Happy Valentine’s Day — especially to this lucky couple who won our wedding giveaway!
Yes, 20+ wedding vendors came together to give away a wedding day valued at $33,000 to a couple who didn’t get to celebrate because of Covid. Read all the contest details here. See all the news coverage here:
- Dakota News Now on January 25, 2021 and February 15, 2021
- Brookings Register
- Argus Leader
- Love, Storied
It was so heartwarming (and heartbreaking) to read all 54 stories, but Tanner’s and Libbi’s rose to the top as all 20+ vendors voted.
And now, Libbi and Tanner Shultis are going to get the wedding of their dreams! The wedding vendors can’t WAIT to give back…and gift you with this wedding. We are all so thrilled for you!
Read the winning story below:
“In July 2019, Tanner and I connected at Camp Judson, a Baptist church camp in Keystone, SD. We both played on the worship team together – he played guitar and I played violin. We had unmistakable chemistry, and by January 2020 we were engaged.
The date for the wedding was set for July 25, 2020… exactly one week after the church camp ended. Tanner and I were so excited to have our story come full circle one year after we had gotten together after serving at that very special place. It was a testament to how God had been faithful in our lives.
When the pandemic hit, it seemed like everything was going to be cancelled, but we held on hope that things would be different by July. The year went on, and while we knew of the potential risks, we were certain that we were called to go back to Camp Judson to serve. Whether the choice is deemed responsible or not, we chose to serve the week at camp for the high school students. Many lives were changed for the better as a result of what happened that week at camp, but many of us faced trials when we went home.
Camp was done on Saturday, and we had exactly one week before our wedding day. Tuesday morning, I got a call from one of our friends (who was also at camp) that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Tanner had been this person’s roommate for the week, so he also went to get tested. Thankfully he had not experienced symptoms, so we remained hopeful.
We planned to reduce our wedding guest list, pending the test results. Anyone still planning to come to the ceremony was aware of the situation at hand. On the off-chance that Tanner was negative, we proceeded as normally and safely as we possibly could. The week went on and before we knew it, the wedding rehearsal day had come.
The church was beautifully decorated with flowy greenery everywhere, and a sparkling curtain of twinkle lights as the backdrop for our lifelong vows. Family and friends started arriving at the church for the rehearsal, but I couldn’t find my husband-to-be anywhere. I finally located him in a back room, on the phone. It was Avera: he had tested positive for the virus.
We were devastated by the diagnosis, knowing we would no longer be able to celebrate the wedding we had been dreaming about for months. We spoke with one of our friends privately about the situation, and she suggested that we get married that night and celebrate at a later date. She gave us a quiet moment together, and then we called our pastor to make arrangements. Twenty minutes later we began our wedding via Zoom. Not long after that, we were pronounced man and wife. We took a few quick pictures, then vacated the church.
Instead of a beautiful wedding night in downtown Sioux Falls, Tanner and I bought supper at a Wendy’s drive thru, and travelled all the way back to our home in Aberdeen. Our honeymoon was two weeks spent in our apartment. Tanner was symptom free, but I ended up having symptoms for the entire time.
We are more in love than ever, but it has been a difficult thing (especially for me) to experience the loss of the wedding celebration with our families. It means the world to us to get to FINALLY have a “normal” wedding this year.”
Thank you so much to the sponsors who are making this wedding day happen for them:
Chef April Austin Cakes and Confections
Smith & Smith Company
We can’t wait to get to work and make this wedding amazing for you! Congratulations again, Libbi and Tanner!