening to your favorite music, and talking about life? Cause I have, and almost nothing compares. Busch Light has even been there for these small, intimate moments in our life.
Long story short - Busch Light has brought us together through monumental moments like our engagement, intimate moments like that beer after work, and everything in between. I'm not sure we can ever thank Busch Light enough for what they have done for our relationship. With out them we would be dull, boring, and most of all... thirsty.
Dustin and I are getting married this year no matter what, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our marriage than on the Busch Light Farm. Whether that happens or not, I promise you our marriage will always be between us, god, and Busch Light - in no particular order... #BuschFarmWedding #Contest