Couple to marry in front of cardboard guests

Southwest Michigan

COLOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Berrien County couple plans to get married in front of a cardboard audience due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The soon to be Stuglik’s met at work five year ago and started dating three years later. The two got engaged in October and set a wedding date for the first weekend in April. 

Groom-to-be Dan Stuglik and bride-to-be Amy Simonson. (Courtesy)

Originally, they had 150 guests on their list, but now only a handful of people can attend. 

“We were excited when everything was pretty well put together for the original plan and they talk about maybe have a plan B, a plan C. I  feel like we’ve been through the alphabet twice now,” groom-to-be Dan Stuglik said.

The wedding invites have been cut back to the couple’s parents, a pastor and a few witnesses to follow social distancing orders. 

“I couldn’t stand the idea of how lonely that walk down the aisle would be for Amy,” Stuglik said. 

In an effort to make up for the lack of family members, he went to Menasha Packaging in Coloma to buy cardboard. Stuglik planned to make cutouts to fill up the church pews. The company decided instead, they would make and donate the cutouts as a gift to the couple. 

“We would have done this for anybody locally, but given the fact that this is a police officer and teacher and this guy was willing to spend the weekend before his wedding making cutouts with a box knife,” Luke Arendash with Menasha Packaging said.”We knew we could get this knocked out in a couple hours. It was a no-brainer.”

The packaging company made a total of 120 cutouts for the couple.

“We just envisioned a regular silhouette of just like an oval head and a body, but they made four different designs of adults and they made some into couples,” bride-to-be Amy Simonson said. “We had no connection with the factory and he just went in and they got on board and went above and beyond. We felt really loved.”

A cardboard cutout audience for a wedding in Berrien County.

The packaging company says they’re happy they could do their small part. 

Dan and Amy say they’re excited to start a new journey together. They plan to get married on Saturday in a church near their Berrien Co. home. They say they will make a video for family who won’t be able to see their union. 

Groom-to-be Dan Stuglik and bride-to-be Amy Simonson. (Courtesy)

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