IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Kathryn Saunders Mumford most definitely did not have the wedding she had dreamed about when she was a little girl growing up in Sidney.
In fact, the Sidney High School graduate said, “It wasn’t anything I ever thought it would be, but it still turned out to be so sweet.”
Kathryn and her new husband, Jacob Mumford were married March 28 in the basement of her sister-in-law’s parent’s home in Idaho. She and Jacob had planned to be married in the beautiful Meridian Idaho Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with lots of family and friends in attendance, but COVID-19 changed all that.
“Never in a million years would I have dreamed of getting married in a basement with my family attending via video chat,” the new bride shared.
Kathryn and Jacob met while they were missionaries. They both returned to their homes last June; she to Sidney and he to Fort Mill, South Carolina, and had no communication with each other until they found themselves in the same class at Brigham Youn University in Idaho in the fall.
Remembering one another from their mission experience, they quickly became reacquainted and fast friends. After dating a while as they continued in their college classes, they were ready for the next step and Jacob popped the question of all questions. Kathryn said “yes” and the couple set a tentative date for their wedding.
When Jacob phoned his future father-in-law to ask for Kathryn’s hand, the couple decided that May would be a good time to marry, at the end of their college semester. In the meantime, things started getting crazy with the coronavirus and not knowing what would be happening in May, they moved the date to April 10.
At that point they still thought they could have the temple wedding of their dreams with about 60 of their family and friends in attendance. As things began to change faster and faster and Idaho issued a stay-at-home order, the young couple knew they needed to revamp even their newest plan if they wanted to get married sooner rather than much, much later (who really knew when?) so a new proposal was made. The temples and even the churches were closed by then and the local ministers of the church (bishops) were told they were not allowed to perform ceremonies.
Jacob’s bishop was able to receive special permission to conduct the wedding and so only two days before the newly set date, it was decided it would take place.
Kathryn’s sister-in-law’s family lived close by to the university and offered their home for the wedding. Everyone pitched in to decorate and make it a great event. With Kathryn’s two brothers, her sister-in-law, the sister-in-law’s parents and sister, Jacob’s brother and the bishop, they were right at the imposed 10 person limit for social gatherings!
Other siblings, Kathryn’s and Jacob’s parents, grandparents and other family members were able to “attend” through the very popular and much recently used Zoom Chat App. Mike and Leisa Saunders, Kathryn’s parents, viewed the wedding from their home in Sidney.
“At this point, we were just happy she was going to be less stressed,” Leisa said “We watched it over Zoom. Surprisingly, you know, I was PJ with this. Her brother, Corey, and his wife, Sydney, really went out of their way to help make her wedding special.
“It was disappointing that we couldn’t be there in person, but we are looking forward to later on when we all can get together as a family to celebrate.” And although the wedding was not what Kathryn had maybe envisioned as a young girl, it turned out to be beautiful and sweet,” Leisa said.
Kathryn will still have the wedding she dreamed of in the LDS temple. She just doesn’t know when. A temple ceremony, referred to as “Temple Sealing” will take place later when the pandemic is over. The bishop had authority to marry Kathryn and Jacob legally and lawfully “till death do they part” but the LDS faith acknowledges a temple sealing for time as well as all eternity.
There is also a big reception for all family and friends planned but the date for that gathering is still unknown. The bride and groom had big smiles for their wedding day and plan to make it through the rest of the isolation orders with a positive attitude and then live happily ever after!
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.