Good to Grow

October 2022 View more

On a chilly Friday night in January 2021, Ann (Goulet) Runkle and Justin Linker met for their first date, at A Toda Madre in Glen Ellyn. Both single parents of two sons, they already had talked on the phone for hours since connecting on five days earlier. “It was love at first sight for me,” says Runkle, 40, who grew up in Naperville. She planted a kiss on him before they even got into the restaurant. “I say that eight minutes in, it was love, because that’s when she kissed me,” says Linker, 43. 

Runkle works in sales talent development for Erickson Senior Living and runs her own career and divorce coaching business—called Forward. With Ann—inspired by the end of her first marriage and her own job transitions. Linker is a chiropractor with his own practice in Schaumburg named Bright Life. They bonded over parenthood and their shared love for everything from CrossFit to philosophy books to running their own businesses. A few weeks later, they introduced her sons—Logan, 8, and Jackson, 6—to his 15-year-old twins, Cade and Dain. “I love yous” were soon shared, and Linker proposed on New Year’s Day in 2022. 

Linker’s brother became ordained to marry them in a 40-person celebration on June 9 at Good Roots (492 Crescent Blvd.), a beautifully bohemian plant boutique and event space in downtown Glen Ellyn. Their sons played a special part in the ceremony, with Cade and Dain bearing the rings and Logan and Jackson carrying the couple’s vow books down the aisle. Sweetland Bakery in Schaumburg prepared a keto chocolate-peanut butter cake for the occasion. “All the guests were raving about it and never would have guessed it was keto,” Runkle says. The bride and groom headed to Lake Geneva for a weekend mini-moon and have moved into a new home for their combined families near St. Charles. 


Good Roots, Glen Ellyn 

Bride’s attire
Pronovias gown from Veiled By ChaCha, Glen Ellyn

Hair and makeup
Hairborn Salon, Lombard; Makeup Artistry by Lauren, Glen Ellyn 

Groom’s attire
Essence Formal Wear, Schaumburg


Prairie Honey Floral Studio, Lombard

Southernish, Homer Glen

Sweetland Bakery, Schaumburg

Engagement ring

Violinist Steven Sjobring, String Academy of Chicago

Wes Craft Photography,

Photos courtesy of Wes Craft Photography