Couples affected by the pandemic have a chance at winning a $33,000 dream wedding

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Everyone has a wedding story. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of them ended up being very similar with many having to postpone the celebrations. But through a unique contest, local wedding vendors are looking to make one of those dream weddings come to life.

Rochelle Stahl and her husband Daniel spent well over a year planning their dream wedding; they had a date set for June 27 of 2020. During that time, no one could’ve planned for how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect it.

“We had about a 300 person wedding ready, planned and everything and we kicked it down to 14 people, I believe; 14 to 16 people,” Stahls said.

They postponed the celebration by a full year, and held a smaller wedding with just immediate family. Her wedding planner Renee Bauman says this was a familiar story for many of her clients.

“That really broke my heart that they’re not going to get a wedding full of family and friends and a full reception full of love that they deserve,” Bauman said.

But a dream wedding may still be in the cards for one KELOLAND couple. Bauman has partnered up with 20 local vendors across Sioux Falls and Brookings to throw a $33,000 dream wedding. It will be hosted at the outdoor tented venue at Schade Vineyard & Winery in Volga.

“So that’ll include tables and chairs, there’s two bridal suites: one for the men and one for the women that can fit the whole wedding party. The tent – which is a 40 by 120 tent, can fit up to 400. For this particular occasion, we’re going to have 50 guests,” Ringling said.

All a couple has to do to share in this special occasion is share their story with Bauman.

“We’re just looking for the most compelling love story that a couple has about why they didn’t get to have the wedding of their dreams because of COVID,” Bauman said.

Even though her own ceremony didn’t go exactly planned, Stahl says that her dreams still came true.

“So many things went ‘wrong’ – if you will, with our wedding: I still haven’t worn my wedding dress which is kind of crazy for some brides to think about – that that didn’t get to wear their real wedding dress, but, regardless, the dress doesn’t make the wedding – there’s no one thing that makes the wedding other than you guys getting married,” Stahl said.

Stahl says her family is still looking to throw a bigger celebration later this year. Submit your story to Hitch Studio for a chance to be selected.

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