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

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

A CP grain car has derailed near Field, causing a power outage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Train derailment knocks out power in Field

Power is not expected to be restored until tomorrow

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to reports of a structure fire on Valleyview Place Jan. 26, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Fire snuffed in Vernon home

No visible smoke, flames from area of reported structure fire

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Kevin Lee Barrett pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his mother Eleanor Holmes on Tuesday, Jan. 26. (File)
West Kelowna man who beat his mom could be sentenced up to 9 years

Kevin Barrett entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on Tuesday morning

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Vernon now has an approved 13 cannabis shops in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon, the ‘Pot capital of B.C.’ greenlights two new stores downtown

Two more shops, within 240 metres, approved, despite neighbouring businesses opposition

11 more cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a cluster on Big White Mountain. Pictured above is TELUS park at Big White Ski Resort, Jan. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
11 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

This brings the total case count to 225, according to health authorities in a Tuesday update

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Oliver Elementary School
Former Oliver PAC treasurer charged with fraud returns to court

Belinda Yorke will be in court to fix a date for trial in February

Most Read