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, South Surrey 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 South 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 to 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

Judy and Ken Reid share a smile at Peace Arch Hospital in 2018. Judy raised concerns last month about how the COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out. Now, she says no one is telling residents or families when they will start to see restrictions ease. (Contributed photo)
Timeline for reduced restrictions in long-term care a concern for spouse of South Surrey senior

‘We’re not yet at that point,’ says provincial health officer

Gurinder Mann. (Submitted photo)
Surrey man receives prestigious restorative justice award

East Newton resident Gurinder Mann one of five to receive a Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award

TEASE PHOTO: Teens at the Bumpers dance club in Whalley in the 1980s, in a photo posted to the "Bumpers / The Zone OFFICIAL Party Page" on Facebook.com.
SURREY NOW & THEN: Bumpers and other teen dance clubs were big in the 1980s

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites and events

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey Police Service looking to hire in-house lawyer

Solicitor to work within Office of the Chief Constable, serve on internal and external committees to ‘represent the SPS’s interests’

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

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

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Most Read