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Friendship provided important foundation for UND grads who are now planning June wedding

This piece was included in the Grand Forks Herald's Spring Wedding Guide, published in the May 21 edition.

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Noah Holter and Erin Jenkins, who met as freshmen students at UND in 2016, are engaged to be married in June. Among their many common interests, they love to be outdoors, they said.
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GRAND FORKS – It was a chance meeting in a UND dining hall that brought Erin Jenkins and Noah Holter together. Little did they know that, only a few years later, they’d be planning their wedding.

Erin is wrapping up her second year as a second-grade teacher at Grand Forks' Phoenix Elementary School. Her fiance’, Noah Holter, works as an accountant for Brady Martz & Associates in Grand Forks.

They are planning a June 11 wedding in Bemidji.

The couple met on their second day as freshmen on the UND campus in August 2016. At the dining hall, Erin met Caleb Hess, whose roommate Erin knew from the Twin Cities, where she’s from. Caleb suggested to Erin that they eat with some of his “Bemidji friends.” She quickly agreed.

Noah was one of those Bemidji friends.

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After that first breakfast, he and Erin spent the rest of the day exploring the campus and finding the buildings where they’d be taking classes.

Noah recalls that they were both “pretty nervous” and “shy,” as they were new students navigating the campus. But, he said, “She was nice and cute, and seemed like the kind of person I’d like to get to know better.”

They became good friends.

“He was always just happy, very easy-going,” Erin said. “Nothing made him upset; he’s always accepting of everyone.”

After about six months “getting to know each other and being each other’s best friend,” they began dating, Erin wrote in a post on Zola.com, a website for engaged couples. “We spent our time playing games, cooking, traveling, having out with friends, being outdoors, and enjoying all the little moments.”

At UND, Erin and Noah pursued their individual career goals. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education; Noah earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and supply chain management. He intends to become a certified public accountant.

Relationship built on friendship

Building a relationship founded on a strong friendship is “very important,” Erin said. “We knew what made each other tick before we were romantic.

“We knew we had a lot of the same interests. We had fun whether it was biking or roller-blading or playing spike ball or basketball. Whatever it might be, we just enjoyed spending a lot of time together. And we just kept getting closer and closer.”

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They love playing board games, such as cribbage and backgammon.

“We’re both pretty competitive,” Noah said. “And we’re competitive with each other, which can be fun – and not so fun at times.”

They also enjoy cooking together, Erin said. “We like to try out new homemade bread recipes, different desserts. He’s a really good cook.”

They’ve recently acquired a golden retriever puppy, Rosie, about five months old, and enjoy taking her on walks, Erin said. “We’re having a lot of fun with her.”

Looking back, through her college years, as she got to know Noah, Erin said, “He was always there for me, even when things were tough. He just always knew what to say and how to make me feel different and special. He’s very thoughtful and intentional with what he does or says for me.”

The realization that Erin was “the one” was not sudden, Noah said. “I don’t think there was an exact time where a lightbulb clicked on.”

“She is one of the nicest people I’ve met,” he said. “She’s someone I want always to be around, someone I could always rely on.”

“There isn’t anybody better that I could picture spending my life with,” Noah said.

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About Noah, Erin said, “He’s pretty awesome. I’m lucky.”

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Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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