Eleven couples say "I do" this Valentine's Day at world's largest "grown" Ice Castle, at Mall of America®

Feb 14, 2013, 14:31 ET from Mall of America

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Eleven couples, 22 cold hands and 22 warm hearts, braved cold temperatures and simultaneously married at the world's largest "grown" ice castle built at Mall of America®.  The backdrop, a 30-foot tall tower and castle spanning more than one acre, was crafted using 4 million gallons of water and icicle lattices.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130214/CG60676)

After the couples said their "I do's," a reception featuring individual wedding cakes designed by Ross Sveback, whose cake designs were recently featured in "People Magazine," were served. Beautiful bouquets by KMB Floral and photography by Ashleigh Rachel Photography were donated to each couple as well.

Couples had to write to Mall of America about why they wanted to be married at the Ice Castles.  The eleven couples with the best stories were chosen, and one lucky couple, Steve Szczodroski and Megan Heitkamp, were chosen as the Grand Prize Winners that won them not only a Valentine's Day wedding at Ice Castles Mall of America, but also a diamond necklace from Ben Bridge, valued at $399.99

"We are ecstatic to have this unique opportunity to get married at the Ice Castle," said groom Steve Szczodroski. "It is so fun to get married and share our day with these other couples," said bride Megan Heitkamp.

Then Megan and Steve, now Mr. and Mrs. Szczodroski, shared their story of falling in love seven years ago as lab partners in a "romantic" geomorphology class at UMD.  From there, they both became science teachers and have endured a 5-year long distance engagement.  They wanted to be married at the Ice Castles because of their love for the outdoors and that was a deciding factor in choosing a blue sapphire for an engagement ring because the color reminded the couple of their connection to nature and their love of winter weather.

It all starts with an icicle. Unlike typical ice structures that are built with ice blocks, the Ice Castle is made of icicles organically grown from 4 million gallons of water and then fused together. The castle will joined 50 large ice towers together to create a series of shimmering archways, tunnels, walls and caverns. In the center courtyard looms the largest frozen tower, reaching more than 30 feet high. Latticed icicles connect the icy columns to the tower, creating roomy caverns. Inside the Ice Castle, there is one "Throne Room" with an ice chair large enough to seat several people. At night, the castle takes on a magical look as thousands of LED multi-colored lights illuminate the ice from within.

The attraction, constructed over the course of four to six weeks opened in late December and will stay open through the end of February 2013, weather permitting. The Ice Castle is open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Guests can purchase tickets at the guest service desks at the four main entrances to the Mall beginning Thursday, Oct. 25. Tickets can be purchased on-site at the castle starting the day that it opens. Adult tickets will be $10 and children ages 3 - 12 will be $5. A family four pack can be purchased for $25 with add-on's to the family pack at $4 with a limit of three.

Want to learn more? Visit www.mallofamerica.com or www.icecastles.com

About Mall of America®
Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. At 4.2 million square feet, MOA is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation's largest indoor family amusement park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; Theatres at Mall of America® - a 14-screen movie theater with VIP theatre and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Follow Mall of America on Facebook and Twitter or visit our blog.

SOURCE Mall of America