For Better or For Worse, Brides and Grooms Face Tough Decisions Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


By Tony DeGol

Kierstyn Kruise and Michael Vescovi joke that they might add a line to their wedding invitation that mentions face masks and gloves as suggested attire for their guests.

Clearly, they have a good sense of humor, but they, like other brides and grooms planning weddings in the coming months, are in a position that is no laughing matter.

Engaged couples are either postponing their nuptials or waiting to see how the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing precautions unfold.

Kruise and Vescovi have already made one big decision – their marriage ceremony will happen as scheduled on June 27 at Saint Augustine Parish in Dysart. If large crowds are still unable to gather at that time, the Mass will only include the couples’ immediate family, and the reception – scheduled for Our Lady of Loretto Community Hall in Loretto – will happen on a later date.

“Right now, the most important part for us is to have the ceremony with us and our family,” Kruise stressed. “If everything else has to wait, we’re fine with that. It’s a bummer, but it is what it is.”

The couple will make an official decision in the coming weeks, but they already have a backup plan in place.

“My mom did a good job for us,” Kruise said. “She called all of our vendors and found a common date down the road if we need it. Luckily, it just worked out for us.”

Despite the circumstances, Katie Mouser feels that same sense of good luck.

She and fiancé James Hackenberry were scheduled to be married on May 9 at Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown. The two moved everything to September 5, including the reception at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

“It was really hard, but we really didn’t have an option,” Mouser explained. “I felt like all of the vendors were really supportive. We only lost one vendor, but everyone else was able to reschedule.” 

Although sad at first, Mouser said she and Hackenberry have come to realize that perhaps it is a blessing in disguise since it gives them more time to find a house.

And the pair cannot help but joke that a celebration that took two years to plan was rescheduled in a day.

Vescovi and Kruise, who may also find themselves rescheduling many elements of their wedding, are taking the situation in stride, with a great deal of family support.

“It will be a good test for marriage,” Vescovi said. “If we can deal with this big change, we can conquer anything. We’re very much one team.”  

[Photos: Kierstyn Kruise and Michael Vescovi (top) are planning to be married on June 27 and will decide about a reception and other wedding activities. Katie Mouser and James Hackenberry (inset photo) postponed their wedding until September.]