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Just Married
Black Tie Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 2 years ago

Just Married: Liz Alpert & Jim Barber

Talking politics on the first date may not always be the right thing to do, but for Liz and Jim, it led to happily ever after.
by: Kayleigh Omang Contributor

Before Mayor Liz Alpert even met Jim Barber for their first date Feb. 11, 2014, he had two strikes against him.

Kaptured by Kacy

They had been emailing back and forth a little after pairing up on, but needed to meet in person to see if they had chemistry. But Liz was offended when he wanted to meet “in-between” their two houses, when they lived only 10 minutes away from one another. That was strike one.

Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t familiar with the downtown area yet. Liz, not knowing that he had little knowledge of downtown, gave him a second strike when he suggested meeting at Applebee’s.

The year prior, Liz had run for state representative. Both Liz and Jim are political junkies, so the conversation easily flowed into politics. However, Jim had actually voted against her in the election. For Liz, none of that mattered.

Kaptured by Kacy

“What won me over was he never left a date with me without making sure he was going to see me again,” Liz says. 

For Valentine’s Day in 2017, they decided to just have a quiet dinner at home. 

During the dinner, Jim put his hand over hers on the table and asked her, “Would you like to get married?”


Kaptured by Kacy

The Wedding

About a year and a half later, Jim and Liz were married at the Holiday Inn on Lido Key with 112 of their family and friends with them.

The months leading up to the wedding, Jim spent many nights putting together the perfect playlist. The music played a large part in their day.

When Liz walked down the aisle, it was to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. That song was also worked into the vows Liz read to Jim.

“I feel that it was Jim’s entrance into my life that helped totally transform it from the lowest point in my life to where I am today,” Liz says. 

Together, the couple has six grandchildren. Jim came up

Kaptured by Kacy

with the idea to have all six of them walk down the aisle together as ring bearers and flower girls.

The pair agrees that the vows they gave to each other were their favorite part of the day. Jim’s vows to Liz were short and sweet, and Liz was touched that he had them memorized.

“Mine were less than a minute because there’s no need to go on and on,” Jim says. “I said what I needed to say — she knows how I feel.”

Kaptured by Kacy

The special music continued after the ceremony with the first dance song. They chose “In My Life” by the Beatles because of the meaningful lyrics.

Both Jim and Liz agree it was the best day, and everything went beautifully. 

“Neither of us had a big wedding before — it was our last chance to do that,” Liz says. “It was worth it.”


I’m Kayleigh, Black Tie reporter. My cats and I moved here from North Dakota and I earned degrees from Minnesota State Moorhead in photojournalism and entrepreneurship. You’ll find me covering all the big fundraisers in town. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 330.

See All Articles by Kayleigh

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