SIOUX CENTER—Jacob and Paige Vander Wilt said it felt like a dream to get married Sunday, April 5, in Fairview, SD.
“It doesn’t seem real just because we’ve been together for so long to the point where, well, yeah, we knew we were going to get married,” Jacob said.
“It happened all so quickly, so I still kind of feel like I’m living in a dream,” Paige said.
Their original plan was to get married on Saturday, April 25, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, they were not sure if getting married that day still would be an option.
“On a daily basis, people have been asking us what we’re going to do. We didn’t cancel anything. We didn’t cancel any of our venues,” Jacob said. “We didn’t cancel anything just because I was just putting it in the Lord’s hands. Whatever His will was, that’s what was going to be done. Somehow on April 25, we were going to be married.”
Originally, the wedding was supposed to be held at First Reformed Church in Sioux Center and it took them nine months to plan.
Jacob, 22, said he knew they were going to get married whether they had 150 people or 10 people. He thought Gov. Kim Reynolds would not put Iowa under lockdown due to the coronavirus, but wanted a backup plan. So, he contacted the Rev. Travis Else from First Reformed Church.
“Personally, I don’t think that would happen but I wanted to contact my pastor because we have been staying in touch throughout all of this, just to see what was going to happen, and we kind of had a Plan B,” Jacob said. “I said that we were still praying for a miracle.”
There was a conversation Jacob had with his pastor before deciding to go through with Plan B. Jacob and his pastor were worried about a potential stay-at-home order by April 25.
“I was kind of hoping he would say he would marry us with just our parents,” Jacob said. “But he said, ‘Well, you know it is my job. I can’t really just go out and preach to people in their homes because that’s my job. If we’re at a stay-at-home order, then I need to stay at home,” so I said, ‘OK. So then we can’t get married on April 25?’ He said, ‘No, you can still get married but you have to do it via Zoom,’ so I was like, ‘This isn’t happening.”
From that point on, the couple decided to move their wedding up.
“No one told us we had to. I guess I felt like the Lord’s will was to have our immediate family there and a couple of friends,” Jacob said.
On the Friday before their wedding, Jacob and Paige, 20, drove down to Sioux City to get a three-day waiver on their marriage license. By 3:30 p.m. they were at the Sioux County Courthouse in Orange City to get their marriage license.
With those arrangements made, the couple got married Sunday near a pond on private land in Fairview.
“Over there, the river is just a beautiful spot and me an Paige both like to be out in nature. It was a really neat area,” Jacob said.
Only immediate and personal family members were allowed to attend the wedding.
“We took pictures, we had our immediate family there, we had an aisle, we had a stage, we had people walk down it, we had our pastor, we had our dog,” Jacob said.
“Both of us said if we could go back, we’d plan the exact same wedding.”
The couple dated for four years before their wedding.
They attended Unity Christian High School in Orange City and Dordt University in Sioux Center together. Paige received a two-year business degree from Dordt in May 2019. Jacob is getting his bachelor’s degree in business and is taking online classes at Dordt where he is expected to graduate next month.
Jacob works for Ten-Kredit Electric in Sioux Center and Paige works at Renae’s Salon & Spa in Sioux Center and are making their home in Sioux Center.
He popped the question to Paige during an outdoor excursion.
“I took her out to Paullina pond and grilled steaks and then had a picnic, and went out, there’s this little island, and I proposed out there,” Jacob said.
If there were to be a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic, Jacob and Paige will have a unique wedding tale to tell for years to come.
“Several people have told us, ‘Wow, you’re going to have such a story to share with your kids someday,’ and that’s so true,” Paige said. “As far as this story goes, I mean it was a crazy one, but it’s kind of fun to tell.
“Jacob and I were just really relaxed about it,” she said. “We knew that that’s what we wanted, and we’re like, ‘OK, let’s do this.’”