On her wedding day, Hart wore a knee-length white skirt, a white blazer and strappy white shoes. The 21-year-old carried a mixed bouquet and clutched her father's arm as she walked into a room at the National Guard armory in Inver Grove Heights. She continued to hold his arm during the ceremony, as her witness stood to her left, and about a dozen family members and friends sat and watched.
She watched Rhode's image on the video screen. He stood in his combat uniform, with his best man at his side and his hands clasped in front of him. Every now and then he broke into a huge grin.
"Abe and Mandy, I don't know if you could've imagined your day could be quite like this," joked Lt. Col. Joel Severson, the National Guard chaplain who performed the service.
Hart said the wedding wasn't the fairy tale ceremony she had imagined, but she was glad the National Guard helped make it happen. The couple plans an in-person ceremony in Florida next summer, and they'll live in Shakopee, Minn., once Rhode returns from Iraq.