Love in the Time of Covid

When the pandemic threw a wrench in their original wedding plans, this local duo opted to tie the knot in an intimate, surprise celebration at Stein Eriksen Lodge.

By Tessa Woolf December 23, 2020 Published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Park City Magazine

Like so many couples whose wedding dreams were dashed last year due to Covid-19, Jarl Ray Nielsen and Miguel Salas Nielsen found themselves rethinking their nuptials. “We were determined to have a destination wedding, but [Covid] cases increased, and it just seemed like our dream date would never come,” the grooms recall. “We decided it was time to make our plans a reality and have an intimate wedding with the few most important people in our lives.”

The grooms invited 12 guests to Stein Eriksen Lodge on September 27, 2020, under the guise of an engagement party. Guests were asked to dress in black and were gifted custom face masks with the grooms’ initials on them. The group enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the foyer adjacent to Stein’s ballroom before the grooms slipped away to change into tuxedos. Their event planner, Judy Jackson, then announced the big surprise: they were actually gathered for the couple’s wedding. Drapes were parted to display the ballroom, a harpist began to play, and guests were shocked as they took their socially distanced seats on gold Chiavari chairs to witness Jarl and Miguel exchange their vows in front of Stein’s grand fireplace decorated with candles and flowers by Green Dahlia Studio. After the ceremony, celebrations continued with a Champagne toast and an elegant dinner.

Despite the change of course due to Covid, the newlyweds describe their big day as “magical, memorable, and full of love.” Proof that sometimes Plan B is the best plan of all.

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