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

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

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

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Most Read