“The date, 1/23/21, it was just easy to remember it looked really cool on paper,” Brianna Mesa said.

Brianna Mesa and her now-husband, Jared, got engaged in 2017 and in early 2020, they settled on a date and a venue to tie the knot in North Dakota.

“We had invited about 400 people to this wedding expecting to actually show up between 250 and 300,” Mesa said.

The couple had dreamed up a winter wonderland wedding, and when COVID came around, they thought they would still have plenty of time for everything to settle before tying the knot in 2021.

“At that time it’s just like the flu, it’ll be a season and it’ll move on. It’s not a permanent thing, we’ll get through this keep planning,” Mesa said.

Helping plan the wedding was Adrianna Wixon, the event manager for the Regency in Minot where the wedding was to be held.

With the shrinking guest count, she cut the list down to around 30 with a micro-wedding.

“We’ve adopted phrases like, ‘minimize your guest count, not your expectation’s and– small doesn’t have to be simple,” Wixon said.

Mesa and Wixon kept in contact daily, with the changing risk levels and capacity limits, until the big day came last month.

“It really was perfect like looking back. I wouldn’t change a single thing,” Mesa said.

Wixon says she was excited to be a part of a special moment for the couple, and for another next year.

“It turned out absolutely beautifully. They were able to have all of their friends and closest loved ones together and then next year they’ll be able to have their elaborate wedding,” Wixon said.

“The second part is just gonna be this giant celebration with all the people that we haven’t seen in two years because of the pandemic. All these people that we haven’t been able to hug and talk to and everybody will just have a chance to socialize,” Mesa said.

Wixon says the Regency retained about 95 percent of its business during the pandemic by offering a free rescheduling option for couples.