By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Masks, socially-distanced danced floors, and guests lists cut in half may not sound like a dream wedding, but for Minnesota couples, their choices are limited.

“We had about two months before the pandemic hit, and we had to change all our plans,” said Melissa Stuke.

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She got engaged to William Calvin in December, and thought they’d be married in front of 300 guests at a sprawling Twin Cities estate in the fall. By spring, they realized that wouldn’t be possible. They hired a wedding planner just to navigate pandemic changes.

“We have to take it day by day, week by week – figure things out as they came,” said Stuke.

Rachelle Mazumdar has pushed dozens of weddings into next year.

“It’s been a really crazy time not just for me, but for anyone in event planning,” she said. With spaces already filling up fast, she believes it will be 2022 before things get better.

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But now, backyard weddings are also falling apart: any wedding with more than 25 guests aren’t allowed in Minnesota on personal properties. The state says they are too tough to regulate, forcing Mazumdar to find a county club or other outside venue away from someone’s home.

“On the one hand, I certainly wouldn’t want an outbreak, but there seems to be a lot of discrepancy between bars and restaurants and events,” said Mazumdar.

Professionals risk losing their licenses if people get sick.

Now, Stuke and Calvin will be married in October in front of a small group of family.

“I’m very aware that I just lost the to be with my loved ones, and other people have lost their loved ones,” said Stuke. I still have that perspective, I still get to marry my best friend.”

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In addition to their wedding in October, Stuke said they’ll also host a large party a year from that, to celebrate with all of the people they had originally hoped would be there for their big day.

Liz Collin