After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)

From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

After their wedding plans were altered not once, but twice, by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a Surrey couple decided the best solution was to keep it simple, so they decided to get married at home.

Or close to home, at least.

Last weekend, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess tied the knot in South Surrey’s Bakerview Park, with no guests present aside from their two daughters – Zoey, 6 and Tessa, 2 – an officiant, a photographer and, Schmidt noted, “some neighbours we have become close with” watching from their own windows and patios.

“We decided on Bakerview Park because it is actually our backyard,” Schmidt explained.

“Our condo backs right into the park and we live on the ground floor. It meant that although much of our family and friends couldn’t be present, our neighbours who we have become close with over the pandemic could join in our celebration from their balconies.”

• READ ALSO: ‘Love is not cancelled’: BC wedding businesses prep for summer season

• READ ALSO: ‘A little different’: Vancouver ‘micro-weddings’ help couples during COVID-19

Originally, they planned to get married in New Zealand – where Sturgess is from, and where the pair met nine years ago – in front of 90 friends and family members. However, when COVID-19 restrictions limited travel and gatherings they adjusted on the fly and decided on a local wedding, in South Surrey’s Redwood Park, which was to be attended by 14 physically-distanced guests.

But plans changed again when the newest set of public-health measures was announced, as the province – the Fraser Health region in particular – fights through a second wave of the virus that has seen positive test numbers skyrocket in recent weeks.

“Out of respect, we decided to just elope in our backyard,” Schmidt said, noting that the scaled-down event meant that her brother and his fiancee, who is a nurse, stayed home in Nelson.

Schmidt noted that the smaller ceremony meant a lot her because it was something she and her new husband were able to share with their daughters.

“We’ve had a few bumps along the road, and having kids first wasn’t the plan, but we were so thrilled to get married with our girls present, when our family felt complete,” she said.

“It meant that much more to have them there.”

And while a raucous celebratory reception may not have followed the Bakerview Park wedding, a celebration of the nuptials did take place on the other side of the world, as family in Auckland held a reception in their honour, and connected with the couple virtually.

“Their level of lockdown is much more relaxed and they are still able to gather. It wasn’t like being there in person, but it was so wonderful to still see our family in Auckland,” Schmidt said.

Despite the logistical hurdles they had to overcome en route to finally saying “I do,” in the middle of a pandemic, Schmidt said their wedding was “proof that good things still happen during bad times.”



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#wereinthistogetherCoronavirusWeddings

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)

Just Posted

(File Photo)
KES brings employment education to those over 55

The Encore program is targeted to adults past traditional retirement years looking for employment

Angel Flight East Kootenay was one of the three recipients of funding from the inaugural Giving Event. (Photo Contributed)
100 local women collect $10,500 for community organizations

The 100 WWC Fernie donated $3,500 to three grassroots organizations via their first Giving Event

Colleen Braconnier and her care aid, Karla McKie, outside of Rocky Mountain Village. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
‘We have such a good group here’: Local senior keeps head held high throughout pandemic

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped RMV resident, Colleen Braconnier, from remaining positive

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

(File Photo)
Fernie Chamber to host virtual chat with business and physicians Jan. 18

The online conversation seeks to address issues including contact tracing in the community

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read