Jordan Elonich broke the news to her dad first. She and Darin Hofer were getting married.
A day later, Jordan’s brother Steven also had something to share. He had just proposed to Alexa Pugh.
“I said, ‘You know Jordan’s wedding? Well, it’s going to be a double wedding,’ ” Steven said.
That started the race to organize a double wedding not in a year, but in a month.
It was all so their father, Steve, could be part of the celebration. But not just on the sideline; actually being part of the fun.
The elder Elonich has been diagnosed with stage-four cholangiocarcinoma. The prognosis is grim.
“He looks good, sounds good,” Steven said. “But the doctors say there is a turning point, and we’re going to see it soon.”
Dad was worried that such a quick wedding was putting too much pressure on the kids. But the siblings, not always the best of friends when they were young, had no doubts about their plan.
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They both wanted their own moment, they agreed, but it was crucial that their dad could be there for the both of them.
“The most important thing to me was the fact I was marrying the best guy and my dad would be there to walk me down the aisle,” Jordan said. “My dad is the first man to love me, and it would never feel right to marry Darin without him there.”
Alexa said as they moved into high gear, it helped that the brides got along so well and there would be no bridezilla drama.
Once they ironed out the colors for the wedding — emerald and violet — everything flowed from there.
“Everyone says you can’t plan a wedding in a month,” Steven Elonich said. “But having such a short time period may have helped. We didn’t have time to argue. If anyone felt passionate about it, we gave them the choice.”
Last Saturday was the big day, and as it approached, they ran into a big problem, one that has sidelined many weddings. Coronavirus had arrived, and the guest list started to shrink dramatically. The couples told everyone they understood if they couldn’t come.
They also spoke to the staff at Vintage Ballroom about taking extra precautions. No more self-serve buffet line — they had servers instead. Drinks were handed out only by bartenders.
Their mom, Joni LeRette-Flores, set up multiple sanitation stations and put small bottles of hand sanitizer on every table.
“I do feel bad” that countless other families are having to postpone, Jordan said. “However, it seemed like God was giving us this unforgettable gift, for which I have immense gratitude.”
The ceremony itself was perfect, everyone agrees. The grooms took turns walking parents and grandparents up the aisle. Then came alternating attendants.
Steven added a fun touch: his dog, Slugger, carried up the rings in a pouch on his collar.
They alternated vows, too, instead of having two separate ceremonies. They thought that would be too long for guests.
“We kissed at the same time,” Steven said.
And afterward, Jordan got to savor the father-daughter dance. It started slow, but them morphed into a mix of silly songs and dances. She didn’t want anything that would make her cry.
“I initially choked back tears, but as soon as ‘Cotton-Eye Joe’ kicked in, I had the time of my life,” Jordan said. “Not even tripping on my dress could bring me down.”
The tears came back as the dance ended. But dad was happy about their performance — and with only 10 minutes of practice, no less.
He had his doubts they could pull it off, and wasn’t sure if it was fair for the brides to rush. But in the end, he said, it turned out swell.
“The wedding day was beautiful,” he said. “I am so proud of how they all worked together. I was honored that it meant so much to make sure I was there for the wedding.”
Gallery: 2020 Real Weddings
Wedding albums from Wedding Essentials' featured couples in 2020. Preview photo from Sarah and Eric's wedding by Blackbird Photographie.
Creighton Gerber and Lorelei Tinaglia were married Sept. 28, 2019 at The Smyth House, with a reception at Scottish Rite Masonic Center.
Sarah Hollins and Eric Nagengast were married May 24, 2019 at St. John's Catholic Church at Creighton, with a reception at Happy Hollow Club.
Jory Schweers and Evan Johnston were married Sept. 20, 2019 at The Club at Indian Creek.
Lauryn Nyhoff and Jeremy Mohr were married Oct. 11, 2019 at The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm.
Julia Ecklund and Kyle Semprini were married Nov. 10, 2018, at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church, with a reception at Bella Terre Recepti…
Hannah Lundell and Brandon Whiting were married Dec. 8, 2018 at Magnolia Hotel Omaha.
Bailey Williams and Taylor Jurgens were married Nov. 24, 2018, at The Manor House in Littleton, Colorado.
Jordan Siekman and Matthew Lotker were married April 6, 2019, at Silverthorne Pavilion in Silverthorne, Colorado.