Love will prevail -- Couple's wedding plans didn't include pandemic

Friday, March 27, 2020
Lindsey Sughroue and Jeremiah “Jay” Kerns will be married April 4 — during a ceremony they had to quickly replan because of coronavirus concerns world-wide. Lindsey is the daughter of Sheri and Wil Sughroue; she works in the kitchen at Community Hospital in McCook. Jay is the son of Candy Baumgartner and Shawn Kerns, and drives a truck for the Ruggles family.
Katelyn Day/Courtesy photo

INDIANOLA, Neb. -- At Christmas-time 2016, Lindsey Sughroue and Jeremiah Kerns thought they believed in long engagements. But when they decided during the last year that the time was right to tie the knot, they planned to get married on Lindsey’s dad’s birthday, April 4, 2020.

Then, enter a little thing, a spoiler, a pandemic called the coronavirus, and the couple thought their engagement might have to last a little longer.

Lindsey, of rural Bartley, and “Jay,” of McCook, met at school, Southwest High School in Bartley. Lindsey graduated in 2014 and went to Curtis to study animal production and business at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. Jay graduated in 2015 and immediately started driving a truck.

Jay gave Lindsey an engagement ring on Christmas morning 2016, and while they decided they were in no hurry to get married, Lindsey started dreaming of and planning her perfect wedding. “We wish now we hadn’t waited so long,” Lindsey chuckled recently.

Why did they wait? Well, they moved to Montana for a year, and then back to Indianola. It was just within the last year that they decided it was time to get married.

“We decided to get married on April 4 because that’s my dad’s birthday,” Lindsey said. “I thought it would be cool to have my dad walk me down the aisle that day.”

For-real planning in earnest started about six months ago. In October last year, Lindsey and her mom, Sheri Sughroue, went dress shopping in Kearney and Lindsey found the perfect dress. Then it was “plan, plan, plan,” Lindsey said.

Their guest list included 250 family members and friends. It DID NOT include anyone or anything called “the coronavirus,” but it would be the coronavirus that put the brakes on Lindsey’s and Jay’s wedding plans.

As the coronavirus spread and its associated disease, COVID-19, grew into a world-wide pandemic, health officials world-wide restricted gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Ten people?! Only 10 people at Lindsey’s dream wedding?! On March 16, Lindsey posted on Facebook, “With a very broken heart, I have to let everyone know that was planning on attending our wedding April 4th that it has been postponed until further notice, due to this coronavirus outbreak. We are trying to figure something out but who knows how long this will go on before we can have our wedding.”

Lindsey shed a lot of tears.

However, Lindsey and Jay began to feel better after talking to the Rev. Kenneth Wehrs, who would have performed their ceremony at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Indianola. Lindsey said the Father told them the wedding could still go on on April 4 -- they just had to cut the guest list from 250 to 7.

Seven? Not 250? 243 fewer guests? Lindsey says she works well under stress … they could do this. Okay … Jay, Lindsey, Father Wehrs. That’s three. Okay … seven others … Lindsey and Jay made a list of the absolute essentials:

-- Lindsey’s parents, Sheri and Wil Sughroue of rural Bartley.

-- Jay’s dad Shawn Kerns, of McCook, and his uncle, Jeremiah Bradley, of Culbertson.

-- Lindsey’s maid of honor, Kelsie Brooks, of Indianola.

-- Jay’s best man, Shane Wasia, of McCook.

-- And Lindsey’s sister, Katelyn Day, of Bartley, as photographer.

Okay, that’s seven. They could do this!

The wedding ceremony will go on as planned, Lindsey’s dad will walk her down the aisle, she and Jay will say their “I do’s” and they’ll be married.

Lindsey said she and Jay had planned to postpone a honeymoon trip until the fall any way, so on Sept. 19, the couple will get together with their original list of 250 family members and friends as witnesses to what will essentially be a renewal of their vows, followed by a big reception. And then a honeymoon trip, if everything pans out …

What memories the couple is making! “Who would have thought that, after three years of planning, we’d have to replan everything the last two weeks?” Lindsey giggled.

“We’ve weathered our first really big challenge,” she said, felling that it’s very often the difficult times that help a couple form a strong bond. “We’ve worked together through this difficult time.”

Lindsey and Jay are especially grateful to family and friends who have helped and supported them during this situation, and want them to know that they’ll be thinking of them during the church ceremony on April 4.

They posted to family and friends: “We cannot thank all of you enough for the kind words and for thinking of us through this whole ordeal! It has definitely been hard to take in the fact that our wedding will not be how I always dreamed it would be. But we could not be happier that we can still celebrate with everyone at a later date. We love you all and cannot wait to celebrate in September with everyone!

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: