Couple replaces wedding guests with cardboard cutouts due to Coronavirus

[This is a short, uplifting story about an effort to evoke social presence at a couple’s wedding ceremony while practicing social distancing. It’s from WSBT TV (Atlanta) via WXIX-TV (Cincinnati, Ohio) via CNN; see the WSBT website for a 2:03 minute video news report and for more details read a story in The Herald-Palladium. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: The Herald-Palladium]

Couple replaces wedding guests with cardboard cutouts due to coronavirus

April 2, 2020

DOWAGIAC, Mich. (WSBT/CNN) – A Michigan groom got creative for his church wedding during the coronavirus pandemic, commissioning cardboard cutouts of guests, so his wife wouldn’t have to walk down an empty aisle.

Like many other couples, Dan Stuglik and Amy Simonson spent months planning their wedding, set for Saturday, but because of the coronavirus, things had to change a bit, especially the number of people on the guest list.

At first, the couple had about 160 of their closest friends and family on their wedding guest list. The pandemic made that plan impossible.

Now, Stuglik and Simonson will have some guests at the church in person, but most will be there via cardboard.

“I didn’t like the idea of Amy having to walk down the aisle with no one in the pews. That seemed like a very lonely walk, so I wanted something to represent the guests that could have been here,” Stuglik said.

The groom went to Menasha Packaging in Coloma, Michigan, to see if they could make him some cardboard cutouts to fill the pews. To his surprise, they went above and beyond as well as donating all the cutouts.

“I went to just buy a couple sheets of cardboard, and when I told them why I needed the cardboard, they got pretty excited about it and brought in a designer… to make our guests for us,” Stuglik said.

Thanks to the cutouts, all the family and friends that aren’t able to attend the wedding in person can still fill the pews.

“We know they’re still with us in spirit, even if they can’t be in the building to watch,” Stuglik said.

The couple had to improvise for their reception, as well, and will have a home-cooked meal after the ceremony.

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