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Wedding scrubbed by COVID-19, couple figures out a way

Empty pews are becoming a rite of 2020 spring weddings.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Extend the lens far enough, and everything is exactly as they planned it. 

Bride in a white flowing gown, her groom in his black tuxedo.

But pull back a bit, and rows of empty pews are revealed.

Welcome – or not, really – to 2020’s spring weddings.

Nine days ago, Tony Eicher and Annie Dupslaff had no notion their wedding wouldn’t take place as they’d planned.

Now, they are just another example of how quickly we’ve all had to adapt to living with the threat of COVID-19.

“The sports world kind of started everything with closing everything down,” Tony says. “That’s when it kind of popped up on our radar, as obviously the week kind of kept going, it just got worse.”

For months they’d been planning, their wedding date cast in stone: Saturday, March 21st, 2020.

One week before their big day, “was the first day that we thought, ‘Wow, this might not happen,’” Tony says.

Were there tears?   

“Oh yeah,” Annie says, bursting out in laughter.

Tears, it turns out, are no match for resilience.   

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“It was Monday afternoon at 1:00 or 1:30, and he said, ‘Let’s get married tomorrow,’” Annie says of Tony’s revelation.  

Both Tommies, Tony and Annie reached out to University of St. Thomas – where their wedding was scheduled at to take place at Aquinas Chapel.

One day later, Father Steven McMichael married them in an otherwise empty church.

Annie’s mom and dad served as witnesses. Tony’s parents, unfortunately, were still in Florida. His dad has risk factors that left him unable to travel in a COVID-19 world.

“We’re not the only ones that have had to deal with this,” Annie says. “I think there’s thousands of weddings now going even into the summer that are having to, you know, make adjustments.”

Amazing, isn’t it, now quickly we’re all coming to terms with our new reality.

“People are going through so much worse during at this time than us. I think it puts things in perspective,” Annie says.

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So, Annie walked up the aisle with her parents, flanked by empty pews where 160 of their closest friends and family should have been sitting. 

Yet, today, it’s okay. Their wedding reception is already rescheduled for July. Annie says it'll give Tony and her more time to practice for their first dance.

“It’ll be a great story to tell our kids and grandkids someday,” Annie says. “I’m a girl too, so for your man to just, ‘Let’s get married tomorrow', it’s very romantic.” She laughs again. Her biggest of our interview.

Laughter from out of those tears – and a great foundation on which to build their marriage.

“We can handle a lot,” Annie says.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11.

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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