Putting it mildly, coronavirus, self-isolation, and lockdowns have put a stop to all public gatherings, at least for the time being. Unfortunately, many weddings were swept up in the wave of postponements. However, one couple managed to still hold their dream wedding, by using cardboard cutouts!
Amy Simonson and Dan Stuglik, a couple from Michigan, didn’t want to postpone or cancel their wedding in the wake of COVID-19. Due to all the planning, the couple felt dedicated to tying the knot on their special day! Unfortunately, their original list of some 150+ guests needed to be cut down, by a lot. According to the current Michigan laws, only 12 people can attend a wedding, and strict social distancing must be in place. “If my uncle that I haven’t seen in six years isn’t there, that’s fine. But my grandma isn’t coming, and part of my bridesmaids,” Simonson said. “My best friends won’t be there.”
However, Simonson and Stuglik refused to give up. Stuglik, the groom and a police officer in their hometown of Coloma Township, commented that a hall with just 12 people wasn’t enough for him. Moreover, he would be devastated to see the love of his life go down the aisle with just a few guests. He wanted the church to at least to seem crowded, if they could not fill it with people. “I was seeing creative ways to fill churches,” he explained, “like pastors that were preaching to pictures of their parishioners. I wanted to do something so she wouldn’t walk down the aisle to an empty church.” That’s when Stuglik came up with quite the idea…
In the end, Stuglik decided to fill the seat with cardboard cutouts instead of real guests! Then, the wedding would not feel so empty as it truly was. So, the couple purchased all the cardboard they could from Menasha Packaging Co. “When I explained why it was neat to see their response,” Stuglik said. “They got a little emotional about what we were doing. They immediately got excited about going above and beyond what we expected.” The company representatives even helped the couple by cutting out all kinds of people with their machines. In total, there were 100 cutouts.
“It’s been a long time since I got married, but cutting corrugated cardboard the weekend before my wedding wasn’t high on my list,” Luke Arendash, Menasha’s director of sales and operations, explained. They ended up giving the cutouts away free of charge.
“It’s funny to think about a factory producing our wedding guests,” Stuglik said. “This is such a kind thing for them to do. “That was a painful part, that [Simonson’s] wedding was being stripped away from her, but Menasha helped bring a little back,” Stuglik said. Even if it wasn’t perfect, the cutouts helped them both receive love and the illusion of guests that couldn’t come. “But I think we both have peace now because it’s stripped down to what it should be, which is us and God, getting married,” he said.
While it might feel a bit sad, Amy Simonson and Dan Stuglik did the right thing. Remember to stay home and minimize contact with others. Wash your hands thoroughly, wear masks, and purchase a few cardboard cutouts when needed!