GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Most people wouldn't enjoy getting a call on their wedding night - especially not from work. But when you're a police officer, you don't always get to choose.
While downtown Grand Rapids has recovered from civil unrest seen at the end of May this year, the nation is still healing. Two Grand Rapids officers shared with us a story proving love lasts through it all.
The Hoyer's love story isn't like one you've heard before.
“I thought she was a very attractive new officer,” Cole Hoyer said.
Officer Hoyer and, then, Officer Momber both swore they'd never date another cop.
“I was like, I’m not going to do that…I am here to work. I’m like that will never be me.” Kelly Hoyer said.
“From day one I told myself, there’s no way I’d marry a cop,” Cole said.
Until they met each other.
“I asked her out." Cole said.
One question and her response changed everything.
"I said sure,” Kelly said.
“She came along, I was like…uh oh,” Cole said.
That was the first of many obstacles they'd face in life together. The next; planning a wedding during a pandemic.
“Yep lots. It wasn’t the wedding I had imagined in my dreams. Absolutely. It’s just our life. It’s just what happens,” Kelly said.
The wedding day - May 30th - brought a small outdoor ceremony in the backyard.
Not ten minutes after taking the pictures that would later go viral, the Hoyer's wedding night became a night that would change the city forever.
“We were like hey, we’ll come in.” Kelly said. They tried to go in to work, but the rest of their wedding party and GRPD said 'No - not on your wedding night'.
“I don’t regret staying home the night of my wedding. I felt like I owed it to her.” Cole said. “There is a small part of us, that will always wish we were here that night."
Just 18 hours after saying 'I do', the Hoyers traded the tux and trappings of a wedding for badges and riot gear.
“We didn’t even second guess sitting at home for another night,” Kelly said.
With her wedding hair still curled, nails still done; they worked that day and every day for the next week
“Had she not been in law enforcement, and I was, or vice versa, I could see that being a real issue with a newly married couple…”
To the Hoyers, that's just the job. One they signed up for. One they both understand.
“Obviously it was disappointing. We were only kind of focused on the COVID side of things…like that being what we were gonna have to adjust too,” Cole said.
Grand Rapids police shared their love story and to their surprise, people care. A lot.
“I was like, holy cow. People do like us. People are thankful for what we do,” Kelly said.
“We’re not usually giving people good news. Or showing up to people in great circumstances anyways,” Cole said.
For the Hoyer's it's more than a job, it's a calling.
“The person that’s yelling at me, and spitting at me today on the front line…if they call me tonight, and need me, I’m going to take a bullet for them if I have too,” Cole said.
“The reason I wanted to do it, is just to defend the people who couldn’t defend themselves,” Kelly said.
Like all love stories, it's anything by perfect.
“We had a honeymoon planned. We haven’t had a honeymoon yet,” the Hoyers said.
But that's how these two know it's true love.
“If that’s not a test of us…of our faith, of our marriage..I feel like we can get through that…we can get through anything,” Cole said.