Mainstreams: Future father-in-law played matchmaker

A father’s instinct was right on when he insisted that his son meet a young woman in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Kelly Anderson and Andrew Chesney on the wedding day, Dec. 14, 2013.

Kelly and Andrew Chesney on their wedding day. 

(Editor’s note: Photos are by Leigh Photography, www.Leigh-Photo.com.)

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Shortly after meeting Kelly Anderson, Steve Chesney concluded she would be a perfect match for his son, Andrew.

Turns out his matchmaking instincts were right on target.

Kelly Anderson and Andrew Chesney met in 2011 on a blind date arranged by Steve and were married on Dec. 14, 2013.

Kelly Anderson and her mom, Sue  Anderson.

Kelly and her mom, Sue Anderson. 

Kelly is an Elk River native and the daughter of Sue Anderson, who owns the Sunshine Depot in downtown Elk River. She graduated from Elk River High School in 1998 and was working as a hair stylist in Scottsdale, Ariz., when she met the Chesneys.

Andrew is a native of the Rockford, Ill., area. He works in sales for his dad’s vending machine company, Seaga.

Kelly and Andrew’s fairy-tale romance began in January 2011, when Steve traveled to Scottsdale for a golf outing with friends.

His friends, Don and Janey Morse, had a reception for the golfers at their home and it was there he met Kelly, who was one of their friends.

Steve said she had an outgoing, friendly personality.

“I knew her playful persona would be a perfect match for Andrew,” he said.

Kelly said he was very persistent about her meeting his son.

Without her knowing it, he convinced Andrew to fly the next day from Rockford, Ill., to Arizona so the two could meet.

Andrew said when his dad first suggested the idea, he thought he was crazy.

“I had just moved back from Arizona and was initially not too optimistic,” Andrew said. “After repeated phone calls from my dad and several of his friends cheering in the background, I agreed and booked the trip to Arizona.”

When Andrew and Kelly met, all was well.

“I was instantly attracted to him,” Kelly said. “He has a great smile and big blue eyes. He’s a very handsome guy.”

Andrew was also impressed.

The Anderson-Chesney wedding party.

The Anderson-Chesney wedding party. 

His first thought, he said, was, “Wow, Kelly is amazingly beautiful!”

“Let’s just say, my dad did good,” Andrew said.

They went out on their first date that night, accompanied by Steve and his seven golfing buddies — all men ranging in age from 40 to 70. After dinner, the golfing buddies disappeared and left Kelly and Andrew alone.

The couple maintained a long-distance relationship after Andrew returned home to Illinois. And, as Steve puts it, “Three years later and after countless flights, I have a new daughter-in-law.”

The wedding was held at Court Street United Methodist Church in Rockford, Ill., followed by a reception at a historic brewery building called the Prairie Street Brewhouse that is a popular wedding venue.

“It was just a very special day for both of us,” Kelly said. “We’re both in our early 30s, so I think sometimes you kind of lose faith that you’re going to find that person that’s going to make you as happy as he does.”

Ironically, they learned after they met that Andrew had lived just 2 miles from Kelly while residing in Arizona. He had lived in Arizona for 10 years before moving back home to Illinois in November 2010 — two months before they met.

Today, they make their home in Freeport, Ill., just outside Rockford.

Kelly Anderson with the women in her wedding party.

Kelly Anderson with the women in her wedding party. 

Andrew Chesney with the male members of the wedding party.

Andrew Chesney with the male members of the wedding party. 

Kelly and Andrew Chesney recreated a scene in Rockford, Ill., like the famous World War II-era photo taken in Times Square of a sailor kissing a nurse.

Kelly and Andrew Chesney recreated a scene in Rockford, Ill., like the famous World War II-era photo taken in Times Square of a sailor kissing a nurse. 

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