Celebrating love: ‘I do’ in a unique way

Local News

CROOKS, S.D. (KELO) – During this time of crisis, finding any way and reason to celebrate is important. That’s why one couple decided to still celebrate their love by getting married today. Guests were there too, just in a unique way.

Traditional weddings in the United States usually consist of friends and families gathering inside the chapel to watch the bride and groom tie the knot. But one couple had to re-think the way they say ‘I do’ because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“There’s four most important things in a person’s life. Graduating from high school, graduate from college, being married and the birth of your first child. And she’s got to put up with this for one of her big days, but it’s a joyous occassion,” Matt Hanisch, the uncle of the bride said.

Newlyweds Austin and Mariah Oyen had a large wedding planned, but with social distancing guidelines preventing that from happening, they had to get creative.

“Week by week our plans just started falling apart basically. You can’t have this, you can’t have that. First it was 50 and then it was ten. With the teacher parades going around, we just thought it would be fun if everyone could come to the parking lot and just have some fun with us,” newlyweds Austin and Mariah Oyen said.

Friends and Family gathered in the parking lot of the West Nidaros Lutheran Church to watch a livestream of the wedding.

“It’s my kind of wedding. I can come in blue jeans and an everyday shirt, so it’s pretty easy to come to,” Robert Oyen, grandfather of the groom said.

After the couple exchanged vows, they greeted everyone in the parking lot at a safe distance and even had a drive-by receiving line.

“It’s really hard when there’s so many people that are struggling, but we all need some good news and this is a happy day,” Shelley Hanisch, aunt of the bride said.

Well, as you saw here, love can still be celebrated, even during a global virus pandemic … just in a six feet apart kind of way. Congratulations to the newlyweds!

The Oyens weren’t the only couple saying I do today. Newlyweds Russ and Stacey Hoeck also tied the knot in their backyard. Some guests were present holding signs and blowing bubbles, but still keeping their distance. All our congratulations to them, too.

Right now, we all love hearing positive stories that are still happening. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday or any reason you’re spreading love and celebrating, we’d love to hear about it. Send us your positively KELOLAND stories to ushare@keloland.com. And tune in for Inside KELOLAND tomorrow night at 10:30 when we will highlight positive stories happening.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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