MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — The COVID-19 pandemic threw a massive wrench into the plans of brides and grooms around the globe.
While some decided to reschedule or reimagine their dream weddings, others chose to scale back.
Lauren Baufield-Edwards was one of those brides.
For the Plymouth, Minnesota native and her now husband, Latwan Edwards, Plan A was to get married in June 2020, a big outdoor wedding in South Carolina, where they currently live.
When COVID-19 hit, Lauren and Latwan didn't want her grandparents to travel from Minnesota and risk getting sick, so they canceled the wedding and moved to Plan B: a small, pared-down ceremony on the beach.
The dress was from Amazon, the ceremony lasted about five minutes, and only immediate family was there – about 10 people total.
"Whenever COVID’s over we’ll try again," Lauren said.
Plan C was to have the big wedding in February 2021, but that got canceled too.
Meanwhile, Lauren's younger sister Morgan got engaged and started planning her own wedding. Lauren also had her second child, and said she felt a few pangs of jealousy watching her sister plan her big day, since hers never really happened. On top of that, Morgan planned to borrow Lauren's veil for her wedding.
Lauren didn't get the chance to wear her veil, let alone her wedding gown – she put off fully purchasing the dress since she didn't have room to store it in her apartment.
While Lauren was in Minnesota for a visit in early 2022, her mom Ann Baufield caught on that Lauren's wedding dress was still on hold. To give Lauren the bridal moment she missed out on almost near years ago, Ann and family friend Abby Christensen hatched a plan..
On March 26, Morgan married her now-husband Trevor and celebrated with friends and family at Rush Creek Golf Course in Maple Grove. During Morgan's first dance with her husband and dance with her father, she wore the full-length veil, which "I thought was weird," said Lauren.
Little did Lauren know, Morgan had a good reason for wanting the garment close by.
After her dances, Morgan rushed over to Lauren and put the veil on her head. "It's your turn," she told her.
Without her knowing, Lauren's mom had purchased her wedding gown, shipped it to Minnesota, and hid it at the venue. Lauren's sister, mother and friends got Lauren dressed and brought her back to the dance floor, where Morgan called Latwan to center stage.
"You guys never had your moment and now it’s time for you to have your first dance, your bride’s waiting behind you," Lauren remembered Morgan saying.
It was a dance nearly two years in the making. And thanks to local wedding photographer Caitlin Murphy, the moment was all caught on camera. Murphy shared the video on her Instagram account, where it now has thousands of views.
After that, Lauren danced with her father. No surprise, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
“Everybody was crying... my brother cried who’s not emotional,” said Lauren. It was the same story with Latwan. “I don't think I’ve ever seen my husband cry.”
“On what’s supposed to be the most selfish day of your life… she did the most selfless thing I’ve ever seen," Lauren said of her sister.
But that's not all. Murphy, the photographer, snapped a few photos of Lauren, her husband and their two young sons at the wedding, and when she realized Lauren didn't have any proper wedding portraits in her home, offered to take them the next day for free.
“I kind of feel like I’m married again," she said.
The photos, taken along the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis, are now both a keepsake and a permanent reminder of her family's selflessness.
“I feel extremely thankful and grateful that my little sister would think to do something like that," Lauren said, "and remember the small details about what songs we were going to do.”
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