It’s no secret that TLC has become the go-to platform for reality-based television shows. After all, the network is responsible for giving us some of the most intriguing romance and familial tales, thanks to the storylines it profiles on productions like ’90 Day Fiancé,’ ‘Outdaughtered,’ ’19 Kids and Counting,’ ‘Welcome to Plathville,’ and many more. So, of course, the latest addition to the channel’s roster, ‘The Blended Bunch,’ is no different.
Within this series, we follow Erica and Spencer Shemwell, a blissfully married couple from a small town in Utah, as they navigate their love and life with their 11 kids. Calling themselves the modern-day ‘Brady Bunch,’ the dynamics here are something to look out for, especially as the kids come from each individual’s previous relationship. But first, let’s find out the details of how Erica and Spencer’s story actually began, shall we?
How Did Erica and Spencer Shemwell Meet?
Although Erica and Spencer Shemwell are now happier than they’ve ever been, their chance meeting and subsequent romance originate from tragedies that neither could have imagined. Both individuals were married once before, and they both lost their respective loves. While Spencer’s wife, Aimee, who was pregnant with their unborn fifth child at the time, passed away in a car accident while running errands on November 13, 2017, Erica lost her husband, Tony Means, to brain cancer on December 2, 2016.
Tony’s cancer wasn’t a surprise. He not only lived with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, missing one of the two cancer-fighting genes that most of us have, but his family also had a long history of being overwhelmed by the illness. Aimee’s passing, though, was instant and unexpected. “I feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest,” Erica said, recalling Tony’s death. Spencer, on the other hand, stated, “I thought there was no way that I could ever love anyone like Aimee.” But we think that he’s now glad to be wrong.
A month after Aimee passed, Erica and Spencer met in an online support group for grieving widowers, where they formed a connection and eventually fell in love. Talking about their loss, healing, and the struggles of being a single parent made their bond stronger with each passing day. Later, upon meeting face to face at a conference, their friendship turned into something more profound. Subsequently, feeling that it was the right thing to do, Spencer moved his family to where Erica resided in Utah.
The couple’s first official date was on November 24, 2018, and they tied the knot on January 22, 2019 – saying “I Do” just a little more than a year after their initial encounter. The rest is history. “We are not a perfect family, and are still figuring things out, and will continue to face challenges in our future,” they wrote on their Shemwell Bunch family blog. “But we hope that by sharing our story, you will feel connection, validation, healing, gratitude, love, belonging, and above all, continual hope in your life.”