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Save our date...maybe? Area brides discuss the coronavirus and what it means to plan or postpone their big day

Area brides experience the paradox of planning a wedding during a time of uncertainty about when a large group of family and friends can safely gather.

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Watch or listen as brides in Fargo discuss postponements, wedding day changes and cancellations as social distancing guidelines remain in-flux.
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FARGO — Since March 11, when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in North Dakota, the pace and rhythm of daily life have changed. Live events, conferences and concerts all quickly canceled or postponed as guidelines from the Center for Disease Control became more aggressive.

In fact, Kayla Cash, director of sales at both Sanctuary Events Center and RiverHaven venue in Moorhead, said more than 50 events have been impacted because of COVID-19.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, North Dakota will see its peak of COVID-19 cases by April 20, but state officials expect social distancing guidelines may be in place this summer.

This past week, women from the Fargo-Moorhead area sat down to discuss what it's like to prepare for marriage and live with the possibility of drastically changing a day that many have planned for years.

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Kylie Oversen pictured with her Submitted Photo.

Engaged couples face the decision to postpone or delay their nuptials, and some brides remain cautiously optimistic to grasp onto their summer dates, and pray we can all #savesummer.

Holding joy and grief while living day-to-day in a world when the future is unknown, hopeful brides - like me - wrestle with what the choices that may actually result in life or death (besides picking the wrong wedding colors).

Here's what several area brides say their current plan is to save their date.

Mariah Tweeton and Elliot Bates

Wedding date: May 15, 2020

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Mariah Tweeton and her fiancé Elliot Bates are still hoping to have their wedding day on May 15, but have considered a "plan B" by asking vendors and guests to consider a fall date. Photo courtesy of Infinity Photography in Bozeman, Montana

For this couple, it's still on for now, but they already have started work on a plan B. Tweeton said she didn't think twice about postponing her bridal shower and bachelorette party but doesn't want to shrink her guest list from 200 family and friends to less than 10.

"Thinking about postponing is the most exhausting thing. We recently moved back from Montana, so we were worried about getting jobs and relocating," Tweeton explained. "Re-planning a wedding was something we never expected. We have spent months preparing for this big celebration that is going to have to be pushed back, and it's devastating."

Tweeton said the main factor they'll consider is the safety and health of themselves and loved ones.

"We want to be able to celebrate with everyone. However, with social distancing now extended to at least April 30, the likelihood of going from to a 200-person max to a 10-person max event is very, very slim," she said.

Tweeton said they have started to asked vendors and family members about changing the wedding to the fall date.

Bailey Schumann and Derek Fletcher

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Wedding date: May 30, 2020

Bailey Schumann and Derek Fletcher
Bailey Schumann and Derek Fletcher hope to keep their wedding date of May 30 in their hometown of Carrington, North Dakota, but if they have to postpone their celebration with friends and family due to social distancing guidelines from the CDC, they will still get married in a small ceremony. Photo courtesy of Jared Eischen.


Bailey Schumann and her fiancé Derek Fletcher describe their attitude as cautiously optimistic, but they are just taking it day-by-day. Their venue is in their small town of Carrington, North Dakota.

The 24-year-old bride, who has already lost a graduation ceremony for her masters' degree and in-person bridal showers, underlined the importance of grief.

"Give yourself a day to just be. It's okay. I did and was on the couch for the whole day," she said. "But then I got back up the next day so we can plan for what might be."

Jana Peterson and Emil Nelson

Wedding date: July 11, 2020

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Jana Peterson and Emil Nelson plan to get married on July 11, 2020. Although they don't know what they will do if they are not able to gather with their guests if the threat of the COVID-19 virus still requires people to practice social distancing. Photo courtesy of Eyenoticed by Abby and Adam.


Jana Peterson and her fiancé Emil Nelson don't know what they will do if their venue is closed on their scheduled date due to COVID-19, but the 29-year-old bride-to-be is confident she will get to marry her 25-year-old fiancé this summer.

"It's strange because I have mixed with feelings of guilt and jealousy because it feels selfish to want 'our day' with all of the COVID stuff happening," Peterson said. "I know at the end of the day it's about our marriage and not a wedding, but you still dream of this for your whole life, so it's a big let down to have the wrench thrown in there."

Alexandra Floersch and Dalton Jampsa

Wedding date: July 17, 2020

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Having dated for nearly 10 years before their engagement, high school sweethearts Alexandra Floersch and Dalton Jampsa may have to wait another year to tie the knot, due to the effects of COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Sam Bacon Photography


Floersch and Jampsa are high school sweethearts who have been waiting for more than 10 years for their big day, but because of COVID-19 pandemic, they may have to wait a bit longer.

The 28-year-old bride-to-be, similar to Bailey Schumann, postponed her bachelorette trip to Phoenix, Arizona. During the first week of April, Floersch planned to celebrate her upcoming nuptials and birthday with 12 of her friends. Instead, she spent the first weekend of April in her Fargo apartment with her fiancé.

"With my wedding being in July, it's a balancing act of not only if, but when to take further steps to postpone the wedding," Floersch said. "I hesitated to reach out to our venue and vendors, knowing couples with weddings in March, April, May and June would be even more panicked than I am (and for good reason), and didn't want to overwhelm the vendors."

Despite her hesitation, Floersch said she was able to cement a "plan b" for exactly one year later if they have to postpone.

"We have been able to send out our email to our venues and vendors to confirm that Sat, July 17, 2021 works," she said.

Whatever will be, will be

During the wedding roundtable discussion, all the area brides agreed: weddings are about starting the next chapter of their lives with their partner, and that can be done without a large group of people.

Two brides who had the same wedding date, March 21, chose different paths when faced with increased social distancing restrictions and venue cancellations.

Kayla Kakela and Adam Held

March 21, 2020

"Our biggest challenge was making the decision and the frustration of all of the new and constant changes by the CDC," Kayla Kakela Held said. "We were a go for everything Monday; Tuesday the first wave of regulation was pushed from 50 people together to 10. By Thursday, the push to do social distancing for anyone outside the home was our reality."

Kayla Kakela Held opted to shrink her 425 guest list to 18 to keep her date of March 21 in the church at Rocklake Methodist Church in Rocklake, N.D.

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Kayla Kakela Heldand Adam Held didn't make the call to have a private ceremony instead of postponing their event until the Thursday evening before the wedding was originally scheduled on March 21. Photo courtesy of Country Memories Photography.


"As far as the postponement goes, it was more of a let down because it was supposed to be such a big day with all the amenities; however, in the end, it really was a perfect day," she said.

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Kayla and Adam Held decided to go forward with their ceremony with a limited guest list of their parents, three of our four siblings and their families along with seven close friends. Photo courtesy of Country Memories Photography.

Lynnette Maycock and Todd Johnson

Postponed: March 21, 2020

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Lynnette Maycock and Todd Johnson postponed their wedding after their venue operated by Fargo Parks closed. Maycock said she notified friends and family via Facebook, email and phone. Submitted photo

Maycock and her fiancé Todd Johnson changed their date once their venue, operated by Fargo Parks, closed.

"We fought with the idea of postponing the wedding until the decision was made for us," Maycock said. "While it wasn't easy, it was comforting to have so many family and friends agree it was the right choice and assured us they would be there for the new date."

Maycock said while it was stressful and surreal to experience her wedding week and day without getting married, she feels lucky her church, vendor and family have been flexible to find a new date that works for everyone.

While life goes on during the COVID-19 pandemic, life events like weddings may look considerably different for some time.

"We have to put everything on a temporary hold. We do not know when that will be, but we look forward to having a celebration of not only our love but also of just back to being with people again in general," Held said

Related Topics: PEOPLEWEDDINGS
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