Despite all odds, newlyweds celebrate love amid global pandemic
PLAQUEMINE - With one couple's wedding date set in stone after more than a year of planning, COVID-19 forced plans to change.
Even a pandemic can't put a pause on love, but it can put a capacity limit on a wedding.
Inside Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plaquemine, empty pews outnumbered the guests.
Including the bride, Morgan Rodrigue, and groom, Dakota Voiselle, only 11 people were able to gather for the couple to exchange vows in an abbreviated ceremony. Not a typical Mass, but one unique homily.
"Originally it was going to be 250 people, so obviously, it wasn't what we had planned," Morgan said.
Not even the wedding party could stand by the bride and groom.
Bridesmaid Emily Delahaye says the wedding party listened to the ceremony through the doors of the church, calling it "a little different than expected."
Most of the couple's friends and family were kept out of the sanctuary due to COVID-19, unable to see them until they emerged as husband and wife. The separation didn't stop the newlyweds from uniting with their loved ones to celebrate outside.
The Plaquemine Police and Iberville Sheriff's Office led the festivities following the ceremony as dozens of intended guests drove through the church parking lot, congratulating the bride and groom.
"It still meant so much to be able to see all of our family and friends, for sure, make it on our special day," Morgan said.
There's no doubt May 22 did not turn out exactly how the couple anticipated.
"Nobody wants to hear the news that you're not going to have a big wedding, but we set on our date, we were set on love, and we said, 'why not?'," Dakota said.
This pandemic wedding, empty pews and all, has exemplified enduring love during challenging times.
"Marriage isn't going to be perfect and it's going to have its highs and its lows, and we rode the wave through this one and I think it really got us ready for marriage," Morgan said.
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