Over the last few months, most plans for large gatherings have all been altered or canceled because of COVID-19, including weddings. Pratt native Morgan Schmidt, daughter of David and Carol Schmidt, had a major hiccup in her plans to get married in October to her fiancé Anders Lindanger from Norway.
Several years ago, Lindanger came to Kansas because of a golf scholarship at Sterling College. The two met in August of 2015, where they both played on the Sterling College golf team. They were not supposed to date, but that couldn’t keep them apart.
"We went out as ‘friends’ to the Kansas State Fair in September of 2015 and our love story took off from there," Schmidt said. "We got engaged on August 1, 2019 at Månafossen, a cozy little waterfall in the Rogaland region of Norway."
Their wedding was going to be on Oct. 10, 2020 at the Schmidts’ family farm with both families from the US and Norway in attendance, but it became clear in June that having a big wedding would be nearly impossible, Schmidt said.
With the families being from two different countries, that posed an extra challenge for the couple to plan their wedding as they tried to adhere to guidelines of both countries. The uncertainty was difficult for Schmidt to handle.
"I like to have a plan and know exactly what the next day will bring, but with COVID, plans seem to change daily," Schmidt said. "Having both families in attendance was a really big deal for us, but we knew realistically the world wouldn’t be ready for a big wedding by October."
Schmidt and Lindanger decided to move the date up and have a small ceremony on July 20, 2020, and to postpone their large ceremony until after COVID-19 to avoid him being sent back to Norway. Lindanger is in the United States on an F-1 visa, and there was a possibility that foreign students would be sent home and not allowed to return to the states because of the crisis.
"We had a tiny, private, outdoor ceremony with only our two witnesses, Tanner Edwards and Lauren Mattingley, and our two friends,Tom and Amber McElyea, physically present along with Rev. Scott Powell who married us on July 20, 2020 at the Abundant Harvest Church of the Nazarene," Schmidt said. "My father, David Schmidt, got to walk me down the aisle while the remainder of our friends and families got to watch the ceremony as a live stream."
They planned the small wedding in 12 days, knowing that they would get to have their big wedding in the future.
"We look forward to having a big celebration with both our American and Norwegian friends and families in the future," Schmidt said. "We are both very excited to begin our lives as Mr. and Mrs. Lindanger and know that together even the uncertainties of COVID can’t keep us apart."
The couple currently lives in Pratt with plans to move to the family farm soon. Lindanger is pursuing a masters degree from Friends University, and Schmidt graduated from Sterling College in 2018 and is working at Liberty Middle School.
"Our ideal situation would be to split our time between the USA and Norway as evenly as possible," Schmidt said, "but for now plan on spending the time school is in session in the USA and the off times in Norway."